Monday, September 27Inside Business Africa
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US$1.2 million Innovation Fund launched to unearth emerging technologies

US$1.2 million Innovation Fund launched to unearth emerging technologies

Technology & Innovation
The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) (www.AECFafrica.org) has today launched a US$1.2 million Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities. Businesses and entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe can apply for funding. The fund is aimed at strengthening market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as secure financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale. Solutions that reduce the negative impacts associated with the use of traditional cooking options at the household and institutional levels, build climate change resilience among communities and support productive uses such as water pumping, agro-processing, cooling, and refrige...
PayPal, Flutterwave partner to enable merchants receive payments across Africa.

PayPal, Flutterwave partner to enable merchants receive payments across Africa.

Business, Innovation, Technology
PayPal has announced a partnership with Flutterwave users to allow its users anywhere in the world pay African merchants directly using their Flutterwave Store account. This announcement comes barely a week after Flutterwave completed its Series C funding with a funding of $170 million. Pushing the value of the company to over  $1 billion. Through this partnership, African businesses and individuals can now connect with more than 377 million PayPal users globally and overcome the challenges presented by the highly fragmented and complex payment and banking infrastructure on the continent.  Prior to this partnership, PayPal’s full range of services were only accessible to 12 African countries. However, this agreement brings PayPal closer to over 50 countries where F...
Exclusive privilege to two firms incapacitates metering rollout

Exclusive privilege to two firms incapacitates metering rollout

Power
The engagement of only two firms for the country’s national metering rollout has created a capacity challenge, The Guardian has been informed. The exclusion of the remaining manufacturers, experts said, threatens the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) and the acutalisation of key targets. This comes as stakeholders in the power sector have urged the Federal Government to engage the services of the more local meter manufacturers to meet its target of metering all households in the next five years. Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) and Mojec International are the firms that have been engaged in the distribution while the others are left out. Speaking with The Guardian, Chief Executive Officer, Unister Hi-tech System Limited, a m...
FG to disburse N300m MSMEs Survival Fund to mark 60th anniversary

FG to disburse N300m MSMEs Survival Fund to mark 60th anniversary

Innovation
Government has concluded arrangements to share about N300million under the National Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Funds scheme to about 333,000 artisans and transporters, as part of measures to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary on October 1st. The government named target beneficiaries of the scheme include mechanics, taxi drivers, hairdressers, keke NAPEP riders, Okada riders, plumbers, electricians among others. It said the beneficiaries are to be drawn from 12 states, including Lagos, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Borno, Ekiti, Anambra, Abia, Kogi, Ondo, and the FCT respectively for this first phase of the scheme. The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, made this known in Abuja, while ...
Stakeholders seek strategies to mitigate market volatility, uncertainties

Stakeholders seek strategies to mitigate market volatility, uncertainties

Capital Market
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage economies globally and stall business growth in developing countries, stakeholders have called for the adoption of risk management strategies for businesses to thrive under the current VUCA market environment. According to them, the West African market framework is currently going against a matrix of growth, fiscal strength and monetary room, noting that Nigeria’s current growth is averaging at 2.2 per cent, which is lower than previous annual cycles. Speaking at the third virtual session of the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Nigeria’s Economic and Business Conference, the stakeholders noted that a VUCA market is one characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, adding that locally, concerns have remained a...
50 per cent of airlines to go bankrupt without bailout supports by July end

50 per cent of airlines to go bankrupt without bailout supports by July end

Aviation, Business
At least one in every two airlines is now at risk of collapse given the dearth of lifesaving financial supports, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has said. IATA, the clearing house for over 280 airlines globally, said time was running out on urgent and desperate measures to save the airlines before July month-end. While airlines in Nigeria are not an exception in the dire financial crisis facing the global aviation industry, a local carrier, Ibom Air, yesterday, appeared to be heading for safety. The Akwa Ibom State Government moved to rescue the airlines with an undisclosed bailout package. The IATA’s Director of Advocacy and Strategy, Africa, Funke Adeyemi, at a webinar forum, said the Association is working hard to get African Heads of State and organisat...
How new investment may reduce technical, commercial losses in DisCo

How new investment may reduce technical, commercial losses in DisCo

Business
With over 40 per cent Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) loses being recorded by distribution companies in Nigeria, a new investment coming into the power sector may offer the industry reprieve from the worsening financial crisis. Recall that Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), had reported that the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) recorded N119.46billion deficit in the fourth quarter of 2019, adding that the 11 Distribution Companies only remitted a total of N74.20billion out of the N193.66billion invoice issued to them for energy received and administrative charges during the period. Being a development linked to AT&C loses, the new investment made by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and Aquivis Technologies Limited, deploye...
FG Extends Deadline for Marginal Oilfield Bids to June 21

FG Extends Deadline for Marginal Oilfield Bids to June 21

Oil & Gas
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) thursday extended by one week, the deadline to register to bid for Nigeria’s marginal oilfields, which will now close on June 21. The DPR launched the first marginal field award round in nearly 20 years on June 1. Applicants initially had until June 14 to register, but the timeline has been moved to June 21. The DPR, the nation’s petroleum regulator, did not give a reason for the extension, a report by Reuters said. The marginal oilfields comprise 57 fields located on land, swamp and shallow offshore terrains. Meanwhile, oil prices tumbled around seven per cent yesterday, fuelled by renewed concerns about demand destruction as new cases of coronavirus tick up globally, while the United States saw another large build in crude inventories. U...
Stock investors gain N44billion on sustained bargain-hunting

Stock investors gain N44billion on sustained bargain-hunting

Capital Market
Sustained bargain-hunting in most blue-chip stocks buoyed transactions on the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday, as market capitalisation increased further by N44billion. Specifically, at the close of trading Tuesday, the All Share Index (ASI) increased by 85.19 absolute points, representing a gain of 0.34 per cent to close at 25,335.15 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation rose by N44billion to close at N13.216trillion. The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium value stocks, amongst which were; BUA Cement, BOC Gases Nigeria, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals, and Prestige Assurance. Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said: “We expect to see gains in the next trading session as invest...
BUA Cement Delights Shareholders with N61bn Profit, Dividend Payment

BUA Cement Delights Shareholders with N61bn Profit, Dividend Payment

Business
When Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu, decided to merge the cement companies in the group late last year, one of the major reasons was to create value for shareholders and other stakeholders. BUA merged Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and Obu Cement to become BUA Cement Plc. CCNN was delisted and BUA Cement Plc was listed in January. Given the audited results of BUA Cement for the year ended December 31, 2019, the visionary leadership of Rabiu and his management acumen has been brought to bear. Despite the challenging environment that made many companies to post dismal performances, BUA Cement ended the year with N61 billion profit and the shareholders are going to smile home with a dividend of N1.75 per share. Details of the financial performance showed tha...