There is an ongoing debate on Twitter on whether sports betting is truly a sustainable business model or simply a means some young entrepreneurs are using to eat down on the income of many young Nigerians.
The arguments against: A Nigerian financial expert, Kalu Aja, opined that all forms of betting are addictive and for this reason, it falls under the category of gambling.
He advised that people should not be hooked onto it, as it is a tax on the poor. He further buttressed his point by quoting research findings by the American Psychiatric Association which said,
“Pathological gambling as an impulse-control disorder and that pathological gamblers and drug addicts share many of the same genetic predispositions for impulsivity and reward seeking.”
Advice for sport betting entrepreneurs: Another Nigerian entrepreneur, Tayo Oyedeji, urged Nigerian entrepreneurs to come up with inventions that won’t destroy the youths. According to him, entrepreneurs should build “business models that don’t destroy people’s lives” while it enriches them. He stressed that sports betting is destroying the lives of many in Africa.
Please build business models that don't destroy people's lives while making money for you.
Sports betting is literally destroying communities across Africa. https://t.co/6QtimnMpH1
— Dr. Tayo Oyedeji (@tayooye) July 6, 2019
Another Twitter user named Sam Hart recounted how when he was working on a project in his village and noticed that many young people were not interested in the daily job but rather were more fascinated with how they could bet their money for a quick increase. According to him, sports betting as a means of getting rich, is a scourge in Nigeria.
Sports Betting as a means of getting rich is a scourge in Nigeria.
Working on a project in my village & all the young men were not interested in the daily grind. What do they do with their time? Sports betting. All day everyday.
— Sam Hart (@hartng) July 5, 2019
People’s reactions: Different opinions have made the rounds online as many are either for or against the idea of boycotting sports betting. Many disagreed on the notion that the act is a tax on the poor, as they defended it by arguing the rich people also partake in the betting.
I’ve never gambled(sports betting included) neither do i endorse/encourage it, but i don’t see sports betting as a ‘tax on the poor’. They made a choice to bet & can still choose to stop. Most don’t choose to pay taxes willfully but have no choice. Besides, the rich bet too!
— Chuks Chikezie (@ChuksChikezie) July 7, 2019
Should sports betting company owners be worried? Online sports betting is no longer a new thing in Nigeria, as each day sees the emergence of a new brand. One of the main reasons the business is flourishing is because of Nigerians’ love for football.
According to an earlier report by Nairametrics, roughly 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 are involved in active sports betting. Almost N2 billion is spent on sports betting daily in Nigeria. This translates to nearly N730 billion in a year.
The industry keeps thriving because there is a population for it, including the high rate of unemployment, which had made many youths resort to quick ways of making money. Based on the foregoing, it is safe to say that there is really no reason for sports betting companies to be worried.
How it benefits the economy: They are many benefits of a legal sports betting. It can increase state revenue in the form of taxes and other levies paid to the government. Taxes from sports betting in Lagos State, for example, rose from 30 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2017. It will also generate more job opportunities in existing casinos (oddsmakers, analysts, security, cashiers, etc.).
[READ FURTHER: Economics of $2 billion Sports Betting Industry in Nigeria]
3 startups to get N3 million grant each in the COVID-19 virtual hackathon
The hackathon hopes to identify accessible and cost-effective E-Learning solutions for public schools.
The Nigerian Communications Commission has announced that 3 finalist startups will get a grant of N3 million each at the end of the COVID-19 virtual hackathon.
These three startups will be selected from submitted entries that meet all the criteria and provide adaptable digital solutions for addressing the present and future impacts of pandemic and epidemic diseases.
The solutions must be novel, clearly explained, with proof of concept
NCC announced this through a statement published on its Twitter handle.
The grant, it said, will enable the three startups with the most promising digital solutions to produce a prototype within 2 months of receipt.
According to the statement, submitted entries are expected to provide solutions in sectors such as health, digital communications, education, transportation.
For those in health, the solutions should find a way to empower frontline healthcare workers or prevent, trace, and contain the spread in Nigeria.
Solutions in digital communications are expected to aid the sustenance of economic activities and people-to-people communication while encouraging social distancing without compromising productivity.
The hackathon also hopes to identify accessible and cost-effective E-Learning solutions for public schools, as well as improved safety measures in public transportation in Nigeria.
Interested tech hubs, startups and innovative digital SMEs can still submit entries on or before July 17, 2020.
CBN expands scope of regional banks in Nigeria, gives compliance timeframe
The aim of this directive is to expand the reach of the regional banks across the country, the CBN said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expanded the scope of regional banks in the country, by requiring them to open branches in at least one additional geopolitical zone outside of the existing geopolitical zones where their operating licenses cover.
A circular that was issued earlier this week by the apex bank said this new directive is in accordance with “section 8 (g) of the CBN Scope, Conditions & Minimum Standards for Commercial Banks Regulations no  2010 as revised on September 4, 2019.”
The new directive took effect on Friday, June 26, 2020. In other words, all the regional banks are expected to have become aware of this development since then. They now have a timeframe of six months to establish their presence in the geopolitical zones outside of where they currently operate.
It should be noted that prior to this time, regional banks in the country typically operated in at least two geopolitical zones of the federation. However, in line with the new expansion, the CBN shall now prescribe an additional geopolitical zone for each of these regional banks, thereby making the coverage area three geopolitical zones per regional bank.
Meanwhile, the CBN said the aim of this directive is to expand the reach of the regional banks across the country, whilst ultimately promoting financial inclusion. Note also that the new directive affects all regional banks, both the ones engaged in commercial banking and non-interest banking. Some part of the circular said:
“Effective the date of this circular, all banks with regional authorisation shall be required to operate from one additional geopolitical zone as may be prescribed for each institution by the CBN, without prejudice to the existing requirement of the minimum of two (2) geopolitical zones of the federation. The essence is to promote spread and balance of the regional banks across the country.
“The compliance timeline to establish operational footprint at the advised zone shall not exceed six (6) months from the issuance of the regulatory advice to each regional bank by the CBN.”
Nigerian and US Authorities battle former Enron Nigerian Subsidiary over $80 million Yacht
Both Nigerian and American governments have opposed Enron Nigeria’s appeal.
19 years after the bankruptcy of Enron Corporation, one of the biggest corporate bankruptcies in American history, a former subsidiary of the company is battling Nigerian and American Authorities over the sale of a yacht valued at over $80 million acquired by Nigerian businessman Kolawole Aluko.
The yacht was seized by the US Government in 2018 after prosecutors say it was bought with the proceeds of bribes paid to Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison–Madueke.
The yacht was later auctioned for $37 million in 2019. The Nigerian government also dropped claims to the proceeds of the sale recently and a Texas Court ordered all proceeds should be retained by the US Government.
However, a former unit of the Bankrupt Enron, Enron Nigeria Power Holdings claims it’s entitled to the proceeds and demands $22 million in a bid to get an arbitration awarded to them against the Nigerian government for suspending a contract signed with Enron in 1999 to build and operate a Power plant.
Enron Nigeria claims the Nigerian government dropped claims to the proceeds of the yacht’s auction in an attempt to fraudulently transfer assets to stop creditors from accessing them. Saying Nigeria dropping its claims was “a recognition of the factual and legal basis” in a DOJ court filing.
Both Nigerian and American governments have opposed Enron Nigeria’s appeal.
Enron Nigeria Power Holdings Ltd is owned by ex-Enron staff involved in the negotiations for the Power Plant contract in Nigeria and was bought out of bankruptcy for $750,000 in 2004 by a Cayman Islands registered company.
An arbitration ruling in 2012 awarded Enron Nigeria Power Holdings $11.2 million including interest in damages against the Nigerian government.
The DOJ says Mr. Aluko bought the yacht for $82 million in 2013 and funded a lavish lifestyle for Alison Madueke in exchange for NNPC contracts valued at over $1.5 billion.
Aluko and his business partner, Olajide Omokore are also accused of laundering illicit revenues into and through the United States