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Interswitch Launches Google Pay Support on its Payment Gateway in Nigeria

Starting today, Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, will support Google Pay on its Interswitch Payment Gateway (IPG) platform. This initiative enables businesses and individuals in Nigeria to benefit from the simplicity and security of contactless payments and digital storage, aligning with the global trend towards more streamlined transactions.         Merchants can now store payment details within Google Wallet. This integration facilitates a smoother checkout process on the Interswitch platform, heightening the user experience. Additionally, the collaboration enables the acceptance of international cards on the Interswitch Payment Gateway, positioning businesses to seamlessly cater to a broader international clientele.           Utilizing Google Pay on the Interswitch platform ensures safer transactions fortified by advanced security measures. This includes industry-standard tokenization where transactions utilize a virtual card number, adding an extra layer of protection against potential fraud. And in cases of misplaced devices, users can quickly safeguard their information using the "Find my device" function.             Muyiwa Asagba, Managing Director, Digital Commerce & Merchant Acquiring at Interswitch, said, "We are proud to align with Google Pay, as it exemplifies our commitment to delivering cutting-edge payment solutions that facilitate seamless transactions for businesses and their customers. By integrating Google Pay into our Payment Gateway, we are empowering businesses to harness the potential of a global customer base while ensuring secure and reliable payments."           “Google Pay provides a fast, easy, and safe way for users in more than 70 countries and territories to pay with their Android phone or Wear OS device,” said Jenny Cheng, Vice President and General Manager, Google Wallet. “Users can simply add their debit and credit cards to the Google Wallet app and feel confident that their financial information is safe and secure when they’re making a purchase or catching a train.”           As a technology-centric company, Interswitch continues to align with brands that hold shared values

Unity Bank Grows Gross Earnings to N27.5 Billion in H1’2023 – Naijanewsdirect

Retail lender, Unity Bank Plc grew its deposits to N333.38 billion, representing a marginal increase of 2% compared to N327.42 billion recorded in H1’22 in its Half-Year unaudited financial statement submitted to the Nigeria Exchange Group Limited. The growth in deposits demonstrates incremental gains by the lender from its commitment to deepening its retail footprint through a well-diversified banking product suites that caters to different segments of the retail market. Other highlights of the unaudited financial statement include gross income and total assets which recorded N27.5 billion as against N27.4 billion and N512.1 billion from N510.1 billion respectively within the period under review. The net loans portfolio reduced significantly by 31% to N198.6Billion as at 30 June 2023 from N289.4Billion as at 31st December 2022. The Bank’s NPL Ratio remained moderate at below 3% while liquidity ratio stood strong at over 45%. However, the Bank’s profit for the period was impacted by foreign exchange revaluation on the back of Nigeria’s recent FX liberalization policy, resulting in a slide in our position. Notwithstanding, the retail lender grew its FX trading income significantly by 17% to N239.8 million from N204.4 million in the corresponding period of 2022, underscoring the Bank’s strategic focus on diversifying and growing its earnings portfolio. Similarly, fees and income commission also witnessed a 10% growth to N3.5 billion from N3.2 billion compared to the corresponding period of 2022, on the strength of the growing popularity of its digital banking platforms and customers’ acquisition in the retail space. Commenting on the financial statements, the Managing Director/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun noted that the significant disruptions which characterized the operating environment has impacted the positions of the Bank to the extent that we have constraints in income generation on the back of revaluation of the bank’s net foreign liabilities occasioned by the Naira devaluation

Adron Homes Tackles Nigeria’s Housing Deficiency, Provides Succour To Tinubu’s Initiative

Adron Homes

Temidayo Babalola As the economy continues to bite harder, Nigeria with an estimated population of over 200 million people and about 30 per cent of the entire population still grappling with the need to get quality shelter and affordable houses, there is a burning need for proactive steps to stem the housing deficits if we are serious about making any serious development as a nation. One key issue affecting housing delivery in Nigeria is that the level of housing shortage has not been adequately presented. This is a result of inadequate and inappropriate statistics and data by the managers of housing in Nigeria. However, there have been attempts to estimate the magnitude of the housing shortage. The National Housing Policy specified in detail that to achieve the goal of providing 15 million housing units, although President Tinubu has approved the construction of 1000 houses in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Benue states as part of a broad plan by the federal government to address the conflict in the North out of 1.2 Million Housing Units needed to be built each year in the whole country, which is the number necessary to compensate for the housing shortage in the country. Although the exact reasons for the housing shortage vary across the country, the main problem in Nigeria is the low income of residents. The incidence and growth of these problems seem to outpace the capacity of the government to take them on, requiring massive private investments. Tackling the housing deficit frontally, A reliable private investor, GMD/CEO of Adron Homes and Properties, Aare Adetola EmmanuelKing who is working assiduously to fulfill the mandate of his organisation in providing affordable housing for millions of Nigerians. According to promotional programmes announced by Adron Homes, "we are out to slash the prices of all our estates across the country

We’re Implementing Requisite Reforms to Strengthen Telecoms Sector, Says NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it remains committed to its regulatory role of continually implementing requisite reforms to strengthen the communications sector in Nigeria.       The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at the NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, stated this while addressing stakeholders at the combined second and third quarters 2023 meeting of the Industry Working Groups (IWG) on multiple taxation and regulations in the telecoms sector.         The meeting, which was held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Tuesday, was convened as a precursor to a more elaborate Regional Stakeholders Workshop on Multiple Taxation and Regulations, scheduled to take place in the State on Wednesday.         Addressing the meeting, attended by senior executives of telecom licensees and their umbrella body, the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), as staff of the Commission, Adewolu said the IWG’s activities are geared towards ensuring fair tax policies and eliminating every incident of multiple taxation and regulations impacting the Nigerian telecommunications industry.           He stated that a lot of milestones have been recorded by the industry since the establishment of the IWG over two decades ago, as the platform has proven to be effective in articulating industry concerns in this area and also proffering solutions to these issues.         “Considerable industry gains have been recorded lately, particularly as it relates to the issue of multiple taxation. For instance, His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently signed Four Executive Orders designed to curb multiple taxation in the Country.       “Key amongst them is the Executive Order for the suspension of the five per cent Excise Duty on telecommunication services as well as Excise Duties escalation on other locally manufactured products,” he said.       He described the gains as laudable as, according to him, they continue to serve as inspiring landmarks for the industry, underscoring what can be achieved when the entire industry come together harmoniously to speak with

Interswitch Group Named Finalist for Forrester’s 2023 Enterprise Architecture Award For Europe, The Middle East, And Africa (EMEA)

Interswitch, Africa’s leading digital payment and commerce company, has emerged as a finalist for Forrester’s 2023 Enterprise Architecture (EA) Award for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) for excellence in creating outcome-driven EA practices that drive business growth.         This award is presented in partnership with The Open Group, author of the TOGAF® standard, which was developed by The Open Group Architecture Forum. Recipients of this year’s Forrester’s Technology Awards will be honoured at Technology & Innovation EMEA, being held physically in London and virtually, October 12–13, 2023. Emerging as a finalist at the Forrester’s Enterprise Architecture Award is a testament to the technology giant’s unwavering commitment to creating outcome-driven Enterprise Architecture practices that serve as catalysts for business growth and innovation.           The award ceremony is a gathering of Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), Chief Digital Officers (CDOs), and other influential technology leaders.  It also serves as a platform for industry leaders to share and gain invaluable insights into best practices and cutting-edge tools, enabling them to meticulously craft technology strategies that are finely attuned to drive their businesses to new heights.         Speaking on this recognition, Babafemi Ogungbamila, Chief Information Officer at Interswitch Group, stated, "At Interswitch, we've always stood as pioneers of excellence in technology and innovation in Africa, with an unwavering commitment to cultivating practices that fuel business growth and foster innovation. Earning recognition as a finalist for Forrester's 2023 Enterprise Architecture Awards is testament to our dedication to nurturing an agile, resilient and scalable technology ecosystem that empowers businesses and individuals alike, facilitating the capabilities which enable us process volumes exceeding a billion transactions a month seamlessly.”           Also speaking on the milestone, Patrick Okebu, Head of Enterprise Architecture at Interswitch added that “We are honored to share our journey and insights at the Technology & Innovation EMEA

Nigeria Hosts 54 Countries, Others to Africa Internet Governance Forum 2023 

Nigeria is set to play host to 54 African nations and other continental Internet governance stakeholder blocs at the 2023 Africa Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF 2023) in Abuja from 18th to 21 September, 2023.     This year’s event, being the 12th edition of the annual forum, is being hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on behalf of the Federal Government and is scheduled to take place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, with the theme, "Transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape: Empowering Inclusion, Security, and Innovation".       The Forum will serve as a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration on Internet Governance among various sectors and regional initiatives to advance digital connectivity, address Internet Governance challenges, and empower Africa through digital transformation.       The event will be preceded by the African Youth Internet Governance Forum, which will take place from 13-18 September, 2023.         The series of events at this year’s programme will commence with the Parliamentarian Symposium, scheduled to take place from 18-19 September 2023 during which members of the Parliament from all participating countries will take the opportunity to consult and network with one another in a roundtable designed to better understanding of the roles of the legislature, and nudge deeper synergy with parliaments on Internet Governance in Africa.         As a crucial gathering of stakeholders and investors in Africa’s digital future, the AfIGF 2023 promises to be a rare assemblage of key stakeholders from government, civil society, academia, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, and a broad spectrum of actors in the private sector intentionally rallied to discuss important matters focused on the development, access, and governance of the Internet in Africa.         The Forum, structured in a variety of gatherings, including dialogues, workshops, panel sessions, symposia, and roundtables, is a vibrant and inclusive platform that brings together stakeholders from across the African continent and other international partners, to

New Partnership Working on Solutions to Combat African Animal Trypanosomiasis

    African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT), also known as nagana, is a substantial socio-economic burden to livestock farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, affecting and killing millions of cattle every year. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Government Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Boehringer Ingelheim and GALVmed have joined forces to find a new medical solution to African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT).   The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Government Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Boehringer Ingelheim and GALVmed has announced the creation of a new partnership to work on solutions to combat African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT).       AAT is a disease of vertebrate animals affecting cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, dogs, and other species. AAT is caused by the protozoan parasites Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma vivax and, to a lesser extent, Trypanosoma brucei brucei, and is a major problem in Africa where it is mainly spread by tse-tse flies (Glossina spp.). Infection by Trypanosoma vivax also occurs in northern South America where it is transmitted by biting flies such as stable flies (Stomoxys) and horseflies (Tabanids), and it has more recently been reported in the Middle East.         Infectious parasites enter the bloodstream of the host animal and multiply causing fever, weakness, lethargy, and anaemia which lead to weight loss, reduced fertility and milk production, and may result in death.         In Africa, AAT is estimated to threaten more than 50 million cattle1 in known tse-tse endemic areas. However, as many as 90 million cattle2 are threatened if cattle outside the tse-tse belt—potentially at risk because of cattle movements, transhumance and mechanical transmission of T. vivax by biting flies—are also considered. AAT is estimated to kill as many as 3 million cattle2 annually. Losses directly attributed to reduced meat and milk production as well as the cost of treatment and tse-tse control are estimated to be

Verve, Moniepoint Expand Access to Financial Services with Moniepoint Verve Debit Card

Verve Moniepoint

  Verve, Africa's leading payment cards and digital tokens brand, has collaborated with Moniepoint Microfinance Bank to pave the way for enhanced access to financial services for Nigerians. This collaborative effort has given rise to the Moniepoint Verve Debit Card, a groundbreaking solution that bridges the gap between traditional banking and modern fintech innovations.     With over 1.5 million businesses using its terminals across Nigeria to serve 30 million banked     Nigerians, Moniepoint is poised to extend its footprints while its partnership with Verve fortifies its position as a trailblazer in the financial sector.     This strategic move into retail banking signifies a commitment to empowering not only businesses but also individual consumers. The Moniepoint Verve Debit Card, integrated with the Verve payment system, ensures a frictionless experience for users across a wide network of businesses and service providers.     As Africa's leading payment cards and digital tokens brand, Verve brings its legacy of secure and reliable transactions to this partnership. This alliance between Verve and Moniepoint Microfinance Bank is premised on a fusion of expertise, innovation, and customer-centric solutions.       Vincent Ogbunude, Managing Director Verve International, Interswitch Group, stated that "This collaboration epitomizes our mission to make financial services accessible to all Nigerians. The Moniepoint Verve Debit Card is a testament to the power of partnership in driving positive change and ensuring that cutting-edge financial solutions are within everyone's reach."       With Verve's expertise and Moniepoint Microfinance Bank's vision, it is the new dawn of accessible and inclusive banking—one that holds the promise of transforming lives, bolstering businesses, and propelling Nigeria toward greater economic growth.         This partnership goes beyond mere cards and transactions. It's about co-authoring a fresh and exciting chapter in the narrative of financial empowerment. Collaboratively, Verve and Moniepoint are not only impacting the future of finance but also assuming a crucial responsibility in guaranteeing access to financial services.

Tax: Dangote Cement Remits N412.9bn to Govt in 3 years – Naijanewsdirect

Dangote Cement

  Dangote Cement Plc, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, (DIL), paid a total of N412.9 billion into the coffers of the Federal Government as tax for 3 consecutive years. A total of N97.24 billion was paid by Dangote Cement in 2020, N173.93 billion in 2021 and N141.69 billion in 2022.       This huge tax payment from only one of the conglomerate’s subsidiaries, re-affirms Aliko Dangote’s position that prompt and accurate tax payment is a duty for everyone who wishes to witness real growth and development. He posited that government cannot offer social services to the citizens without tax collection.       Dangote also advised the government to automate the tax system in the county, while commending the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms         “Maybe they should look at automating the tax system, just like what they did in India. If you go to India today, the country collects at least $1 trillion in various taxes. On petroleum products alone, India makes $100 billion yearly, because they charge 100 per cent on petroleum products. So, what I am suggesting is that people should pay tax and if you pay, you demand services from government. I think it is a social contract.           “Once people start seeing that government is using the money to do infrastructure, fund education, healthcare, whereby the citizens don’t need to go out to India or other countries for medical attention, then people would settle down and start paying taxes,” the renowned entrepreneur added.           Meanwhile, other listed companies of Dangote Industries Ltd, also paid huge taxes to the Federal Government during the said period. Both Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and NASCON Allied Industries Plc are listed on the Nigeria Exchange Limited.              Analysis of the yearly annual reports of Dangote’s three listed companies indicated that they paid N114.31 billion as tax in 2020; N187.17 billion in 2021 and


Dr. Juliet-Ehimuan

  The Board of Directors of Zenith Bank Plc has appointed Dr. Juliet Ehimuan as a Non-Executive Director of the bank effective August 29, 2023. The appointment, which was announced in a statement to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, has also be confirmed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.         Dr Juliet Ehimuan is the Founder and CEO of Beyond Limits and the immediate past Director of Google West Africa. She was named by Forbes as one of the top 20 power women in Africa, by the London Business School as one of 30 people changing the world, and as one of the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD). She was also featured in the BBC Africa Power Women series, and on CNN Innovate Africa.           With over 25 years experience primarily in Technology, Oil & Gas, and New Media industries across Europe, Middle East and Africa; Juliet is a leading voice on Innovation, Transformation, and Leadership.             During her remarkable 12-year tenure at Google, Juliet played a pivotal role in expanding the company’s presence in Nigeria and the wider West Africa region. She championed initiatives to increase digital access, local content development, skills acquisition, entrepreneurial growth, innovation, and fostered strategic partnerships with leading private sector and government institutions.             Dr Juliet has made significant contributions to the tech ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa at large. She served on committees that developed the national broadband plan and ICT incubation strategy in Nigeria, and has been involved in national strategic advisory groups focused on economic growth. These engagements demonstrate her commitment to shaping the future of tech in Africa. She has received numerous awards for outstanding contribution to the digital landscape in Africa.           She holds board positions across multiple industries including Finance, FMCG, Oil & Gas, Education and social enterprises.           Her education includes a Doctoral degree