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Truecaller has blamed Telcos for making Nigeria 9th most spammed country in the world

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Truecaller, an app that helps GSM users identifying callers that are not in their phone book has revealed the countries where we have the highest spam calls.

It named Nigeria as one of the countries with the highest Spam calls, ranking it 9th in the world. South Africa was 5th and Egypt 10th as the only other African countries in the top 10. Here is an excerpt of the report on Nigeria.

True Caller blamed operators, Telcos, as the reason for the high Spam rate in Nigeria.

Top Spammed

 

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Operators, the biggest spammers – Nigeria

Like its regional partner, Kenya, Nigeria also has an issue with scam calls, but on a noticeably smaller scale comparatively at 10% of the reported total spam calls.

One major problem around spam calls in Nigeria are calls from operators, which amount to the majority (61%) of the total for reported spam calls. Operator spam calls involve telecom companies cold calling people. During these type of calls, call centre agents attempt to upsell data plans or push promotional offers to the public at large.

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Another major spam call problem that Nigerians have to deal with (27%) is nuisance calls. These kinds of spam calls in general are unwanted and unsolicited calls that are a disturbance for users, or at the very least amount to prank calls and at worst, harassment.

Rounding off the spam call list in Nigeria are telemarketing calls at 2%, which are promotional calls from companies, surveys being done by analytics firms on behalf of their clients, political/robo calls, or new client outreach for services and subscriptions.

A closer look at spam calls in South Africa

Spam calls are big business in South Africa, as the direct marketing industry reported employing more than 150 000 workers, with the average call centre agent logging around 1 600 calls on a monthly basis. This amounts to South Africans being collectively bombarded by tens of thousands of spam calls each and every day. In fact, Truecaller app users already identify over 8.5-million local spam calls on a monthly basis.

According to the company’s Top 20 Countries Affected by Spam Calls in 2017 report, South Africa seems to have more of an even spread when it comes to who is spamming. With telemarketing (39%) leading the way, while financial services (24%) and insurance (13%) are the most known types of spam calls.

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Unlike Kenya and Nigeria, South Africa only has 1% of its local calls marked as scam calls.

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Other highly targeted African markets – Kenya

Kenya was a different case when compared to the other Top 20 countries listed in this research. Scam calls made up a whopping 91% of the reported spam calls. Scam calls are basically fraud attempts via your telephone, with scammers using a phoney scheme to swindle money from unsuspecting members of the public.

The rest of the listed spam calls were constituted by financial services such as banking product offers, unsolicited credit union calls or credit card companies cold dialling people.

Ways to counter spammers

Within South Africa, the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa, enables people to add themselves onto a list of non-contactable contacts, at least by members of this association. This list of no-go contacts is referred to as the National Opt-out Database.

In addition, more than 250-million people around the world are using apps such as Truecaller to see caller IDs and know who’s calling, even if the number is not stored in their phonebook. This app also enables users to block calls as well as SMSs and report spam callers and messages, allowing the larger community of users to avoid the spammers too.

 

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Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.

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Columnists

Nigerian women need over 50% representation in government by 2023

In Nigeria, there is still a need for Nigerian women to have up to 50% representation in government.

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Women are taking part in the governance and nation-building of their countries. In October 2019, the global participation rate of women at the national level was 24.5% compared to 8% in 2013 which is quite reassuring. However, in Nigeria, there is still a need for Nigerian women to have up to 50% representation in government.

The reason more women are needed in governance is that they have the expertise to aid in achieving a stronger and vibrant democracy. According to Mr Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nation, “When we empower women, we empower communities and nations and the entire human communities.”

A good number of women in Nigeria have made a significant impact on governance and nation-building. Historically, once women come together, they can make things happen because they understand their issues and can articulate them from a point of succinct comprehension.

Mrs. Fumilayo Ramson-Kuti was an activist and a political campaigner – 30 years ago, when there was a tax levy on women in Egba land, she coordinated a women’s union group after a long tussle with the colonial administration and traditional rulers.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is another prominent woman in the global space. She served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and also as Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister. Currently, she is on the verge of becoming the first female and the first African Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Asides from these two, a lot of women are making waves in society – not only in politics but also in managerial positions and businesses.

Factors that hinder women’s participation in politics

 In 2016, there was a study by McKinsey that revealed that only 5% of women are CEOs of companies, 22% cabinet members, while 24% are elected to official positions in Africa.

More so, in the last election 2019 in Nigeria, there were up to 3000 women candidates across all the parties. However, only 64 women were elected and appointed into political offices. Looking at the figures, there is a clear indication that it is very low and needs to be addressed as the 2023 election approaches.

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Here are the major challenges affecting women’s involvement in politics in Nigeria.

  • Godfathers: In politics, godfatherism is a very big role. For women who are not able to build that network, it becomes a very big issue for them. To avert that, women are advised to create their own network in politics – support one another and assist each other in climbing the ladder, especially for those who are already in government.
  • Raising funds: Election campaigns are very expensive to participate in.
  • Religious factor/Traditional factors: A lot of people still feel women should be seen and not heard, because they are under a man and should be submissive. Cultural & religious barriers still exists, and it prohibits women from fully contributing to governance. The emergence of women as leaders does not need to subjugate their cultural and religious identities. Men & Women need to understand that it is only through joint decision-making and cooperation, that the society can thrive.

Here are what women can do to thrive in politics

For women to have 50% representation in government, here are what is needed.

  • Those already elected must see themselves as a springboard and position themselves strategically, so they can increase the number of women in political offices. It is also important for women to leverage technology and use social media to enable them to build a community of women leaders/activists.
  • Having already announced the date for 2023 election, it is imperative that women start preparing themselves ahead of the election and strategize on how to get more women elected to the government.
  • Finally, having a skill is very crucial for women who want to be community leaders.

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Currencies

Why exchange rate disparity remains high despite CBN’s intervention

Despite the intervention measures by the CBN, why does the disparity between the official and black-market rates remain high?

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Why exchange rate disparity remains high despite CBN’s intervention

The Nigerian economy has been faced with serious foreign exchange crisis since the first quarter of the year, with severe pressure on the nation’s foreign exchange market and external reserve. The local currency is under the grip of tough external pressure, characterized by internal foreign exchange shortages and consistently high black-market rates. This has led to a high disparity between the official exchange rate and black-market rate.

The undesired situation is attributable to the crash in crude oil prices, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted negatively on the global economy. The plunging oil prices have increased the pressure on the naira, as about 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings is from crude oil exports.

READ: Nigerian’s should expect “a significant devaluation” to N550/$1 – Goldman Sachs

Bank of Africa analysts, Rukayat Yusuf and Andrew MacFarlane, in its Global Bank’s latest report on Nigeria’s forex unification and shortages, said that Nigeria’s current foreign exchange pressure is likely to gain momentum in 2021, as the economy and imports recovery will trigger a future adjustment of the nation’s currency to N430/$1 next year.

Recall that despite several initial denials by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in response to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic and oil shocks; the apex bank on March 20, 2020, devalued the exchange rate from N307/$1 to N360/$1. This was followed with the suspension of sales of foreign currency to the Bureau De Change operators on March 27, 2020, in the face of depleting external reserves.

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READ: CBN injects fresh $51.8m into FX Markets

In a move viewed as attempts by the CBN to unify the exchange rate, the apex bank further devalued the naira on August 6, 2020, from N360/$1 to N380/$1 on the official window and closed the gap with the parallel market – which is the unofficial market. The huge exchange rate gap has made round-tripping very lucrative and encouraged hoarding amongst forex dealers.

Goldman Sachs analysts had earlier predicted that the exchange rate will dip to N500 to $1 in the face of rising inflation and declining external reserves. The wide gap between the official and unofficial rates is seen by analysts as an indication of increasing pressure on the forex market and dollar shortages, which the CBN is trying to contain with several policies targeted at reducing the demand for the greenback, conserve the scarce foreign exchange, and help boost dollar supply in the market.

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READ: CBN announces resumption of sales of forex to BDC

Some of these policies include:

  • Resumption of sales of dollars to the Bureau De Change Operators and mandating them to sell at not more than N386 to a dollar.
  • Removal of third parties from buying forex routed through Form M.
  • Clampdown on exporters who refuse to repatriate their export proceeds to Nigeria.
  • Restriction on forex allocation to importers of maize by the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

READ: Nigeria’s inflation rate hits 13.71% as food prices soar

However, despite some of these measures by the CBN, the disparity between the official and black-market rates still remain as high as almost N70. So, the question is why the huge gap? Especially, with the resumption of dollar sales to the BDCs.

READ: COVID-19: How CBN policies helped prevent the collapse of the Nigerian economy – Oscar Onyema

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Some analysts and stakeholders have complained that the measures are hurting business operations and pushed more demands to the parallel market. They believe it has encouraged hoarding and speculations to continue thriving; thereby, making it difficult to reduce the black-market rate.

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What they are saying

While expressing his view on why the exchange rate disparity is still high, despite the resumption of dollar sales to BDCs; the President of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadebe, said the impact of the resumption of sales of foreign exchange to BDCs is expected to be gradual.

READ: Naira gains across the forex markets as dollar supply rises sharply by 201%

Gwadebe said, “Firstly, the impact is gradual. You know there was a time when the dollar reached N500/$1. N474, N480 to a dollar was when there were other interventions in the market. As soon as the news of the resumption of sales to Bureau De Change broke, we witnessed the dollar going for as low as N420, N430 to a dollar. However, after taking off, the rate is now N460, which is the parallel market rate.

“Don’t forget there is a huge backlog and every other buyer – authorized or unauthorized, queued in the parallel market. So, the pressure is on the parallel market from manufacturers and existing investors. In fact, the most unfortunate behavior is hoarding and speculation.’’

READ: Ethereum whales move over $50 million of Ether to Uniswap

The ABCON President noted that people hoard and speculate when liquidity is low in the retail sector of the market. He pointed out that, although the liquidity is gradual, the rebound is expected to continue gradually.

Gwadebe said the role of the BDCs is to provide liquidity in the retail end of the market, which is what the CBN is empowering the BDCs to do and a key reason the rate has improved from the record high of about N480/$1.

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He noted that the resumption of sales of dollars to BDCs is discouraging frivolous demands, adding liquidity into the system, aiding return of confidence and stability in the market.

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He reiterated that the BDCs remain the only threat to hoarding and speculation, while expressing satisfaction that the reserve is growing and will increase the confidence of investors.

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Cryptocurrency

Crypto bounty: $1 million up for you

Harvest Finance has increased its bounty from $100,000 to $1 million for details of an unknown cyber hacker.

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Crypto bounty: $1 million up for you

Fast-growing decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, Harvest Finance, has increased its bounty from $100,000 to $1 million for details of an unknown cyber hacker – leading to the return of $24 million in siphoned funds taken recently.

What you should know

According to tweets seen on its official Twitter handle – Harvest Finance anonymous, Harvest is offering the bounty of $1M for “tracking down” the attacker and returning the funds.

READ: Crypto for music, AUDIO up by 500%

At the moment, the attacker is known to:

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  • understand flashloans
  • understand arbitrage and trading
  • understand the curve internal code
  • understand renBTC
  • understand opsec

READ: Fate of $2.3 billion worth of Bitcoins in Limbo

READ: $100,000 bounty offered to catch crypto hacker

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Why it’s happening

Harvest Finance’s bounty is coming on the back burner when it observed its protocol was apparently hacked, with the cyber hacker reportedly exploiting about $24 million from Harvest Finance pools and swapping for renBTC (rBTC).

READ: Cryptos: Nigerian financial experts talk risks associated with trading digital assets

  • Hence, Harvest Finance affirmed the hack, stating the protocol is “working actively on the issue of mitigating the economic attack on the Stablecoin and BTC pools.”
  • To protect users, we’ve pulled y pool and btc curve strategy funds to the vault.
  • At this point, all Stablecoin and BTC funds are in the vault (not deployed in a strategy). No other pools are affected.
  • To be specific: to protect users, 100% of Stablecoin and BTC curve strategy funds have been withdrawn from the strategy to the vault.

READ: Trump proposes $25 billion bailout for U.S. airlines

About Harvest

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Harvest, a new (DeFi) platform created on the Kava blockchain, plans to launch a product that will enable users to earn more on Bitcoin, XRP, Binance coin, and two other cryptos.

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Harvest offers crypto users the platform to supply crypto assets for lending, and earn interest on them, as well as, use their crypto as security for borrowing; this is according to Brian Kerr, Kava’s co-founder and Chief Executive.

Explore the Advanced Financial Calculators on Nairametrics

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