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Business News

Mixed reactions as court stops DSTV from price hike

Court orders DSTV to not increase subscription prices.

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MultiChoice suspends sack of 2000 employees, MultiChoice to sack 2000 employees

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja,yesterday granted an interim injunction halting the hike in DSTV subscription by MultiChoice Nigeria Limited.

The order was granted in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/894/2018 Federal Republic of Nigeria v. MultiChoice Nigeria Limited on Monday, August 20.

Following the court’s injunction, Nigerians have come out en masse reacting to the news.

As some expressed gratitude to the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), a regulatory body that challenged the DSTV’s subscription hike, others sounded a note of caution.

@ChukaTheBoss tweeted, “Would you look at that, which regulatory body has multichoice within their purview? price hikes have to go through them. Reasons for any increment must be made public, at least! Thank you to Tunde Irukera and the CPC. Now we know someone has our backs”

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@Andrewfootie tweeted, “Nigerians complain about DSTV prices and not cement prices that affect the basic necessity which is housing. We just hate foreigners. We complain about DSTV while paying the most expensive prices for cement. DSTV is not a right and it can be sold for 100,000.”

https://twitter.com/andrewfootie/status/1031517608145813505

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@KingAurthur9ja tweeted, “Pay TV Operators in this “Monopolistic” market – Consat TV, African Cable Television ACTV, DStv, GoTV, Startimes, CTL, Metro Digital, Montage Cable Network, Mytv, MultiTV, Daarsat, TSTV and Trendtv. Just find one that suits your pocket.”

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According to a Twitter user, @llsaAida who made a thread on the DSTV saga, there are allegations of possible unfair trade practices that make it possible for DSTV to have exclusivity on contents, gain market dominance and fix price as it likes.

The Twitter user revealed that while these allegations were yet to be given proper address and solved, DSTV ignored government’s request for critical documents.

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Addressing the issue, CPC Director General, Babatunde Irukera said the Pay TV preempted investigations and acted in bad faith by agreeing to a consent order to hold terms and conditions in 24 months, but increased prices on the eve of signing Consent Order to undermine regulatory process.

MultiChoice had earlier announced the increase of prices on its digital satellite platform, DSTV from August 1, 2018.

The subscribers on DStv Premium package was expected to see a price increase from N14,700 to N15,800; Compact Plus from N9,900 to N10,650; Compact from N6,300 to N6,800; Family from N3,800 to N4,000 and on Access, N1,900 to N2,000.

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The increase, according to the company, was due to the spike in inflation rates.

Multichoice has a history of increasing prices arbitrarily. Between 2009 and 2017, prices have increased eight times, averaging a change in their prices every two years.

A timeline of past price hikes 

  • The first increase was in September 2009 which coincided with the introduction of a low-cost bouquet, DStv Access at N1,500 and an increase in the prices of DStv Compact and Premium.
  • In April 2011, prices went up again. DStv premium went from N9,500 to N10,300 as well as other bouquets except for Access which was left unchanged at N1,500.
  • August 2012 saw a 10% increase in all its bouquets. DStv Premium was increased from N10,000 to N11,000. Access was again left unchanged at N1,500. The increase was attributed to the rise in inflation and operational costs.
  • August 2015, witnessed a 20% increase in all its bouquets. DStv went from N11,650 to N13,980. DStv Access subscribers now had to pay N1,800 as against the previous rate of N1,500.
  • A careful look at the increase shows DStv Premium has increased by 55% in eight years from N9,000 in 2009 to N13,980 in 2017.
  • DStv Access has gone up by 26% from its inception in 2009.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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DEAL: Nigeria’s Cowrywise raises $3m pre-series A funding

Nigerian fintech startup, Cowrywise has raised $3m in pre-series A funding.

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Cowrywise to re-launch as Cowrywise Circles, , CowryWise raises $3m pre-series A funding

Nigerian fintech startup Cowrywise has raised $3m pre-series A funding.

This funding round was led by Washington DC-based Quona Capital, with participation from Sahil Lavingia, Tsadik Foundation, and a syndicate of local and diaspora based Nigerian angels.

Founded by Razaq Ahmed and Edward Popoola in 2017, Cowrywise gives Nigerian’s access to a range of goal-oriented savings and investment products.

The Quona led investment brings Cowrywise’s total funding amount to $3.3 million since its 2017 launch.

The company first introduced savings on its platform, followed by mutual funds and they currently have 19 different mutual funds and at least 20% of the total mutual funds in the country are listed on its platform.

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According to Ahmed, while Nigerian’s millennials may have high digital connection levels, they lack access to high-quality savings and investment products. Which is what Cowrywise is offering.

The startup has more than 220,000 users currently. According to the Techcrunch, there are only half a million Nigerians actively investing in mutual funds. When compared to the total number of active bank accounts in the country of more than 40 million, it is obvious Cowrywise still has room to grow in the $3 billion markets.

This new funding will be used to increase its customer base and also expand its product offerings, support more fund managers in Nigeria, and build its investment management structure.

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What you should know

  • Cowrywise, an app that helps you easily plan, save, and invest online with the strongest interest rates and investment returns is the first Nigerian startup to be backed by Quona Capital.
  • In June 2018, Cowrywise closed an Angel round of $50,000 led by Microtraction. In August 2018, it raised a $120,000 seed round from Y Combinator and another seed round from Kairos by December of the same year.
  • It received undisclosed funding from K-50 Ventures in April 2019, before receiving an $80,000 grant from UK-DFID backed accelerator, Catalyst Fund. A first for a Nigerian startup.
  • In February 2020, Quona Capital led the $14 million series A round for Kenyan eCommerce Startup, Sokowatch.
  • The company has also significantly invested in South African startups like Lulalend, Yoco, ZOONA, and ALLLIFE.

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Tech News

Whatsapp to require biometric authentication for PC and web access

WhatsApp is adding a new biometric feature to confirm users’ identity when linking accounts to PC or the web.

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WhatsApp is adding a new biometric feature to confirm your identity when you want to link your WhatsApp account to a PC or the web.

The social media app is rolling out this new feature for its web and desktop apps, which will let people create an additional authentication layer using biometrics when they want to use WhatsApp on desktop or web.

Users will now have the option (not a requirement) to add in a biometric login, which uses either a fingerprint, face ID, or iris ID — depending on the device — on Android or iPhone, to add in the second layer of authentication.

When implemented, it will appear for users before a desktop or web version can be linked up with a mobile app account.

WhatsApp told TechCrunch that it is going to be adding in more features this year to bring the functionality of the two closer together. There are still big gaps: for example, you can’t make calls on the WhatsApp web version.

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To be clear, the biometric service, which is being turned on globally, will be opt-in: users will need to go to their settings to turn on the feature, in the same way, that today they need to go into their settings to turn on biometric authentication for their mobile apps.

WhatsApp has added that it will not be able to access the biometric information that you will store in your device and that it is using the same standard biometric authentication APIs that other secure apps, like banking apps, use.

This new feature will work alongside another, which sends your phone notifications whenever somebody logs into your account on the web or a computer.

What you should know

  • The company has been getting a lot of backlashes since it announced it will now share its users’ personal information, including phone numbers, IP addresses, contacts, and more with Facebook from February 8, 2021.
  • WhatsApp’s new privacy policy forced many users to quit the app and to seek alternatives in Signal and Telegram

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria, now 2nd most corrupt country in West Africa – Transparency International

Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in W/Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the region.

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The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 report published by Transparency International indicates that Nigeria occupies the 149th position out of the 180 countries surveyed as well scored 25 out of 100 points.

With the current ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the sub-region.

It can be recalled that in the 2019 report, Nigeria was ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed, scoring 26 points out of 100 points.

What you should know 

  • The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is an annual survey report published by Berlin-based Transparency International since 1995 which ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
  • The CPI scales zero (0) to 100, zero means “Highly Corrupt,” while 100 stands for “Very Clean”.
  • Nigeria’s ranking on the corruption perception index has continued to drop in the last four years.
  • With the current ranking, Nigeria is two steps worse off than she was in 2018 when she scored 27 points to place 144th out of 180 countries.
  • Only 12 countries are perceived to be more corrupt than Nigeria in the whole of Africa. The countries are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Guinea Bissau, and South Sudan.
  • Somalia and South Sudan remain the most corrupt nations on earth, according to the CPI 2020 ranking.
  • Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Germany, Sweden Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands and Luxembourg are the least corrupt countries in the world.

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