Investment One Financial Services Limited wants Nigerians to really think about some of the tech ideas that are shaping the future, and consider investing in them.
This important message is the key takeaway from a symposium organised yesterday in Lagos, as part of the activities marking the company’s ten years anniversary.
The event saw the gathering of some of the leading experts across five key sectors — Technology, Finance, Healthcare, Agriculture, and Media — who spoke to investors and the general public on the topic Ideas shaping the Future.
The world is changing before our eyes thanks to tech
One of the experts at the event is Mr Bolaji Lawal, the Head of Digital Banking at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. He said the future is all about digital technology and that the phenomenon will eventually become more than just an enabler “but at the core of everything we do.”
This is because regardless of the current nature of your occupation, it will eventually become technology-first in no distant time.
To buttress his point, Mr Lawal cited the revolution that has taken place in the banking sector and how GTBank has particularly been able to leverage digital technology to distinguish itself as a leader in the Nigerian financial industry.
Speaking further, he disclosed that technology has helped Guaranty Trust Bank to grow from five million customers to about thirteen million customers over the course of just five years.
He also gave the example of media companies like Linda Ikeji Blog who have successfully used technology to build companies that can successfully compete with traditional media platforms.
Meanwhile, as technology continues to disrupt the business environment whilst taking jobs away from people, there is the need for Nigeria to develop a national strategy that will accommodate future developments in the field, he said.
You don’t need to go to school to partake in the digital revolution
Another expert at the event, Mr Aniedi Udo-Obong, a Programme Manager at Google. He said advancements in global technology has made it possible for anyone to become a part of the revolution.
This, therefore, calls into the question the importance of the formal education system as we know it. In other words, Nigerians need to rethink school and work. He also reiterated the need for a national plan for digital technology.
Meanwhile, technology could potentially solve Nigeria’s future food needs
According to the Co-Founder of Farmcrowdy Ms Tope Omotolani, the world’s population has been projected to increase exponentially by 2050. And already, companies like hers are thinking of the roles technology can play towards the production of the food that will feed Nigerians by then.
She said so far, Farmcrowdy has successfully used technology to disrupt the Nigerian agric sector. But their achievements so far is not enough to take care of the future needs that will arise.
As such, the company continues to innovate, because “innovation is not a one-stop thing.” The company also needs Nigerians to invest in the type of digital solution to farming which they proffer; which by the way is a great way to invest.
Technology is also solving health problems
According to Dr Tokunbo Ali, the future of healthcare has to be digital. This is because digital technology has the potential to proffer solution to a wide range of the biggest problems plaguing the healthcare system.
Dr Ali, who represented the CEO of AXA Mansard Plc, gave examples of the challenges facing the Nigerian healthcare system to include the unavailability of healthcare professionals, the rising cost of healthcare, a growing demand for healthcare, patients’ inability to access their medical records, and a reduction in the patient satisfaction index.
Already, some of the biggest tech companies are already investing in technologies that offer solution to some of the problems enumerated above, he said. He cited examples of artificial intelligence being used for non-invasive surgeries, and wearable wrist watch by Apple which can detect ailments at its earliest stages.
He also noted that patients’ medical records can be safely stored in the cloud and easily accessed by the patients and whoever they grant access.
But to achieve all these, Nigerians must be willing to invest in digital technology.
In nutshell, technology is essential and Nigerians must innovate or die!
Speaking on what he termed “techpocalypse”, the Founder and CEO of X3M Ideas, Mr Steve Babaeko, said it has become imperative for Nigerians to innovate.
Giving his vote of thanks, the GMD of Investment One Financial Services Limited, Mr Nicholas Nyamali said the company is celebrating ten years of innovation and excellence. He also used the occasion to urge Nigerians to prepare for the future of tech.
The event was moderated by our very own Ugochukwu Obi-Chukwu, the Founder and Publisher of Nairametrics.
FG announces schedule for 4th evacuation flight from the USA
The evacuees will be expected to present an original COVID-19 negative test result not older than 14.
The Federal government has approved the fourth evacuation flight for Nigerians stranded in the United States of America for July 28.
According to a statement that was signed by the Consulate General of Nigeria, the Ethiopian Airline with flight number ET509 will depart Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey on Tuesday 28 July 2020 by 21:15hrs and arrive Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday 29 July 2020 by 13:25hrs.
“All prospective evacuees duly registered with any of the three Nigerian missions in the USA should purchase their one-way tickets at a cost of $1250 for economy class and $2800 for business class for adult/child fare including all taxes with the usual percentage reduction for infants under 2 years,” the statement read.
READ ALSO: FG acquires profiling robots for airport
In line with the earlier announced protocols from the Nigerian Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the evacuees will be expected to present an original COVID-19 negative test result not older than 14 days on the day of departure at the airport.
There will also be a temperature check at the airport, and any intending evacuee with a body temperature above 38°c or any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will not be allowed to check-in.
Evacuees are also required to wear a face mask as a matter of necessity and be in possession of hand sanitizer for intermittent use during the flight, while also adhering to the instructions of the
Furthermore, all returnees are enjoined to adhere strictly to all instructions of Port Health Services (PHS) officials and observe other entry screening protocols on arrival.
Notice on the FOURTH Evacuation Flight from the United States of America to Nigeria. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19Nigeria #COVID19 #PTFCOVID19 @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @USinNigeria @FMICNigeria pic.twitter.com/NFVWWDGgSx
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) July 10, 2020
Covid-19: British High Commission to resume visa application in Nigeria
Nigerians who want to visit the UK can do so as soon as international flight operations resume.
The British High Commission in Nigeria has announced plans to resume visa processing in the country. It revealed that it will soon begin receiving visa applications from Nigerians who want to travel to the United Kingdom (UK).
This was disclosed in a public statement by the British High Commission in Abuja on Thursday, July 9, 2020.
It said that Nigerians who want to visit the United Kingdom can do so as soon as the international flight operations resume in the country. The statement said:
“We know there are many Nigerian nationals hoping to be able to travel to the UK when flights resume, both for employment and to see family members.
“UKVI are working closely with TSL contact, our commercial partner, to reopen visa application centres that were suspended due to COVID-19. UK visa application centres are reopening in phased manner globally when it is safe to do so and when we can operate an effective service.
“TSL contact are putting appropriate measures in place and working hard to reopen in Nigeria. We will share details of when VACs will reopen soon,”
READ MORE: US to stop issuing visa for Birth Tourism
It can be recalled that the Federal Government had shut down the airports to both domestic and international flight operations in March as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Following the gradual resumption of domestic flight operations, Nigerians are expecting that international flight operations might be resuming soon.
Nigeria’s excess crude account falls to $72 million
Nigeria’s excess crude account has now fallen by a whopping 98% in just 5 years.
Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) now stands at $72 million as the country continues to grapple with an unprecedented revenue crisis not seen since the early eighties. The ECA account has now fallen by about 98% within the last 5 years.
The information on the excess crude account was revealed by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed in a National Economic Council Meeting during the week. The ECA is a savings account retained by the Federal Government and is funded by the difference between the market price of crude oil and the budgeted price of crude oil as contained in the appropriation bill.
There were major concerns last November when it was reported that the ECA balances held just $324.5 million one of the lowest balances recorded at the time. At $72 million the ECA is in low territory highlighting the effect of the fall in crude oil prices this year. Crude oil prices have crashed to sub-zero in March and have risen back o just over $40/barrel in recent weeks. However, it still remains low from Nigeria’s previous budget benchmark.
ECA in the news
About a year ago Nairametrics reported Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account has dropped to $480 million. This is as controversy continues to trail the $1 billion military spendings which were withdrawn from Nigeria’s Excess Crude. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s annual report for 2018, Nigeria’s crude excess account fell from $2.45 billion in 2017 to $480 million as of December 2018.
Just 5 years ago (August 2015) the ECA stood at $2.2 billion. This was the early days of the Buhari administration. It was $3.6 billion in February 2014, one of the highest balances on record. That same month, at its monthly FAAC, the government agreed to remove fuel subsidy from its books. Fuel subsidy is currently being borne by the NNPC.
The Controversies: Last year, the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari was accused of mismanaging the country’s Excess Crude Account especially the $1 billion reportedly spent on military equipment.
- The National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Major General Babagana Monguno Gen. Babagana was quoted to have disclosed that he was not aware of the whereabouts or disbursement of the $1billion drawn from the ECA by the Buhari presidency in 2017 for security purposes.
- While controversies trail the statement credited to the NSA, with many describing it as diversion of public funds, the Presidency provided some explanations.
- Responding to the allegations, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed that various procurements had been made for the purchase of critical equipment for the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, and the Air Force, contrary to the allegations.
Nigeria’s ECA in retrospect: In Nigeria, there are two Sovereign Wealth Funds: the Excess Crude Account and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). Note that these two are funded by the savings earned when oil prices are at peak.
- Hence, as a larger chunk of revenue is appropriated for ECA and NSIA, the country’s external reserves are likely to fall.
- Note that the sovereign wealth fund was established to address the controversies surrounding the Excess Crude Account.
- The fund is usually expected to generate revenue to meet budget shortfalls in the future, provide dedicated funding for the development of infrastructure and saves for future generations.
ECA depleted by 98% in 5 years: A closer look at the various annual reports of the Central Bank of Nigeria shows that Nigeria’s excess crude account has now fallen by a whopping 98% in just 5 years.