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(Reuters) Jumia, the African e-commerce company of German start-up investor Rocket Internet, has filed for a New York initial public offering, which could value the firm at $1.6 billion or more.

Jumia, founded in 2012 offers online shopping, logistics and payment services, but is losing money. The company says its business is expanding, and the continent’s development will make it a better market, with a growing young population, more infrastructure investments, urbanization, and rapid economic growth.

The New York filing did not say how many shares Jumia would sell, nor at what price. Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Berenberg and RBC Capital Markets are leading the IPO.

In December, Jumia was valued at 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) with shares at 14.74 euros, according to the filing.

Jumia, which now counts Nigeria as its largest market, makes money both selling its own products and taking a cut from third-party sales. In 2018, revenues were 130.6 million euros, up from 94 million euros the previous year.

However, losses also rose, from 165.4 million euros in 2017 to 170.4 million euros in 2018. By the end of December, accumulated losses were 862 million euros, the firm said.

In the IPO prospectus, Jumia said that the value of goods sold on its platforms is increasing at a more rapid pace than losses - from 507.1 million euros in 2017 to 828.2 million euros in 2018.

Jumia’s active users, people who buy something at least once in the past year, increased to 4 million at the end of last December form 2.7 million a year earlier.

Apart from Rocket Internet, which owned 21.74 percent of Jumia as of the end of December, MTN Group held 31.28 percent. Other, smaller shareholders include Millicom International, AXA Africa Holding, and Goldman Sachs.


($1 = 0.8857 euros)

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According to Tayo Oviosu, CEO of Nigerian mobile payments company Paga, his company spent two months “talking to the largest bank in Africa and Nigeria (to be) to get a car loan for six vehicles”. After being denied the loan, Paga had to pay in cash to get the vehicles.


Tayo made this known in a series of tweets where he compared Nigerian banks to their American counterparts who grant loans seamlessly to their customers.

Replies;



Revisiting the need for a centralized credit system

When Nigerian banks are compared to those in other parts of the world, it becomes clear that Nigerians are only getting basic banking services with no real value.


One way banks are expected to provide value to their customers is by providing them with credit facilities. This, unfortunately, is one area where Nigerian banks fail to deliver.


However, can one really blame them? Due to the lack of a structured credit system in Nigeria, granting loans is a high-risk business. Asides landed property collaterals, many Nigerian banks do not have a system for sizing up the creditworthiness of a loan recipient.


There is also the lack of a unified database of Nigerians that could provide financial institutions with information on customers, alongside their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN).


Nonetheless, Nigerian banks are doing the bare minimum with the data they do have. In 2017, iROKO founder Jason Njoku narrated his experience with applying for a mortgage with iROKO’s primary Nigerian bank back in 2014.


Despite the fact that the bank had access to the company’s day to day transactions, it still could not use that data to offer Jason a loan with reasonable terms.


One might argue that the fate of having a structured credit system is beginning to change with the emergence of several online lending platforms who have put systems in place to efficiently determine the creditworthiness of loan applicants. Nevertheless, there is still a pressing need to synchronize the data they have with those of other lenders.


This way, more Nigerians would be able to build a credit history that can help them access loans from any financial institution in the country.


In a bid to facilitate information sharing between credit bureaus and other financial institutions in Nigeria, while he was Acting President in 2017, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo signed the Credit Reporting Act as well as the Collateral Registry Act.


Though the Collateral Registry Act is yet to be implemented, execution of the Credit Reporting Act seems to have taken off.


“A data sharing platform actually exists,” says a Lagos-based Nigerian lender. “We (lenders), including banks submit our data to the credit bureau every month. But it’s not done in real time.”


Since the system does not work in real time, borrowers can get loans from multiple platforms and get away with it.


“This gives room for fraud because as long as a borrower can request for loans across platforms in less than 30 days, they can get away with it without consequences.”


It goes without saying that until the credit system is centralized and structured to minimize risks, Nigerians will continue to be underbanked and financially underserved.

Source

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Reaping benefits from Open Government Initiative

The federal government of Nigeria launched the open government website (http://data.edostate.gov.ng/Home/) in early 2018. Publication of government data which was hitherto reserved in silos is the desideratum of open government initiative. The aims and objectives of the Open Government initiative of the government are to enhance transparency and accountability of the government. Besides, it is anticipated that with the re-use of datasets published by the government, different stakeholder groups would derive the value of the same and this would result in innovation in public services as well.   

In this vein, the Edo State Open Data portal merits a revisitation in terms of the quality of datasets published by the government. The datasets are published by entities like the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Budget, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, etc. In all, there are 252 datasets as of now. This is suggestive of the fact that the government entities must gear up efforts on the publication of more qualitatively superior datasets via the main web portal. There is a provision of suggesting a dataset by the users. Datasets may be downloaded in formats like XLSX, RDF or JSON, etc. While the datasets have their metadata in place, the datasets are not quantitatively or qualitatively advanced. Therefore, in order to encourage users to re-use the datasets, it is important that the datasets be published on a continuous and regular manner. This would further value generation by the different stakeholders (citizens, businessmen, entrepreneurs, public servants, software developers, and the like). 

Open government initiatives are known to spearhead economic growth of a country. In this respect, the government of Nigeria must further efforts at providing datasets on a real-time basis. This would require sophisticated technological edifice and training. The transition of the developing country into a developed one may be furthered under the aegis of the sustainable Open Government initiative of the government.  



Stuti Saxena is a contributor on Blueprintafric,

Stuti is a follower of Open Government Data (OGD) as a research theme. Stuti is a research scholar at the Central University of Haryana in the Political Science Department. Hitherto, Stuti has been associated with the National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad, Indian Institutes of Management, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Indore, and ICFAI, Hyderabad in diverse roles. Stuti holds an MPhil degree in Public Administration from Lucknow University.


stuti.razia@gmail.com 

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At a United Nations debate in New York, Isabel Dos Santos, who is currently the richest woman in Africa, spoke of the economic empowerment of African women as a key to transforming society.


This and many of her other hopeful and encouraging messages have inspired many citizens in African countries, mainly young women, to pursue their ambitions in business.


Dos Santos believes that some of the most promising and successful business people in the world have been African because of the continent’s entrepreneurial spirit.


This spirit, however, has been weighed down by the stigmatization of women in the workplace.


This has robbed the economy of valuable innovators and has barred women from achieving their ambitions. But by ensuring that young women can access the same education, job opportunities, and potential for growth as men, Dos Santos believes that she can change this attitude and instill a national confidence in women.


This type of thinking falls in line with her more general philosophy of reform: “First the seed, then the future.”


This dictum seems to urge against immediate change and, instead, encourages slow and steady growth.


The seeds that Isabel Dos Santos thinks ought to be planted are also tied up in the economic freedom of women – by creating jobs, providing training, and breaking sexist stigmas, she believes that women can experience increased financial stability while giving their home countries more influence in the international economy.


Isabel Dos Santos has spent a lot of time planting these seeds in Africa, focusing her efforts in her home country of Angola where she meets with young people and speaks with them about the power of entrepreneurship. Sometimes, she visits them in small, personable rooms at universities and other institutions, other times in much larger ones during her speeches and debates. Most tellingly, she refers to famous African entrepreneurs as a “great family” and invites everyone with the motivation to work hard and come join them.


She often encourages young women to leverage the world’s increased reliance on technology and artificial intelligence, which she refers to as “digitization”. She believes working toward innovations in technology is key to increasing Africa’s presence in the international economy while flooding the continent with unique employment opportunities. With just a computer and internet connection, unemployed or underpaid citizens can find more work, sometimes with the higher wages that are more commonplace in developed countries, to support their families and stimulate their local economies.


During a conversation with students at the University of Warwick interested in developing Africa, dos Santos tells a young woman who is eager to accomplish her ambitions “now” that she has to be patient and have not just a goal but a string of sub-goals to reach it. She goes on to encourages the student to involve herself as deeply as she can in the decision processes that influence that goal, and also to understand that sometimes it’s important to just focus on school, other times on a career or starting a business. This type of advice for strategic hesitance can be found in many of her speeches.


Isabel dos Santos is the daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s long-time former president. Much of her wealth came from her investments and her previous position as the chairwoman of an oil company owned by the state called Sonangol. Dos Santos considers herself an independent businesswoman and investor and has become Africa’s first females billionaire. Forbes ranks her as the 9th wealthiest billionaire in Africa for 2018.


For young businesswomen in various African countries, her success story has been a beacon of hope. But dos Santos has told various reporters that her rise to riches was marred by the sexism she had to endure in a male-dominated African business world. She has no shortage of stories concerning prejudice and discrimination based on her gender, such as during business meetings where the people she’s negotiating with would look to her male assistant, advisor, or lawyer for validation though she already stated her offer. She is also frequently asked what business her husband is in when her wealth is made clear.


Despite her tribulations in the business world, Isabel Dos Santos has maintained a charitable and hopeful perspective on life and takes on many projects geared toward improving small communities and local economies. One of these projects was in Humpata, in the province of Huila, where dos Santos helped establish a strawberry field, “planting the seed” to empower citizens. This project gave 120 women a place to work and a new income. On her website, dos Santos says:


“Creating opportunities and employment for women means betting on the progress of the communities themselves. When they thrive, women invest their income in the family, health, and education. I value this as a sense of duty, commitment, and dedication. The impact that women create around them is powerful and transformative.”


She calls on other African entrepreneurs to give back to their countries by investing in similar projects. Though they seem small-scale, she believes that with enough support, this type of philanthropic work can create a value chain large enough to impact the national economy. As a result, smaller communities will have more prosperous citizens and influence. Should those new entrepreneurs be African women, then dos Santos hopes that their success will help chip away at the stigma that women are less competent than men.


This is all part of one of Isabel dos Santos’ larger goals to increase the prosperity of African countries as a whole. She plans to accomplish this by working from the ground up, focusing on the individual, such as the promising young men and woman of various African countries. By empowering them, she is, in turn, empowering their communities. This creates value within towns that have historically not had the chance to prosper, and by strengthening local economies, the national economy itself is bolstered.


“This is the true transformation of a country,” she says. It starts with a little hope and promise, with planting the “seeds”, and then, through the hard work of a community’s individuals, a brighter future can be earned.”

(APO)

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The U.S. government has agreed to let eight countries, including close allies South Korea and Japan, as well as India, keep buying Iranian oil after it reimposes sanctions on Tehran from next week, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing a U.S. official.


While the Trump administration’s goal remains to choke off revenue to Iran’s economy, waivers are being granted in exchange for continued import cuts so as not to drive up oil prices, said the official, who asked not to be identified before Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announces the number of exemptions later on Friday.


Iran’s biggest oil customers – all in Asia – have been seeking sanctions waivers to allow them to still buy some of its oil.


Bloomberg reported that close U.S. allies South Korea and Japan had received waivers along with India, which relies heavily on supplies from Iran, adding that a list of all countries getting waivers was expected to be released officially on Monday.


A Chinese official told Reuters that discussions with the U.S. government were ongoing and that a result was expected over the next couple of days.


“We think Trump will agree to China importing some volumes, similar to the treatment that India and South Korea receive,” Clayton Allen of Height Securities said in a note on Friday.


However, analysts said any potential Iranian oil sanction waivers would likely only be temporary.


“The U.S. may use waivers to slow-walk implementation, but these will not apply indefinitely,” Allen said.


Goldman Sachs said it expects Iran’s crude oil exports to fall to 1.15 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the year, down from around 2.5 million bpd in mid-2018.


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The budget office released the 2017 budget implementation report a few weeks ago. It contained, as expected, some numbers on the federal government’s finances. Safe to say the numbers do not look good.

Total revenues were lower than in 2016 which may be surprising if you account for the fact that oil prices have been steadily increasing from early 2016 through most of 2017. Although it may not be too surprising if you recall the accounting shenanigans done through vehicles such as the “Paris club refund” to magically create revenue. On the other hand, total expenditure increased, driven by a 25 per cent increase in debt servicing costs and a 10 per cent increase in personnel costs. To put the precarious nature of the federal government’s finances into context, the entire revenue from crude oil was not enough to either pay salaries or service already existing debt. The FG government was in effect borrowing to pay salaries and to service debt even before you started to talk about capital expenditure. By any definition we are already in a fiscal crisis.

Now, the obvious response to this fiscal crisis is to focus on revenues. The official line is that Nigeria does not generate enough revenues which is obviously true. Officially, the federal government collected only about 2.3 per cent of GDP in taxes in 2017. The global average for central governments is about 15 per cent. Those numbers hide the true position though. Of that 2.3 per cent of GDP tax revenue, about 50 per cent comes from the oil industry. This distinction is important because the federal and state governments collect an oversize percentage of all revenue flowing through the oil industry. If you strip out the oil industry from the Nigerian economy and measure the federal government’s non-oil tax revenue to the non-oil GDP, the tax to GDP ratio drops to just one per cent.
This one per cent is not a 2017 anomaly but has been the reality for a while.

Historically, at least since the 1970s, these low tax collection numbers have not been a problem because oil revenue overshadowed everything. There was enough oil revenue for the FG to effectively pretend to be a state actor funding the police, military, and providing other essential public goods that states typically provide. However, the country has grown a lot since then while oil revenue has more or less remained stagnant depending on the oil price of course. Bottom line, the country has essentially outgrown the capacity of oil revenue to unilaterally fund the state and the economy and population continue to grow. The direct symptoms of this widening gap between the country and federal government finances show up in the federal government’s financial reports, but the indirect symptoms show up elsewhere. They show up in the broad deterioration in public services from security to education to critical infrastructure.

So, what is the solution? To grow non-oil tax revenues of course, but how? Previous administrations have assumed that growing non-oil revenues is a technocratic challenge or something that technology and systems can solve. The Goodluck administration hired four big consultants to help them boost non-oil tax revenues. The Buhari government has run its own similar technocratic schemes.

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Use video marketing to personalize your business


Video marketing can help you accomplish many various things in your business. It allows you to explain a complex process, increase income for a particular product, or even make your business appear more personal to clients.


Boost your productivity with content strategy:


If you want your business blog to truly serve its purpose, you should not only create a simple post every now and then and assume it is effective. You need to get the right approach to content creation to achieve the best results.


Use social media tools 


If you are yet to start using social media to promote your business, you are yet to make an entry into the tech world.  Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are available for free and there are also social media tools like hashtag tracking that allow you to make the most of your social media efforts.


Keep your website protected


Website security is becoming is important for businesses in each industry as organisations begin to rely heavily on the internet. You don’t want a situation where your website crashes and your business is left in a limbo. You need to make sure your website has all the necessary security to prevent it from being shut down.


Tackle negative processes in your business


To efficiently run a business, you need powerful strategies and tactics. In case you don’t have them, you should most likely apply productivity or watch your business fail.

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The CEO of Innoson Technical Manufacturing Company, Chief Innocent Chukwuma was yesterday arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged undisclosed financial deals.

Chukwuma was arrested at about 11-30am from his Government Reserved Areas (GRA), Enugu residence by armed police officers after an initial resistance mounted by him with the use of trucks belonging to his company.

Apparently learning of his impending arrest yesterday morning, several trucks belonging to his company had been used as early as 7.00 am to block the three entrances leading into his Savage Crescent residence GRA. The development caused several hours of gridlock as road users struggled to move through the adjourning street.

Confirming the incident, EFCC’s Media Officer in Enugu, Mr Chris Oluka, said he did not know why he was arrested.
“They brought him into our office and are taking him to Lagos. Those who arrested him came from Lagos. Nobody has told us why he was picked but I believe it will be made known in due time”, he stated.


However twitter users seem to be more honest as to what might have led to his release. While most easterners seem to think it’s something political or tribal related, generally, people think a lot of political dogs now use EFCC for their personal intentions.

FROM THE THREAD BELOW INNOSSON MIGHT BE INNOCENT BUT MUST BE SEEN TO GO THROUGH D PROCESS. IT IS IMPORTANT WE DONT TRIBALIZE EVERY NEWS AFFECTING OUR OWN. Damite2ky Wrote:

It was alleged that GTB deducted N786,205,955.99 as bank charges from Innoson’s Account between March 2004 to December 2011.
Multiwings Consulting Firm of Auditors carried out the Audit,...of course GTB was shocked at the audit report when they got it

In the month of September 2012, GTB wrote to Innoson that from their personal audit report, the excess bank charges was N559,374,072.29

Innoson also requested that the said agreed amount of N559, 374,072.09k be paid with a 22% interest rate because he had been repaying ...

... with GTB at 22% rate. GTB refused and said the best they can repay is at 7%. This led to another disagreement between Innoson and GTB.

As a result, Innoson commenced suit No: FHC/AWK/CS/2012 against GTB at the Federal High Court, Awka and obtained judgment in excess of N4.7 Billion against GTB.

GTB appealed against the judgment to the court of Appeal, Enugu Division, appoxite Appeal NO: CA/E/288/2013. The court of Appeal Enugu in a considered ruling ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt of N6 Billion inclusive of the accrued interest and any interest that would....

GTB appealed against the judgment to the court of Appeal, Enugu Division, appoxite Appeal NO: CA/E/288/2013. The court of Appeal Enugu in a considered ruling ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt of N6 Billion inclusive of the accrued interest and any interest that would....

subsequently accrue thereon into an interest yielding acct in the name of the Chief Registral of the Court. GTB is yet to obey this judgment; however it went to the Supreme Court. The matter is yet to be resolved at the Supreme Court. Today that judgment debt is about N8 billion

GTB, having seen that the Judgment debts Innoson had against them is too much for them to bear and instead of calling Innoson to seek an out-of-court negotiation, they decided to initiate a trump-up charge against Innoson with an allegation of falsification of shipping documents.

....and representing them as genuine in order to force Innoson negotiate with it from a position of weakness.

For over 5 years that GTB had admitted it debited unlawfully excess charges from Innoson’s account; Innoson is yet to get his money from GTB.

The reason why GTB have failed to pay their indebtedness to Innoson is still unclear.

 

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The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ICBC, has accepted $42.5 million loan for a multi housing development scheme, HELIU residences in Enugu. This is said to be the biggest bank in china.

The loan was secured under the guarantee of the Chinese Credit Insurance Corporation, SINOSURE, for the construction of duplexes, provision of electricity, roads, water and other facilities by the China Shenyang International Economic and Technical Corporation Limited, CSYIC.

Making the disclosure to newsmen in Enugu, Managing Partner of F.I.T. Consult, the Nigerian Developer building the HELIU Project, in partnership with the Enugu State Government, Chief Loretta Aniagolu, said, the deal was sealed after signing Commercial Contract with CSYIC, in Enugu.

Aniagolu said the Chinese team led by the CSYIC President, Madam Tang Lezhen signed the documents with F.I.T. Consult, for financing of the contract.

She said:

“We wanted to bring the project with our own funds to a certain level before the Chinese come in, so that they don’t start from scratch and for them to know that we are very serious. We have finally tied up everything on this visit.”

“The bank funding for the project is from China, through the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ICBC, which is the biggest bank in the world, with its 2016 turnover at about $2.3 trillion. The entire transaction of $42.5 million is being guaranteed locally by Access Bank Plc.”

According to her, the interest rate is four per cent, while the period for repayment of the loan is eight years. She added that two years moratorium is for construction of the projects while 6 years is for the repayment.

 “So it is a fantastic arrangement,” she said.

Aniagolu expressed optimistism of the loan repayment, noting that they were quite sure of the market in the South-East zone, particularly with the country gradually coming out of recession and having already received deposits on over 50 percent of the serviced plots.

She said,

 

“Secondly, we are also working with the Imperial Mortgages Limited that is providing mortgages for home buyers, making it easier for them to pay for the houses.”

“Presently, of the 60 bungalows we’ve done so far, most have actually been sold on a cash basis, while Imperial Mortgages is providing mortgages for the rest. So, we have an arrangement where we are sure that in those eight years or less, we should be able to repay funds.”

She further disclosed that over N2billion has been spent on various aspects of the project, such as earth works, 20 kilometers drainage, culverts, buildings, etc. She further remarked that they were excavating for a Dam for independent water supply in the residence, adding that electricity would also be generated using Low Poor Fuel Oil, LPFO.

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Zenith Bank has been entitled ‘Best Company in Sustainability Reporting in Africa” at the 2017 Sustainability Enterprise Responsibility Awards (SERAS) CSR Awards.

The bank said in Lagos on Monday that with the new award held at the weekend, Zenith Bank had blazed a trail as the winner of the award for the second consecutive year.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bank also won the 2016 Sustainability Report titled “Creating Wealth Sustainably” being the first Sustainability report in Nigeria and Africa financial services sector.

The award was introduced in October 2016 by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB).

The bank said it had raised the bar in sustainability reporting within and outside the financial services sector, while setting the pace in the adoption of global best standards in reporting.

The bank said that new standards was designed to replace the older GRI G4 reporting guidelines which was the reporting standard Zenith Bank adopted in its 2015 Sustainability Report.

It said:

“The bank has not only supported the global climate action and has prioritized investment in green and sustainable business projects, but has fully integrated environmental and social considerations into its business and credit administration processes.”

“As part of its green earth policy, Zenith Bank is the first bank in Nigeria to have carried out an external audit on its greenhouse gas footprints, using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standards, a globally certified GHG audit procedure.”

It said that the award had been widely acknowledged in the global Sustainability arena with the GRI featuring it on the homepage of its official website: https://www.globalreporting.org.

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