Uber Launches in the City of Benin – its Third Nigerian Location

The car ride-hailing company, Uber launched in Nigeria five years ago, and it has since then been operating in its administrative and commercial capitals. Recently, Uber launched UberX in the capital of Edo state, Benin, in Southern Nigeria.

Uber General Manager in West Africa, Lola Kassim, said, “We are happy to be launching the UberX product in Benin City, Edo State. We collaborated closely with the Government of Edo State on the launch because of a shared vision to promote innovation and create business and economic opportunities in the cities where we operate”

According to the company, users in Benin can now request rides to airport road, University of Benin, Kada plaza, and its surrounding axis. Uber says the UberX service is still in its testing mode, so there might be the occasional limited availability. However, the service is expected to run smoothly in a few weeks.

With the presence of Uber in Benin City, the company can now join its competitor, Bolt, for market share in the lower middle income city. Just like its outlet in Maryland Mall in Lagos, Uber unveiled its Greenlight Hub within the Edo Innovation Hub complex, which will be open Monday through Thursday, from 9am-4pm, and on Friday, from 9am-3pm, excluding public holidays.

The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, witnessed the launch, and came on the back of Uber to officially launch operations in the capital city. Represented by his wife Betsy Obaseki, Obaseki opined that the launch in Benin is one more proof that that State is taking giant steps to the next level of its economic transformation.

Alipay Expands its Footprints into Africa as it Partners with Flutterwave

Alipay expands its footprints into Africa it partners with San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech startup on payments between Africa and China

Flutterwave has recently partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant company Alibaba to offer digital payments between African merchants and Alipay.

Flutterwave is a Nigerian-founded B2B payment services for companies in Africa to pay other companies in the continent and abroad. It provides payment solutions for payment service providers, merchants and pan-African banks. Flutterwave’s API allows commercial lenders and businesses to process payments across the continent cheaply and smoothly.

Alipay is Alibaba’s payments and digital wallets platform. It currently claims a global network of over a billion active users after surpassing PayPal in payments volume in 2013.

The partnership between Flutterwave and Alipay follows the participation of Flutterwave’s CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, in Alibaba’s eFounders Fellowship Program. With this partnership, Flutterwave’s 60,000 merchants will be able to accept Alipay as a payment method and tap into the vast pool of Alipay’s over 1 billion users. On the other hand, the Hangzhou-based firm will have the opportunity to expand its merchant network in Africa.

According to Agboola, “there’s a lot of trade between Africa and China and this integration makes it easier for African merchants to accept Chinese customer payments”. Flutterwave, in a company release, claims that to connect Africa to the world, it needs China, hence the partnership.

Flutterwave will generate revenue from the partnership by charging its standard 2.8% on international transactions.

Nigeria’s former telecoms regulatory chief, Dr Ernest Ndukwe, and pioneer ICT Minister, Dr Omobola Johnson, join the board of MTN Nigeria

 

The Nigerian arm of the mobile telecommunications company, MTN, recently announced that the pioneer Communications Technology Minister, Omobola Johnson, and the former telecoms regulatory chief, Dr Ernest Ndukwe will be joining the board of directors.

As announced by the CEO of MTN Nigeria, Fredinand Moolman, Ernest Ndukwe is to become the new Chairman, following the retirement of Pascal Dozie.

MTN Nigeria grew to become the biggest telecoms firm in Nigeria under Pascal Dozie, who steps down from office alongside five other directors after serving for 18 years at the helm of the company. Ernest Ndukwe is scheduled to resume office from September 2, this year.

The former minister of communication, Omobola Johnson, the former Nigerian pension regulatory chief Muhammad Ahmad, and former banker Andrew Alli who was, most recently, the President and CEO of the Africa Finance Corporation are to be added, alongside Ernest Ndukwe, to the new MTN Nigeria’s 14-member board of directors.

As regards this new board of directors, Ferdinand Moolman said,

The combination of extensive experience across worlds of technology, finance, regulatory and policy development and corporate governance offers a hugely synergistic set of skills that will be of great benefit to us as we move into a new phase of growth.

Ernest Ndukwe is to serve as the Chairman alongside Col. Sani Bello (rtd), the current Vice Chairman.

Airtel Nigeria Rolls out Two 4G Smartphones

Airtel, Nigerian Telecommunications provider, has just announced the introduction of two new affordable smartphones – the Airtel Diva and Airtel Top Notch.

On Wednesday, 24 July 2019, Airtel announced these devices which testify of their commitment to accelerate the uptake of mobile Internet and also improve the data experience of telecoms consumers in Nigeria.

The Airtel Diva smartphone is retailing at N20,000 ($55) with the Airtel Top Notch at N23,000 ($65). Airtel says that these smartphones will allow consumer to enjoy the Airtel 4G experience at a much more affordable price.

Consumers who purchase either of these phones will benefit from the Airtel Double Data Offer, which provides a 100% bonus data on every bundle from N500 and above. On purchase of the Airtel smartphone, you can access this bonus data and connect to the Airtel 4G Network by inserting your Airtel SIM card, and texting the keyword “get” to Shortcode “141”

The Airtel Diva is designed with a 5-inch display screen, 5 MP back camera and 2 MP front camera, 8 GB + 1 GB storage capacity. It has a battery capacity of 2,000mAH (milliamps per hour) and runs on Android Go.

On the other hand, the Airtel Top Notch has a 5.5-inch display screen, 5MP back camera and 2 MP front camera, 8 GB + 1GB storage capacity. It has a battery capacity of 2500mAH and runs on Android Go.

Both devices are dual SIM smartphones, and only the Airtel Network can be inserted into the first SIM slot.

Speaking on the new smartphones, Dinesh Balsingh – the Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Nigeria, says,

“Airtel is committed in its drive to extending the 4G experience to more telecoms consumers as well as enriching the lives of more Nigerians. It is our hope that the Airtel Diva and Airtel Top Notch, both very affordable smartphones, will help crash the barrier of enjoying the 4G experience. We are committed to empowering more Nigerians as well as connecting more telecoms consumers to their dreams.”