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Blockchain could disrupt many sectors in Nigeria

Nigeria is particularly a special country when it comes to technological innovation.

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Blockchain

While many governments and legacy financial institutions have generally been reluctant to embrace blockchain and cryptocurrencies in general, there have been a lot of innovation going on in this space.

Nigeria is particularly a special country when it comes to technological innovation, she often lags behind most countries.

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We already have an idea of how blockchain can revolutionise finance & investing, we’ll explore some of the other sectors that can be disrupted by this innovative technology.

Healthcare

While the issues with healthcare in Nigeria has been extensively reported, a low hanging fruit that could be solved by blockchain is the access to medical records. Think of how many times you’ve had to go to a new hospital and gotten a wrong diagnosis, because the hospital wouldn’t do all the necessary tests, or have access to your medical records. It is a very well known fact that access to medical records helps with diagnosis. While electronic medical records could be kept, some patients have an issue with confidentiality. This can be solved with a private blockchain that allows all doctors and healthcare providers to access your health records securely and easily. Additionally, your health information could be accessed immediately, at any time, potentially offering doctors lifesaving information in an emergency.

Real Estate

One of the major issues that plague the real estate industry in Nigeria is the “Omo onile” problem.

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The current process of obtaining land titles is full of so many bottlenecks and even after paying through your nose and spending all the time, you could still end up being duped, or harassed by the family of the former landowner, or just anybody who decides to take interest in it. All of these could probably be solved by blockchain. As with BVN, making it mandatory for all real estate in the country to be registered on a blockchain maintained by the government, would ensure that the transfer of ownership is seamless and secure. This would reduce land disputes, excessive costs of registrations and the time taken for the process. If done properly, we would have a case where a Nigerian in diaspora would be able to buy a piece of land without having to be physically present, or through a relative or friend.

Elections

It’s election season again in Nigeria and many are plagued with the same question. “Do our votes really count?”. There are hardly any elections held in Nigeria without dispute of the results, as the general public (including the contestants) don’t trust our electoral system.

I dare say that blockchain could enhance this process and increase reliability and security. Using blockchain technology, voting processes can improve everything from registration to vote counting. Best of all, the fact that blockchain’s distributed ledgers are publicly accessible and immutable means that it would increase transparency in the process.

Public Contracts

The issue of corruption in the award and execution of public contracts is a well-known issue in Nigeria. States like Lagos are known to notoriously have a very opaque contracting process. This can be disrupted using blockchain technology. From the bidding stage, smarts contracts can be developed to qualify some of the applicants at an early stage, other stages of the process to the award of the contract, the financials behind it and all the procurements that will occur during the contract can be recorded with proof on the blockchain. This will make the process transparent and trusted. With the use of blockchain, we can expect a more speedy and cheaper implementation with public contracts.

Insurance

One of the several reasons Nigerians don’t trust insurance is the difficulty of making claims. Insurance companies in Nigeria always seem like they have no intention to pay on claims made. Blockchain can also make this process easy. The first use case is Agro-insurance. Where the rainfall data, sunshine data and other conditions that are being universally recorded exists. A farmer can insure his yield against drought, such that a smart contract can preset the amount of rainfall that would be termed as good, if less, pay the farmer seamlessly.

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Another use case is travel insurance. All international flights (Departure & arrival times) are recorded in real time. Where a passenger insures against lateness, once the smart contract detects lateness past the latest time, as per the insurance, the smart contract can instantly pay you without having to make a claim.

Patricia

With the advent of IoT and Blockchain, we might soon be able to use smart contracts for Auto-Insurance.

Identity Management

This is another area in Nigeria that needs the intervention of blockchain. There are several reported cases of people with different dates of birth and names on different identity documents. It is also very difficult for people to get existing government identities. The advent of BVN (Bank Verification Number) has helped in some way, however, some gaps still remain as BVN as yet to take its place as the central source of truth for all identity management.
An identity management can be built on blockchain, such that every new infant can be registered from birth, with a record being stored, all subsequent information such as picture updates, biometric data or name change in the future can be further updated on the profile of that person. This can replace the existing systems, such that opening of bank accounts, registration for international passports, even voter registration and every other thing that requires identity could be done on the blockchain.

There are countless other sectors that could benefit from blockchain integration. What opportunity do you see for blockchain to disrupt and improve your industry?


This article is in partnership with Quidax. Quidax is a European based digital assets exchange with a focus on Africa. We provide a seamless platform for users to send, receive, buy and sell cryptocurrencies using their local currencies.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 5th of June 2020, 328 new confirmed cases and 10 deaths were recorded in Nigeria bringing the total confirmed cases recorded in the country to 11,844.

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COVID-19: FCMB reschedule operations

The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to rise as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 11,844 confirmed cases.

On the 5th of June 2020, 328 new confirmed cases and 10 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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To date, 11844 cases have been confirmed, 3696 cases have been discharged and 333 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory having carried out 73,064 tests.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 5th June 2020

  • Total Number of Cases – 11,844
  • Total Number Discharged – 3,696
  • Total Deaths – 333
  • Total Tests Carried out – 73,064

The 328 new cases were reported from 14 states- Lagos (121), FCT (70), Bauchi (25), Rivers (18), Oyo (16), Kaduna (15), Gombe (14), Edo (13), Ogun (13), Jigawa (8), Enugu (6), Kano (5), Osun (2), Ondo (2).

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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The latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 5663, followed by Kano (985), Abuja at 862, Katsina (385), Edo (364), Kaduna (335), Oyo (334), Ogun (329), Borno (322), Rivers (308), Jigawa (282),  Bauchi (281),  Gombe (184), Kwara (127).

Delta State has recorded 116  cases, Sokoto (115), Plateau (113), Nasarawa (90), Ebonyi (80), Zamfara (76),  Yobe (52), Osun (49), Imo (47), Akwa Ibom (45), Adamawa (42), Niger (41), Ondo (38),  Kebbi  (33), Bayelsa and Enugu (30), Ekiti (25), Taraba (18), Abia (15), Benue (13), Anambra (12), while Kogi state has recorded only 3 cases.

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

 

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

Patricia
DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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Companies

CBN debits banks another N459.7 billion for failure to meet CRR target

Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures.

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CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debited twenty-six banks, including merchant banks, to the tune of N459.7 billion for failure to meet their CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) obligations. The fresh debit, which Nairametrics reliably gathered occurred yesterday, has left many stakeholders in the banking sector very upset.

The details: Among the banks that were most affected are United Bank for Africa Plc (N82.3 billion), First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (N59.3), Zenith Bank Plc (N50 billion), First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited (N45 billion), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N40 billion). The rest of the affected banks can be seen in the table below.

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Note that the latest CRR debits are coming barely one month after a lot of banks were collectively debited to the tune of N1.4 trillion for the same reason in April. Between then and now, a lot of other minor CRR debits have occurred. Nairametrics understands that the apex bank now debits banks on a weekly basis.

Some backstory: During the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that was held last month, committee members voted to retain CRR rate at 27.5%. The rate was increased in January this year from 5% to its current level after the apex bank cited inflationary pressure concerns. What this means, therefore, is that Nigerian banks are required to keep 27.5% of their deposits as CRR with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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But banks are silently upset: Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures. While reacting to the latest development, a banker who refused to be identified, said:

“What we’ve seen in recent times is that the CBN just indiscriminately debits banks, usually towards the stale-end of every week. They will look at your bank account and if your liquidity is plenty, they will debit you.

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“You know the central bank also does what we call retail FX intervention, that is when they sell FX to corporates. Now, because they don’t want banks coming with huge demands, what they do is that a day before the FX sales, they debit the banks so that the naira you have available is small and you cannot put them under pressure because of your FX demands. That has really been the driver.

READ ALSO: Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar

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“We understand that the central bank had set up a special CRR team that is supposed to monitor banks’ CRR once a month. But now, the team monitors banks’ CRR on a weekly basis. This is why the central bank is effectively debiting banks on a weekly basis. Some weeks ago, they debited some banks about N1.4 trillion. That was one of many. Between that time and now, there have been more debits that have happened. But the debits that are huge/significant are what is troubling the banks. There was a N300 billion that happened about two weeks ago. and then yesterday that was this N459.7 billion that was also debited.

Patricia

“These are huge amounts that are leaving the banking sector. It’s a squeeze on the banks. A bank like First Bank, for instance, has about N1.4 trillion in CRR with the Central Bank. And there is Zenith Bank with equally as much as N1.5 trillion. These are monies that banks can potentially put in loans at 52% at 30%, or even put in money market instruments at maybe 10%. So, for a shareholder of these banks, this CRR debits are impairing the banks’ ability to increase their earnings because now are not able to use the funds that are legitimately theirs to create money for their shareholders. And the question is that under what framework is the Central Bank choosing to take people’s money?”

Understanding CRR: The cash reserve requirement is the minimum amount banks are expected to retain with the Central Bank of Nigeria from customer deposits. In January, the CRR was increased from 5% to 27.5%  by the CBN Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who explained that the decision was intended to address monetary-induced inflation whilst retaining the benefits from the CBN’s LDR policy.

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Business News

Precious metals slump, investors focus on Central Bank’s intervention

Gold fell on Friday morning to $1,717.10. as global investors await the release of Friday’s U.S non-farm payrolls data for May

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Nigeria Mining Sector shows growth prospect despite low bank credit provision, Gold hits eight-year high as global recession sentiments strengthened, Gold hits three weeks high, Investors rush to gold, Gold Future Drops to $1727.80 as Tensions Escalate between America and China, Precious metals slump, investors focus on Central Bank’s intervention

Spot gold went slightly lower, trading at $1,711.57 per ounce by 4 am local time on Friday morning and gold futures was down to $1,717.10.

Gold collapsed like a house of cards as investors overlooked civil unrest in the United States and heavily focused on hopes around central bank intervention and economic recovery,” said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM.

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READ MORE: Why the NNPC wants $5 billion advance payments for Nigeria’s crude

Gold fall on Friday morning also came as global investors await the release of Friday’s U.S (United States.) non-farm payrolls data for May, scheduled to be released at 1.30 pm Nigerian local time.

“There are quite a few market participants still bargain-hunting gold given the fundamental backdrop of the coronavirus crisis and ongoing recession,” Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said.

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(READ MORE: Gold prices surge by 17.4% in 2 months due to global economic crisis)

However, investors are still waiting to see whether the easing of restrictions will lead to a second wave of infections, supporting demand for gold, Menke added.

Gold, Gold prices tick up as President Trump decides on China today, Gold Prices Surges, Protests Erupts In America, Precious metals slump, investors focus on Central Bank’s intervention

What you need to know about Precious metals: Precious metals include gold, silver, and platinum. Gold and silver are the most popular metals, and have been used by jewelers, and as wealth status symbols since ancient times. Global investors use precious metals to hedge against inflation.

READ ALSO: Global oil market to re-balance in 2 months’ time

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Meanwhile, palladium gained 0.34% to $1,947 an ounce, while platinum lost 0.31% to $833.91. Silver was down 0.63% to $17.9 4am local time, having hit a more than three-month high of $18.36 on Monday. 

Patricia

“Some people are buying silver just because it’s much cheaper than gold (or) platinum,” a trader from Tokyo-based retailer Tokuriki Honten said.

 

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