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Business News

Konga’s founder discloses how he paid N60 million debt that wasn’t his, to save Konga’s operation 

Sim Shagaya, former CEO Konga faked a heart attack when a Nigerian bank thought his company was owned by a Landlord who had defaulted on the bank’s loan. 

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Sim Shagaya, Konga founder

Have you ever had to repay a debt that you didn’t owe? Well, Sim Shagaya, the founder and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of e-commerce company, Konga, had to do so – and in the process, faked a heart attack – when a Nigerian bank thought his company was owned by a landlord who had defaulted on the loan he collected from the bank.

The debt issue occurred in 2014 after a misunderstanding involving a Nigerian bank, which he called ‘Starling’ (not real name). The bank had sent the police to shut down one of Konga’s distribution centres, thinking the landlord owned the online marketplace. According to Shagaya, Konga had some small short-term trading liabilities to suppliers but certainly didn’t owe any bank.

The landlord owned the property where the distribution centre was situated but not the online retail business. However, the bank was not convinced that Konga wasn’t the landlord’s. The bank moved to take over the property, causing over 100 warehouse workers to wander around the facility, clueless about what was going on, with Police officers stationed around the property.

[READ MORE: Konga opens new stores in Lagos, Abuja, Uyo, Rivers, Warri, others]

Sim Shagaya

Efforts to prove real owner of Konga

With the uncertainty surrounding the identity of the individual that owned Konga preventing business flow, the burden of proof was on Shagaya to prove ‘Starling’ or recovery officer wrong.

As orders kept pouring in but demands were not met due to the shutdown of the distribution centre, Shogaya, his lawyer and then COO of Konga, Shola Adekoya, had to present incorporation documents to prove Konga had no corporate affiliation with the landlord.

However, despite the submission of incorporation documents, the recovery firm said it still didn’t believe the landlord wasn’t the owner of Konga. Shagaya stated in his tweet that, “The firm informed us – Babajimi, Shola and I – that there was still belief that we did not own the business.” After this, Shagaya had to inform his board about the situation after initially resisting the thought to do so.

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Landlord from hell?

While the issue lasted for four days, the landlord was nowhere to be found. He had reportedly switched off his phone, so he couldn’t be reached, and he never reached out during the period either.

“Our landlord switched off his phones and took no calls,” Shagaya disclosed.

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How it was resolved

As the issue continued to drag and Shagaya began to consider shutting the Konga website down in order to stop the overwhelming orders they couldn’t fulfil. He called an emergency meeting with his board, and the resolution was to take down the Konga website if the debt issue wasn’t resolved in 48 hours.

He also began to make calls to persons that could be of help as regards the bank and the recovery firm. According to Shagaya, the then Minister for ICT, Omobola Johnson, as well as leaders of the banking community and senior lawyers were among those contacted to help resolve the issue and get the attention of ‘Starling’ Bank’s CEO, who told Shagaya he had never received “so many calls around any one issue” and promised that he would “look into it”.

Despite this, the issue still lingered, and in order not to disappoint customers any longer, the company began to meet demands from the headquarters rather than waiting for the distribution centre which was still under lock.

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Finally, a deal was sealed

After another round of calls, an agreement was finally reached with the bank and the recovery firm. Shagaya had to write a cheque for two years of additional rent in favour of the bank. The payment was over N60 million. However, after handing over the bank draft for payment to the recovery firm, Shagaya and Shola were informed that only the bank could order the police to vacate and open its distribution centre.

Shagaya and his team had to head to the bank to meet with the CEO. After waiting for 4 hours without seeing the CEO and having only 1 hour left to shut down the Konga website, Shagaya told his lawyer the only solution left was to fake a heart attack, and the lawyer was to support his ‘Oscar-rated performance’. Immediately Shagaya faked the heart attack, the bank management decided to meet with him.

[READ ALSO: Konga now offering merchants loan at 2.08% interest rates]

Sim Shagaya

What this means

You need to know people. Your contact as a businessperson determines your chances of overcoming certain issues. But apart from your contact list, a business person must be willing to drop his pride and become a drama king or queen to hasten certain processes.

The misunderstanding occurred because the bank had not conducted a proper know your customer before ordering the closure of the property in order to take over it. But because the bank held the key, ‘Starling’ threw caution to the wind.

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Reviews

Review of the V bank version 3.0: Nigeria’s first intelligent digital banking app

V Bank has upgraded its application to offer new services to its users and improve operational efficiency.

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Review of the V bank version 3.0: Nigeria's first intelligent Digital banking App

Nigeria’s fully digital bank, V Bank, a product of VFD microfinance bank Launched March 8, 2020, has upgraded its application to offer new services to its users and improve operational efficiency.

The new VBank app will enable users to securely access their accounts to automate recurring bills, manage multiple cards from different banks, send and receive funds using a unique QR code, track spending, generate virtual cards for online payments, buy airtime and data, fix deposits and make free transfers, all within a sleek, responsive and easy-to-use interface.

This review explains how to download and use the new V bank version 3.0 app. During the review, we took into consideration the design, user experience, usability, new features of the App, and how it functions well.

The device used for the review: Apple iPhone Xsmax

Getting started with V bank

These are the following information required for successfully registering as a user on the V bank app:

  • Sign Up by downloading the V bank app and creating your account
  • Input your BVN-linked phone number on the app and date of birth
  • Take a photo with a white background to Validate your identity
  • Verify your identity by inputting your BVN number on the app or use your existing bank account.
  • Finally, a signature for validation and a four-digit pin password.

What’s New on the V bank App?

The new app, version 3.0 comes with some new cool features that are rather unique. Let’s talk about all the new features and our experience while setting up and performing different transactions.

New V bank Interface

After you log in or sign up, the first thing you see is the V bank dashboard and it is pretty cool. The UI and interactions are super neat. The use of colours and components under the analytics section is simple and clean. This is perfect!!

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New V bank interface

Send and receive money using Proximity payments and QR payment features

V bank users can now send or receive money easily through the proximity or QR payment features. You can pay or receive money from a nearby V bank app user using the proximity payment feature. Click on the proximity payment icon and start searching for a nearby user to pay while receiving payment wait for the user to start searching.

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Recipients using the proximity payment feature must have their phones at close range.

 

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Another interesting way you can make a transfer easily is by scanning the QR code of the user receiving the payment.

To receive a payment, each user must generate a QR code which will be used to scan while making a transfer.

The QR payment feature is actually unique as it enables users to make or receive payments from near and far locations. The only requirement is to have the QR code to scan for payment.

QR Code

Intelligent Mobile Top-up feature

We always want to send airtime or data to people as a surprise and most times we have the mobile number but don’t know the network provider. The new V bank app comes with an intelligent mobile top-up feature that detects each network provider automatically with just the phone number. You don’t need to call the recipient asking for his network provider, the app does that for you.

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Cardless Withdrawal

It is not always convenient and secure to carry a wallet or purse with ATM cards. You can make a careless withdrawal without your ATM cards using the V bank app by generating a code. The app also helps you in locating the nearest ATM locations for your careless withdrawal. This feature is convenient and more secure.

Transfer funds to multiple recipients at once

Imagine how tired Don Jazzy will feel after paying each follower that won his giveaway separately. It actually is exhausting but the V bank eliminates that stress with the new multiple beneficiary feature. You can send money with just one transaction to up to 5 people.

Multiple transfer feature

Track your spending

The Analytics dashboard shows a beautiful interface with total inflow (payment made) and total outflow (Amount withdraw or debited). This gives you a clear pictorial overview of your income and expenses.

app

Under categories, users can track their spending such as online/POS, utility, mobile, family. work, lifestyle, food, utility, transport, and more on a monthly basis. This feature enables you to Identify bad spending habits and make adjustments to improve your finances.

Overview of income flow, expenses, and budget

Manage Multiple cards from different accounts

One of the App’s latest features is managing multiple cards from different accounts.

We requested a new virtual card which cost 500 Naira ($1) for a new one and it expires in three years. You can also request and activate V bank physical card using the app. The new feature enables users to add ATM cards from different bank accounts on the app and all the debit cards can be managed using the V bank app under the cards section.

Managing your cards section

Automate Recurring Transactions

The new feature allows users to automate recurring transactions weekly, monthly, or on a yearly basis depending on the type of service requested. You can easily schedule payment for your DSTV bill on a monthly basis.

Other features you would be interested in

  • Make free transfers i.e there are no hidden transfer/ transaction fees.
  • You can open a target savings account, fixed deposit account, or a joint account using the V bank App.
  • Request a loan
  • Chat with a customer care representative using the app
  • Earn money when you invite your friends
  • Become a Veelager and earn profit

Final thoughts

The new version of V bank is well designed for both new and existing users of digital banking. The app enables users to easily navigate and perform seamless transactions. The design interface and user experience make it a great option for anyone looking for a perfect digital bank.

With the rise of technology, everything is possible with just a few clicks on the mobile phone. In the next version, we expect to see a voice-activated virtual assistant feature on the app.

The new V bank 3.0 app comes with innovative and sophisticated digital banking features which will help V bank users manage their money effectively, spend wisely and perform transactions easily with guaranteed security.

VBank 3.0 is available as V by VFD on the Play Store and Apple store. For more information, visit vbank.ng

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Business

CBN includes sugar, wheat on FX restriction list

The CBN is set to include sugar and wheat in the forex restriction list.

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CBN forex restrictions on food itemsCBN approves new cheque standard for banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans to place sugar and wheat on its FX restriction list.

The plan was disclosed by the apex bank via its verified Twitter handle in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The tweet stated: “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”

It would be recalled that over the years, the CBN has been reviewing its list of restricted food items to include more items, with the most recent being the addition of maize, a widely-consumed staple food in the country.

What you should know

  • The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had earlier (on Thursday) given this hint while on an inspection visit to the proposed $500 million sugar processing facility in Nasarawa state, belonging to Dangote Sugar.
  • In 2015, the CBN listed 41 items that had been placed on its FX restriction list citing that the move was necessary to conserve the nation’s foreign reserve and boost local production of the items on the restriction list.
  • Some of the items which made the 2015 list are margarine, poultry and eggs, rice, and cement.
  • In 2020, the apex bank included maize in its FX restriction list as it directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.
  • Nairametrics had also earlier explained in its publication following the new policy shift, that the government’s premise for deciding to restrict FOREX on food is faulty, especially since Nigeria has not attained full food security and the agricultural sector is still struggling.

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