The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved a super-agent licence to another financial technology company (fintech), Itex Integrated Services Limited. The company now has the CBN’s backing to operate in the financial sector and recruit agents to carry out financial services.
The Super Agent license will enable Itex to provide basic financial services such as account opening, BVN capture, funds transfer, cash withdrawals, bill payments to the unbanked, and others.
Speaking on the development, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Itex Integrated Services Limited, Mr Ernest Uduje, expressed his enthusiasm at the full approval the company received to be a super agent.
“We are indeed happy to have qualified for this licence. Our primary goal is to provide ease of financial services and transactions for our customers, including those in the rural areas. This licence gives us an opportunity to provide these services on an even larger scale, thus providing financial empowerment to the unbanked and under-banked.”
What you should know: The super-agent licence is part of CBN’s efforts to deepen financial inclusion in the country and reduce the financial exclusion rate to 20% by 2020. The policy, which was made by CBN in 2015, is called the Licensing Framework for Super Agents.
The aim is to encourage other infrastructure providers and operators, including telcos, to provide shared agent network services. This is expected to rapidly expand financial inclusion and extend digital financial services across the country.
Under this CBN’s regulatory framework, super agents are responsible for monitoring and supervising the activities of agents, including the volume and value of transactions for each type of service they offer.
The framework also states that the volume and value of transactions should be made available to the principal financial institutions, which monitor compliance with the set limits, establish other prudential measures, and take actions such as on-site visits to ensure agents are strictly complying with the requirements of the law, guidelines and contract.
WHO says people with NCDs more vulnerable to severe COVID-19, lists how to prevent it
WHO reveals people with pre-existing Non-Communicable Diseases are more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that people with pre-existing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the coronavirus disease.
This was disclosed in a statement by the UN health agency on its twitter handle on Thursday, September 24, 2020.
The WHO, in its statement, listed some of those Non-Communicable Diseases to include:
- Cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, persons who have had and are at risk for a heart attack or stroke
- Chronic respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a chronic inflammatory living disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs
The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, disclosed that the coronavirus outbreak has shown why action on NCDs is important. He acknowledged that people with non-communicable diseases are especially at risk, which is made worse by disruptions to essential services.
He said, “The risk has been compounded by disruptions to essential services including diagnosis and treatment of cancer and diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.”
He pointed out that the health services gaps are not just in treatment and care, as he said all nations still have much more to do to prevent NCDs. He said that too many people are dying from preventable diseases that are mostly preventable.
The WHO boss revealed that to prevent and control these non-communicable diseases, one has to stop tobacco use, reduce the use of alcohol, cut salt intake, consume less sugar, increase physical activity, eliminate industrial trans-fats, and treat high blood pressure.
He said that all these interventions are part of WHO’s best buys in a set of 16 most attractive ways to save lives and save money.
#DYK: People with pre-existing Non-communicable diseases appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severally ill with the #COVD19 disease.#WashYourHands #WearFaceMask#PhysicalDistancing pic.twitter.com/fRvxQAlFSU
— WHO Nigeria (@WHONigeria) September 24, 2020
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) September 24, 2020
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 24th of September 2020, 125 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 57,849 confirmed cases.
On the 24th of September 2020, 125 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 10,526 samples across the country.
To date, 57,849 cases have been confirmed, 49,098 cases have been discharged and 1,102 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 494,577 tests have been carried out as of September 24th, 2020 compared to 484,051 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 57,849
- Total Number Discharged – 49,098
- Total Deaths – 1,102
- Total Tests Carried out – 494,577
According to the NCDC, the 125 new cases were reported from 13 states- Lagos (37), Plateau (18), FCT (17), Ogun (15), Rivers (10), Benue (7), Kaduna (7), Anambra (5), Oyo (3), Cross River (2), Ondo (2), Edo (1), Imo (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,123, followed by Abuja (5,615), Plateau (3,322), Oyo (3,239), Edo (2,617), Kaduna (2,384), Rivers (2,287), Delta (1,800), Ogun (1,789), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,608), Enugu (1,285), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,028), Abia (881), Gombe (857). Katsina (848), Osun (818), Borno (741), and Bauchi (692).
Imo State has recorded 566 cases, Benue (480), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (397), Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (237), Anambra (234), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
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, Nigeria’s 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.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
UK moves to seize $39 million from Ibori’s lawyer over role in former Governor’s case
The lawyer who was convicted alongside Ibori may lose his financial asset to the British government.
British prosecutors have moved to seize about $39.3 million (30.8 million pounds) from a London lawyer, who helped former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, in looting and laundering illegal funds from the oil-rich state.
The British lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, following his conviction in 2010 on 13 counts of money-laundering, and other offenses, over his role in the fraud and money laundering case of James Ibori, who was the former governor of Delta State, from 1999 to 2007.
It can be recalled that the former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, was extradited to the United Kingdom from the United Arab Emirates in 2011, and subsequently got convicted on 10 counts of fraud and money laundering. He was handed a 13-year jail term.
Gohil, who was then a partner at a firm in the London district of Mayfair, helped Ibori siphon these stolen funds, through shell companies and offshore accounts. He bought assets such as an English country house and a $20 million private jet. However, the police authorities caught up with the men before the jet was delivered.
The lawyer was also said to have masterminded a fraud, in which $37 million in fake consultancy fees was stolen from two Nigerian states, in connection with the sale of their stakes in a telecoms company in the country.
The outcome of the case was hailed in Britain and described as a victory for the fight against corruption, while also pledging to return stolen funds to the Nigerian government.
However, the confiscation proceedings against the two culprits have dragged on for almost 10 years, and repeatedly delayed by appeals and complications.
In Ibori’s case, the hearing took place at London’s Southwark Crown Court in January, and prosecutors asked the court to make a confiscation order of 117.7 million pounds against Ibori. The judge has yet to hand down his decision.
A hearing on Gohil’s case is ongoing at the same court. Lead prosecution counsel, Jonathan Kinnear, on Thursday began setting out the details of what he said was Gohil’s criminal benefit. He will have a chance later in the hearing to call witnesses, and give evidence to dispute the prosecution case.