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Companies

Key takeaways from Google CEO visit to Nigeria

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google Inc., Mr. Sundar Pichai, recently visited Nigeria for the first time. This is another memorable visit following the visit of the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Narayana Nadella last year.

Mr. Sundar Pichai, spoke at the “Google for Nigeria” event held at the Landmark Event Center, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday, 27th of July 2017. He announced that one million people have been trained in Africa on digital skills and that Google has a program to train over 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, and would prepare 10 million Africans for jobs in the next five years.

According to the Google Country Director for Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, Nigeria is ranked number one among African users and the eighth in the world.

Google also announced that it will invest $3 million free equity seed funding for technology, mentorship and working space access to more than 60 African start-ups over three years and that Nigeria would benefit immensely from the $3 million seed funding.

Nigeria needs digital skills training for its youths and Google is focusing on digital skills training in the whole of Africa, to empower Africans to write software codes for their local economies.

We have commenced the Google Launchpad Accelerator Space training in other regions of the world where we train technology startups on digital skills and we are starting the Google Launchpad Accelerator Space training in Lagos, said Mr. Sundar Pichai.

Google has also launched some new products in Africa, starting with Nigeria. The products are:

  • Posts With Google
  • Gboard
  • Google Street View
  • YouTube Go

Posts with Google: enables up-to-date posts from verified people, places or things, to appear directly in search results. Nigeria is now the third country in the world after the United States and Brazil to have the application.

Gboard: is a keyboard specially designed to make it easy to type in Nigerian languages like Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba with the proper alphabets readily available.

Google Street View: This is a feature in the Google map. It enables you view 360o images of streets in Lagos. Users can also view any location in the world in a video form from their devices. Suhen Ruhela, who leads Google Maps for emerging countries, also announced that thousands of new addresses have been added to Maps to improve address search experience for users.

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You can check out Google Street View by clicking on the figurine located at the bottom of the zoom buttons on Google Maps.

YouTube Go: this is an offline version of YouTube for Nigeria to help users save on data costs. Also, users with slow internet can preview and save videos.

A more surprising announcement by Google is its plan to launch an android device by September. The name of the device is “Freecell Ice 2” and is said to be made “specifically for the Nigerian market”. The phone will be sold for N 13,000 when it is launched.

Although not much is to be expected in terms of specs but the android device will have an integrated “Google Play protect” which would continuously work to keep the device, data, and apps safe. It would actively scan the device to make sure you have the latest in mobile security.

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Appointments

Airtel Nigeria announces appointment of Surendran as new Chief Executive Officer

Airtel Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr C. Surendran as the new MD/CEO with effect from August 1, 2021.

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Like MTN, is Airtel Nigeria considering listing?

Telecommunications giant, Airtel Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr C. Surendran as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with effect from August 1, 2021.

Surendran would be replacing the outgoing Managing Director and Chief Executive of Airtel Nigeria, Olusegun Ogunsanya, who has been elevated to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa Plc with effect from October 1, 2021.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by Airtel on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Lagos.

READ: Airtel Africa signs new $500 million loan with Bank of America, HSBC, others

The statement says that Surendran would also be appointed to the Executive Committee (ExCo) as Regional Operating Director, reporting to the CEO of Airtel Africa plc, and onto the Board of Airtel Networks (Nigeria) Limited.

Airtel in its statement said, “Surendran has been with Bharti Airtel since 2003 and has contributed immensely in various roles across customer experience, sales and business operations.

He was the Chief Executive Officer of Karnataka, which is the largest circle in Airtel India, with over one billion dollars in revenue.

Surendran delivered an exceptional performance with significant movement in Revenue Market Share (RMS) over the last few years, currently at 54 percent. He has over 30 years of business experience, including 15 years at Xerox.’’

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Airtel said that Surendran would transition into his new role from June 1, 2021, and spend the time onboarding into the business until July 31, 2021.

READ: Meet the latest billionaires on the Nigerian Stock Exchange

In case you missed it

It can be recalled that a few days ago, Airtel Africa Plc, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Nigeria and 13 other countries, announced the appointment of Mr Olusegun Ogunsanya as the new Chief Executive Officer, following the notice of retirement given by the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava, to the Board.

In the notification sent by Airtel Africa to the Nigerian Exchange, Ogunsanya is expected to join the board of Airtel Africa with effect from October 1, 2021.

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Companies

Our First Bank loan is being serviced, reduced by 30% in 2 years – Honeywell Group

The credit facilities accessed from First Bank were granted after due negotiations, with the necessary documentation and in line with regulatory policies and industry standards.

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Billionaire watch: Oba Otudeko’s stakes in Firstbank and Honeywell are worth N10.3 billion

The Honeywell Group has said that its loan with First Bank is being serviced as the conglomerate had reduced the facility by 30% in the last two and half years.

This was disclosed by the Group via a statement issued on Sunday and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the statement, the company and the bank have had a professional business relationship since 1975, which preceded the group’s investment in the bank over a decade later.

According to the Honeywell Group, the credit facilities accessed from First Bank were granted after due negotiations, with the necessary documentation and in line with regulatory policies and industry standards.

The Group further explained that following agreed terms, its facilities are adequately secured with First Bank with collaterals in place at over 170% of forced sales value and 230% at open market value.

It stated, “In 2015, First Bank under the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria, drew our attention to a 2004 circular (BSD/9/2004) which requires that insider related facilities must not exceed 10% of paid-up share capital.

Based on this directive we subsequently entered negotiations with the bank to agree on an appropriate repayment structure and the final negotiated position was duly approved by the CBN.

In addition to the above, First Bank, on the directive of CBN, requested additional security in the form of FBN Holdings Plc shares held by the Chairman of Honeywell Group, Dr Oba Otudeko citing a 2001 circular. This was duly provided through an authorisation to place a lien on the shares.”

Honeywell Group has continued to meet all its obligations on its facilities with the bank according to agreed terms and has reduced its exposure by nearly 30% in 2.5 years. The facilities were charged at market rate and the bank continues to earn significant interest therefrom.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics had reported when the Central Bank of Nigeria directed Honeywell to fully repay its obligations to First Bank within 48 hours, warning that failure to do so would cause the CBN to take regulatory measures against the insider borrower and the bank.
  • The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, also served as Chairman of FBN Holdings Plc until he was asked by the apex bank to go along with other directors on Thursday.
  • The apex bank had noted in a letter last Wednesday that First Bank had yet to comply with regulatory directives on divesting its interest in Honeywell despite several reminders.
  • Also, the CBN asked First Bank to forward evidence involving the divestment of interest in Honeywell Flour Mills and Bharti Airtel Nigeria Ltd within 90 days.

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