Stanbic IBTC Welcomes Students Back to School with New Educational Payment Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new school year started this month, and Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has introduced a suite of user-friendly educational payment products that will relive parents and guardians of the burden of school fees.
The question now is, how do these educational payment solutions work?

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC is a Nigerian financial institution with eight subsidiaries and an estimated staff strength of 5,000 Nigerians. Furthermore, 80% of the Stanbic IBTC board members are Nigerian.

With this Nigerian-based perspective, the bank recognises the cultural nuances in Nigeria, and has thus specifically modelled these products to be a relief.

The first of the solutions is the EZ cash loan/advance. Parents and wards who are strapped for cash at the point when school fees payment are due, can take advantage of the EZ cash loan, which gives access to loans, in less than a minute, to pre-approved customers.

If you are a salary earner, you can take advantage of Salary Advance (SALAD), another of the bank’s short-term loans that is quick and easy to get.

Another of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC’s educational products is an international money transfer solution for payment of school fees and allowances abroad.

Added to that are prepaid cards which can be preloaded with pocket money for children/wards, while the credit cards, which currently offer a 55-day interest moratorium, can be used to seamlessly pay school fees.

Dr. Demola Sogunle, the Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, said that the bank has a high-importance view of learning, and in accordance with this, it develops solutions that parents and guardians can take advantage of to ensure that their wards get the desired level of education.

He identified a deep understanding of Nigeria and developing tailor-made solutions as factors that distinguishes Stanbic IBTC Bank as a leading Nigerian financial institution.

Speaking on this, he said, “We are a Nigerian bank and we realise that whilst parents and guardians may have desired levels of education for their children, funding may be a deterrent in the pursuit of these dreams. We have hence developed these products which will ease the burden of school fees payment while also providing satisfaction to the parents and guardians that their wards are getting good education.

He added that the bank’s loan products offer fast, simple and convenient ways by which customers can meet their short term financial obligations to educate their wards, with very convenient repayment terms.

Other benefits of the school fees loans are: access to a revolving line of credit, flexible repayment terms, and the opportunity to access credit up to 100% of the customer’s income.

With schools resuming for a new term, the school fees loans will help to alleviate the financial burden parents and guardians may face in paying school fees. He further stated that the conditions for accessing the loan products are having a salary account with the bank; or having  investments with any of the Stanbic IBTC group subsidiaries.

Loan applicants can walk into any branch of the bank and apply for any of the education loans in a few easy steps. The application is then processed and the customer is contacted with feedback.

 

 

CampsBay Magazine to Hold the Africa Digital Sports Conference in Lagos

The sports industry is evolving and developing in the tech space as the Africa Digital Sports Conference (ADScon2019) sets to hold in Lagos on September 20 &21 at the Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island.

ADScon2019 is organised by Campsbay Media, a Lagos-based specialist sports communication, and media company, in collaboration with The Guardian.

An initiative of CampsBay Media, the Africa Digital Sports Conference (ADSCon) is specifically created to help develop and enhance the fortunes of African sport businesses through digital media technology.

The event is to bring together leaders of the industry to discuss new opportunities for sports in a digital era in a first-of-its-kind sports event in Lagos. The focus is on discussing how Africa can benefit from the opportunities presented in this digital era, as sports media, fan engagement and sponsorship landscape changes with digital platforms

Themed “Monetising Sports in a Digital Era”, this West Africa’s biggest sports business event will host federation chiefs, organisations and brands actively involved in sports development and sponsorship, media executives, content creators, telecommunication executives, right owners, app developers, internet service providers and sports tech startup.

It will welcome Paul Rogers, Head of Strategy at Serie A club AS Roma; Mario Leo of RESULT Sports, Germany; Emeka Enyadike of Digital Sports Africa & Seun Methowe of DAZN as lead speakers. Sports Digital Conference 2019 will bring together the leaders of the industry to discuss new opportunities for sports in a digital era in a first of its kind sports industry event in Lagos.

Speaking on this, the Chief strategist at CampsBayMedia and convener of the Africa Digital SportsConference, Lolade Adewuyi, said “Sport businesses in developed climes are already mining the opportunities that abound in using digital platforms to reach their fans directly while increasing revenue. At CampsBay Media, we believe African businesses can do the same. The Africa DigitalSports Conference will help sports businesses and organisations understand how to take advantage of available digital opportunities for growth.

Lolade Nwanze, Head of Operations at Guardian Digital, speaking on the collaboration with The Guardian, said, “To not recognize the power and possibilities available with digital media is to deny oneself of a place in the future. the Guardian, we are championing this transformation throughout Africa and continue to support vehicles like the ADSCon, which can bring tangible change to the whole sports economy of the continent.

The ADScon2019 two-day event will feature panel discussions, masterclasses, interviews, and exhibitions. Discussions will range from trends such as new digital sports tech companies competing for sports rights with traditional broadcasters, the growth of over-the-top (OTT) technologies helping sports rights owners reach their fans directly and the growth of digital technologies creating a multi-billion dollar media and entertainment industry.

Registration is currently ongoing at the African Digital Sports Conference site. 

 

Two Nigerian Startups Win the Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge, with Four Other African Startups

The healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson, has announced that the two Nigerian startups, LifeBank and Crib A’Glow, as part of the six winning African businesses of the Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 at the 28th World Economic Forum (WEF) which held in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge is supported by Johnson & Johnson to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in Africa and the creation of healthcare solutions that address the critical unmet needs of the continent. The company, through the challenge, helps to bring the startups’ ideas to life and create meaningful change with long-term sustainability.

The Challenge received nearly 900 submissions from 39 countries, and the winning businesses and programs represent outstanding ingenuity and perseverance, as well as a pathway for scaling operations for long-term sustainability.

They offer bold, entrepreneurial approaches to tackling major healthcare priorities in African communities, including Blood Delivery, Healthcare Worker Burnout, Hearing Loss, Jaundice, Malaria and Ultrasound Access.

Johnson & Johnson announced a $300,000 investment in these six startups. The startups are

  • LifeBank (Nigeria) _ Blood Delivery
  • The Hope Initiative (Rwanda) _ Healthcare Worker Burnout
  • Dreet (Botswana) _ Hearing Loss
  • Crib A’Glow (Nigeria) _ Jaundice
  • Uganics (Uganda) _ Malaria
  • MScan (Uganda) _ Ultrasound

Along with the $300,000 award, the startups will receive extensive mentoring and connection network building, to support the expansion and sustainability of the companies and programs.

The Chief Scientific Officer and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, Johnson & Johnson, Dr Paul Stoffels, said, “We look forward to collaborating with and investing in them as they work to create sustainable businesses and programs that offer strong benefits to patients, families, healthcare workers and communities in markets across Africa and beyond

The Head of Africa, WEF, Elsie Kanza further commented, saying, “The World Economic Forum is excited to partner in announcing the winners of the Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 at this year’s congress, which is focused on Innovation, Cooperation, Growth and Stability, critical areas that the challenge embodies,

Each of the six winners brings a passion for innovation, a bold sense of purpose and a commitment to the future of their communities and the larger continent. By participation in our meeting, we hope that they will be able to gain knowledge, ideas and connections to help them take their business to the next level as well as inspire leaders to encourage and support future generations of innovators.

The startups will each receive a yearlong mentorship and training in addition to $50,000 USD.

 

Xenophobia Retaliations: MTN Nigeria Share Price Suffers Fluctuation

Due to the ongoing xenophobic attack against Nigerians in South Africa, there have been violent retaliation attacks against South African companies in Nigeria – MTN, Shoprite, and MultiChoice (Dstv).

Currently, these hostilities have led to reports of vandalism in and shut down of MTN outlet, Shoprite malls, and DSTV offices in Nigeria. Following these violent xenophobia reprisals, there appear to be fluctuation in MTN Nigeria’s share price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

On Tuesday, MTN opened with a share price of $0.38 (NGN 138.5), but during the course of the day, it gained 1.08%, closing trading at $0.4 (NGN140) per share. From Monday when news of the xenophobic attacks hit social media to Tuesday when the reprisal attacks started, the total number of trades on MTN stocks surprisingly went up from 1.8 million to 3.49 million.

MTN is a telecommunications giant in Nigeria with a 52.6 million Internet users, and a 65.26 million GSM subscribers. This share price fluctuation is coming few days after MTN win the tough battle with Dangote Cement on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

MTN Nigeria listed on the NSE in May with a market capitalisation of NGN1.3trillion, with a NGN782 billion margin between Dangote Cement. However, at the end of trading on August 19, MTN overthrew Dangote Cement as its market capitalisation stood at NGN2.82trillion as against Dangote Cement’s NGN 2.81 trillion.

However, as of today, the NSE ranks MTN as one of the top 5 decliners. Though it closed at NGN140 yesterday, it is now back to NGN 138.05, with a -1.39% negative change.

Given the pivotal role that MTN plays in the Nigerian economy, we can only wait to see how the telecom industry and the stock will far once the xenophobic dust settles.

 

Wallets Africa wants you to ditch your business bank account

 

Ever put together the cost of making payments from your corporate bank account?

Founded in 2016, Wallets Africa is a Nigerian fintech startup that is working to make banking in this digital age as seamless as possible.

It allows people to send money, receive money, and make payments using phone numbers around Africa. The company’s goal is to give its customers a unique and improved transaction experience.

Two days ago, on 2nd September, the company, the Co-Founder and CEO of the company, John Oke, took to his Twitter page to announce the launch of a new product that will further help the company achieve its goal. He said,

Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard to allow businesses enjoy modern internet banking just like our customers. I’m excited to announce the launch of Business Wallet Accounts on @walletsafrica. businesses.wallet.africa.”

“It’s the easiest way to manage bulk payouts, make expense payments and perform transfers via API. Startups that you love … already use their business @walletsafrica account to manage day to day business internet banking operations. Request access businesses.wallet.africa.”

In an interview with Venturehunt, the company disclosed that the name of the product is Wallets for Businesses.

What is the process of opening Wallets for Business?

To open a Wallets for Business account, you have to request access to the Wallets for Business website. Your business has to be registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission and have an RC number.

How is this different from normal banks?

Wallets For Business is really easy to set up and devoid of the typical bank charges that corporate customers are used to. This is mainly because Wallets Africa is not a bank, but a built relationship with banks to offer better experiences to our customers.

How are your charges different from the current bank charges?

All bank transfers on Wallets go for as low as N25 and if you’re sending to a Wallets account, the transaction is done for free.

How long will it take before this product is open to the public?

We will be open to the public soon but we’re currently running a closed beta where people can request for access to start using it.

Do you have a banking license, and will the businesses receive a bank account number?

We’re currently using Providus Bank and all businesses will receive a bank account number.

Can Wallets For Business be used to handle employee payments?

Yes, it can. It comes with the bulk transfers option that allows the user to transfer money in bulk by integrating with Google sheets. All you have to do is input the account details into a google sheet and you’re good to go.

Will there be a corporate expense ATM card?

Yes, there will. We’ve started testing.

Basically, it will allow businesses to manage bulk payouts, make expense payments, and make transfers.

Even more, it includes a feature that will allow companies to link their business account with Google Sheets and perform bulk transfers to bank accounts.

APCON Announces Compulsory Vetting of Social Media Adverts before Publication

Yesterday, September 2nd, 2019, the news of the APCON ad regulation hit Twitter Nigeria and caused an uproar.

Established under the now-Advertising Practitioners Registration Act Cap A7 of 2004, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) is the legislative recognition of advertising as a profession in Nigeria, and it is vested with the powers to regulate and control the practice of advertising in Nigeria, in all aspects and ramifications.

Its focus is on its vision of promoting responsible and ethical advertising practice, and acting as the conscience of society in matters of commercial communication and as a watchdog for consumers

According to a released statement from the regulatory body, everyone planning to put out an advert on social media has to ensure that all communication materials are vetted by APCON first before it is exposed to the public.

Yes, you got that right. Essentially, is that before you can post an ad on social media platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook, the ad needs to be screened by APCON first.

Twitter users reacted in an outrage to this “highly ridiculous” announcement. Here are some of the varying reactions,

Another example of regulatory overreach in Nigeria. These people never get tired. Clueless bureaucrats always want to tell Nigerian businesses what they can sand cannot do.”

“It’s nothing but a shameless revenue drive. The internet is global and APCON’s jurisdiction ends at the Nigerian border. Or are they going to ask foreign companies whose online ads reach us to get approval from them too?”

This is impossible to track. You can’t police the thousands of digital ads that people can create from the comfort of their rooms. You don’t even need an ad agency to do social ads, how will you track these thousands of amateur and technical ad creators? …”

Another Twitter user shared the link to this site, which explain the legalities and processes involved in seeking advertisement approval from APCON.

This is coming just few weeks after the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, announced that the agency will begin to impose value-added tax (VAT) on Internet transactions both domestic and international with effect from January 2020.

What is New in Gokada Following the Relaunch

Gokada, the pioneer motorbike hailing service in Nigeria, resumed its operations in Lagos, after going on a two-week suspension. The company went on a break on August 14, 2019, following the CEO, Fahim Saleh’s poor experience on a bike, which opened his eyes to the need to improve safety standards and skills of the firm.

Now, the question on the minds of Lagosians is, has anything truly changed in Gokada’s operations?

According to the company, in the two weeks it spent on break, it has upskilled existing and newly engaged drivers called GPilots in advanced knowledge of defensive driving behaviours for enhanced safety, GPS navigation, and optimised customer delivery.

These riders graduated from their training on Monday, August 26, 2019, and they resumed operations on Tuesday, August 27.

Here are some of the things that have changed about Gokada’s operations

Better-Equipped Drivers and New Motorcycles

As the CEO promised, Gokada has introduced new motorcycles  and better-equipped drivers who have received extensive training in safe driving standards, GPS navigation, and customer service.

There is a unique code printed boldly on each new bike and helmet, and a Gokada rider claims that it helps customers commend, report, or give general feedback about the rider. However, currently, it is still difficult to get the services of a GPilot, as only a few bikes are operational on Lagos roads.

Bluetooth Helmets

Besides upgrading the skills of riders and acquiring unique TVS motorbikes, the brand has also fitted its drivers with Bluetooth enabled helmets allowing for better seamless communication and navigation experience.

The GPilots were trained on how to effectively use Google Maps for navigation, and the Bluetooth helmets allows them to make calls without having to look at their phones and also use the voice feature of Google Maps for bike navigation.

Speaking on this, Saleh said that the company has always prided itself on setting the standard in the market for safety and service.

“Hairnets, DOT-certified helmets, extensive training – these are all reasons safety on our bikes have been so consistent and how we were able to convince many to give this new-age bike taxi a shot … We took the risk to pause for a moment and improve on that template to provide our customers with exceptional service at scale.”

Ayodeji Adewunmi, the Co-Chief Executive Officer of the company, stated that Gokada 2.0 is all about unflinching commitment to customers, ensuring that now is an excellent time to use the Gokada services. He also said that Gokada would be surprising several of its users with gifts, and one lucky passenger will be receiving an iPhone X.

However, some recent users have complained that they still experienced inaccuracies with the arrival time of the rider, and that some GPilots are not paying strict attention to the Google Maps for navigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGRIPPLE: A Startup Reducing Farm to Fork Time and Eradicating Food Waste #VentureHuntStartupFocus

Founded by the entrepreneur, Vincent Okeke, a graduate of Philosophy, and a Nigerian passionate about making the community and the world at large a better place, Agriple is an online platform that delivers cheaper, fresher, and traceable farm produce everywhere in Nigeria.

It is developed to directly connect farmers with consumers and off-takers to reduce farm and fork time, increase wealth, and reduce food waste. Speaking on his belief, Okeke said, “Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime; and departing, leave behind us footprints on the sand of time.

The idea for Agriple stemmed from the fact that most of the food waste from Nigeria and Africa come from post-harvest loss. According to the statistics presented by the startup, each year one-third of all food produced for human consumption – 1.3 billion tons – is lost before it reaches retailers, and this is enough food to feed all the 1.2 billion hungry or undernourished people on the planet.

In fact, statistics presented by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) show that the amount of food wasted in Africa is enough to feed 300 million people. As a result, some people have more than enough food to eat, while others suffer from hunger and starvation, further widening the inequality gap, and costing farmers billions of dollars in annual revenue.

So, by improving farmers’ access to market and proving efficient logistics, the company aims to solve this problem by cutting food waste. This will ensure farmers make more money for their efforts, while consumers get cheaper and fresher produce anywhere in the country.

The startup is a registered trademark of AGRICENTA AGRO SERVICES LTD (RC:1569401). It is the winner of Startup Nigeria 2019 (North Central), a Federal Government sponsored Startup 3-month program, designed to provide free entrepreneurship skills training to entrepreneurs and individuals in the country who are solving big problems in a new, better, and cheaper way.

It is partnered with Sterling Bank and Startup Nigeria. This startup is also part of the semi-finalists selected for Pitch AgriHack 2019, an annual competition that awards young entrepreneurs in ICTs for agriculture, supporting them through capacity building and funding to accelerate youth employment and agricultural transformation

To register as a Farmer Partner, or as a Consumer/Buyer Partner, visit agriple.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venture Capital Investments in Nigeria

The private sector is the pillar of every economy. Yet, startup companies all over the world face many obstacles to funding, and in Nigeria, these obstacles are compounded by the government’s neglect of the private sector.

Venture Capital is one of the financing options open to privately-owned companies and small businesses. It is a type of private equity provided by venture capital firms interested in investing in startups with high growth potential in exchange for equity or partial ownership of the company.

Venture capital certainly holds the potential to drive economic development in Nigeria. It creates a ripple effect, which improves R&D, promotes innovation, and increases intellectual property assets – which also becomes a source of wealth creation.

Venture capitalists provide not only financing but also mentorship, strategic guidance, network access, and other forms of support.

The funds provided by venture capitalists fill the void created by high bank-lending rates. For instance, how many startups can reach the Nigerian prime lending rate, which according to CBN in December 2018, was 16.17% December 2018. What’s more, most growing companies cannot access public equity funds through initial public offerings because they can’t meet up with the listing requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The frontiers of Nigeria are gradually opening to venture capital investment and responsibility is placed on the Nigerian government to strategically create policies and the right investment environment needed to attract increased funding of the private sector.

Nigeria has attracted a lot of venture capital investments in recent years. Within the period of 2012-2017 alone, Nigeria accounted for 73 percent of the US$10.7 billion value of private equity funding in the West African region.

According to Partech Ventures, a global investment platform for tech and digital companies, $560m was invested in African tech startups by VCs focused on the African market in 2017, with Nigeria startups accounting for 20 percent of the funding.

Though, raising funds from VCs isn’t always a straight path, particularly with their valuations, and terms and conditions, startups using venture capital follow strategies that are more innovative and take shorter time to introduce their products and services to the market.

The provision of funds to start-ups by venture capital companies is an important stage of start-ups life cycle, but these VCs do more than that. Venture capital companies utilise huge part of their resources in understanding new markets and technologies for the investee company, providing effective coaching for startups, and providing an extensive network of contacts to investees.