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Corporate News Roundup: Telcos reveal plans to disrupt Financial Inclusion

Corporate News roundup is a weekly roundup of corporate news and action that took place the previous.

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Welcome to Corporate News roundup for the week ended October 20, 2018. Corporate News roundup is a weekly roundup of corporate news and action that took place the previous.

You can get this delivered straight into your mailbox every week by subscribing to our newsletter.


Telcos in Nigeria, under the auspices of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), inaugurated the Telecommunications Financial Inclusion Committee, laying down a roadmap for “deepening financial inclusion and financial literacy across Nigeria.”

In what sounded like a major move to disrupt the financial services sector, the group said that its mandate is to drive an awareness programme that will deepen financial literacy across the country within the next three months, to leverage the committee’s assets in order to deliver the promised access to financial services to 90 million Nigerians over the next 30 months.

Through a combined mobile base, integrated identity systems, and distribution network, and to work in collaboration with other stakeholders and engage proactively with the government to ensure that the telecommunications sector contributes its quota to the national goal of attaining 80 per cent total financial inclusion and 70 per cent formal financial inclusion by 2020.

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They also said that in the short term, they aim to deliver financial services to about 35 million Nigerians and increase financial literacy and awareness within 12 months. Considering the database and reach these guys have, the banking sector and other smaller players looking to push for financial inclusion should gear up for the mother of all competitions.


Last week, we mentioned that a Euromonitor report gave Transsion Holdings, maker of Tecno mobile phones, the largest market share in the country. During the week, Transsion claimed that its itel Mobile phone brand commands 25.8% of the retail volume market share, making it number 2. They also claimed that Transsion Holdings has remained a dominant force within the Nigerian mobile phone industry with a retail market share of 75.2 percent, taking an increase from 73 percent in 2017. It will be hard to argue this one.


Facebook announced during the week that it will be working with Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation, Africa Check and AFP, to curb the menace of fake news in Nigeria. It explained that “Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of the fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will feature it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.”

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In related news, WhatsApp reported that it banned about 100,000 accounts in Brazil ahead of its runoff elections. According to WhatsApp, “We have cutting-edge technology to detect spam that identifies accounts with abnormal behaviour so that they can’t be used to spread spam or misinformation,” a WhatsApp spokesperson wrote in an email.

“We are also taking immediate legal measures to prevent companies from sending mass messages via WhatsApp and have already banned accounts associated with those companies.” Brazil has about 120 million WhatsApp users. Facebook even setup a “war room” to spot and bring down fake news. Nigeria’s upcoming election anyone?


Flutterwave’s co-founder, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, announced during the week that he has stepped down from his role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Flutterwave Inc. Aboyeji disclosed this in a statement on his Twitter account. “Today will be my last day at Flutterwave. After much thought and prayer, I decided to step down from my role as CEO and focus on giving back to the startup community I owe so much of

my success to.” Insiders in the tech community believe that this decision has been in the offing for a while now, suggesting that Gbenga, rather than Iyin has been the main decision-maker in the burgeoning startup. Flutterwave was founded by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola.

Just as the tech community was digesting news of Iyin’s resignation, Flutterwave Inc announced the completion of its Series A Extension round of financing. Investors from this round of investment include Mastercard, CRE Ventures, Fintech Collective, 4DX Ventures, and Raba Capital, among others. Flutterwave has now raised over $20 million to date, and its largest investors include Green Visor Capital and Greycroft Partners.

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According to a statement by the firm, in a restructuring exercise, the current Green Visor Capital Chairman & General Partner and former Chairman & CEO of Visa, Joe Saunders, has joined the Flutterwave Board of Directors while Flutterwave Co-Founder, Olugbenga Agboola, would replace Iyinoluwa Aboyeji who, like we earlier mentioned, has stepped down as the CEO.

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AppZone, a banking and payment service provider for microfinance banks in Nigeria, emerged winner of the “Best Microfinance Technology Solutions Provider” at the 2018 National Association of Microfinance Banks Conference and Awards. The organizers claim that AppZone won the award for its foremost product, BankOne, which is a tech platform that manages the entire operations involved in the delivery of financial services to individuals and micro businesses in the informal sector.

AppZone claims that its BankOne app is being used in over six countries and has over 350 Microfinance banks on its platform. AppZone was cofounded by Obi Emetarom, Emeka Emetarom and Wale Onawunmi in 2008. The company also offers several Fintech related services.

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#EndSARS: Governor Uzodimma approves N2bn for youth empowerment after talks with protesters 

Governor Uzodinma has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment.

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Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment, following a fruitful meeting with a group of youths associated with the #EndSARS movement in the State. 

This disclosure was made by Governor Hope Uzodinma in his statement today, during his third state Broadcast to the people of Imo State, this week. 

The Governor in his statement said that his heart is gladdened that a vast majority of the youth heeded the clarion calls to call off the #EndSARS protests, having laid down their points unmistakably. 

However, he revealed that in line with his determination to address the needs of the youth and empower them, he has approved an immediate release of a take-off fund of N2 billion for the empowerment of youth in the state. 

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He reiterated that the task is not complete until every single youth is pulled off our streets and kept a safe distance away from the reach of some unscrupulous elements whose demonic desire is to unleash endless carnage in some parts of the state. 

What you should know 

Recall that the governor on the met with a group of youths embedded in the EndSARS protests. The group was made up of youth leaders from all parts of the country comprising leaders from the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Areewa, Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Hausa, Fulani, Middle belt and Niger Delta Youths 

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However, during his interface with the youth, he assured them of a dedicated empowerment package, as part of his administration’s determination to address the needs of the youths and quell their dissatisfaction. 

  • The N2 billion take-off fund will be deployed for the training of the first batch of the beneficiaries, which will commence next week. The N2billion take-off fund is to be taken from the N6 billion earmarked for the accelerated youth empowerment programme. 
  • The empowerment programme is under the Imo State Special Youth Empowerment and Intervention Programme (IMYEIP). The State’s Ministry of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship is directly charged with its immediate implementation. 
  • The programme is to begin training of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Batches of an estimated number of 500, 000 Imo youths in different skills acquisition programmes within the next two years, and provide them with start-up capital to begin their own enterprises. 
  •  The training time table will be rolled out on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020. 
  • The 5000 Imo Youths who have already been trained in different skills under the IMYEIP platform, are to be given their start-up capital very soon. 

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ENDSARS

Tinubu visits Sanwo-Olu, speaks on recent violence in the state, travelling out of the country

Tinubu has spoken up about some of the happenings that have led to the recent unrest in Lagos State.

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Tinubu denies advising Buhari to print new naira notes

The former Lagos State Governor and the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reacted to the outbreak of violence during the #EndSARS protest which has led to the destruction and looting of public and private infrastructure in the state.

He lamented the invasion and wanton looting and burning of public and private assets in the state of late, including police stations.

This was made known by Tinubu during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State House Marina, to commiserate with him on the recent violence in the state, sympathize with the victims through him and seek his permission to visit some of the victims.

While addressing journalists after the meeting with the governor, Tinubu said he asked him if he had ordered the attack on #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday.

He also said that he did not travel out of the country as reported by some sections of the media, who claimed that he had travelled to France and the UK.

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Tinubu said, “I didn’t go nowhere; I’m a Lagosian and I still hold the title of Asiwaju of Lagos and I am still a Jagaban. Fake news is all over the place. They say Seyi my son was kidnapped and was chased but look at him. I didn’t pay a penny to bring him here.

On the investigation and compensation for victims of violence, Tinubu said, “First, we have to segregate the calendar, those who suffered casualty before the protests from the hands of SARS. You have to separate that from those who suffered casualty due to what happened at the toll gate.

“For those who suffered casualty from SARS, the Commission of Inquiry that is already set up will unearth that and will make their recommendations. I trust the calibre and the character of the people there, they are independent. That is one.

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“Those who suffered casualty during the gunshots need to answer some questions too, how are they there? How long were they there? What kind of characters are they? Even though we want to help, we still must extract information that will help the government to prepare in future and understand how and when to react because the governor, in particular, is a youth.’’

Going further, he said, “As a youth himself, he (Sanwo-Olu) quickly went to Abuja with the 5/5. The government immediately put into action, dissolved the SARS and had to work through other recommended actions, the needs they demanded. Within a few days, he reported back to the public. That is responsive enough.

“But where are we getting the looting, the carnage, the burning, the invasion of police stations, stealing of arms, maiming of the innocent? It is a handshake beyond the elbow.

Tinubu has been under intense media attack over the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday. He was accused of being the mastermind of the incident because of his alleged interest in the tollgate which has been blocked for about 2 weeks, an allegation he has denied.

The hoodlums had burnt down some businesses allegedly linked to him in the course of the violence that erupted in Lagos. They include Oriental Hotel, Television Continental (TVC) and Nations newspaper.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: IGP orders immediate mobilisation of officers to restore normalcy

The IGP has directed officers to take control of the current unrest and breakdown of law and order in some parts of the country.

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IGP orders immediate withdrawal of police officers attached to VIPs

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the unrest.

This was made known via the official Twitter handle of the Nigerian Police Force, @PoliceNG, in a statement titled, “RECLAIM THE PUBLIC SPACE AND RESTORE NORMALCY – IGP ORDERS AIGs, CPs, PMF, CTU & SPU COMMANDERS”.

According to the statement, the IGP has directed the officers to reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.

The IGP gave the order to all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit.

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The statement read in part, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property, and reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.

“In addition, CPs/Heads of Police Formations in the various states have also been charged to mobilize their men and work in sync with the Command CPs in the areas where they are domiciled, to dominate the public space and ensure peace and safety in the affected areas.

“The IGP, while noting that enough is enough to all acts of lawlessness, disruption of public peace and order and wanton violence which have resulted to indiscriminate looting of shops, malls and warehouses, damage to property and loss of lives in some parts of the country.”

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The IGP further enjoined law-abiding citizens not to panic but rather join forces with the police and other members of the law enforcement community to protect their communities from the criminal elements. He also called for “the understanding and cooperation of the citizens, assuring that the action is geared towards ensuring public order and safety and public security in our communities.”

What you should know

In the last few days, several parts of the country, especially Lagos, Cross River and Delta have witnessed a rise in civil unrest as hoodlums torched down Police stations, government properties and have also looted and destroyed several private businesses.

The recent unrests could be traced to the hijacking of peaceful protests organised by #EndSARS agitators who took to the streets of many Nigerian cities in the last two weeks to demand the dissolution of a notorious police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, better known as SARS, who has been alleged to be involved in a countless number of harassment, extortion, abduction, armed robbery and murder of innocent citizens.

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