Gerocare, E-Estate and SimbiBot, technology startups, has proffered solutions to the challenges facing health, property and automotive sectors of the Nigerian economy at Itanna, Honeywell Group’s venture capital programme organised for African startups.
Prior to the second edition of the event, the three tech startups, who showcased their solutions designed to tame the problems facing the trio sectors, were selected from over 200 applications from innovative founders.
Applications were received from eight African countries in need of capital investment and the much-needed brand-backing from Honeywell Group, which has been in operation for nearly 50 years.
The acceleration programme was held for four months at Itanna Enterprise Factory in Lagos. Tech startups that participated and made it to the Demo Day (day of pitching and exhibition) got capital investment as well as advisory services from industry experts and mentorship from established tech entrepreneurs.
Startups solving real problems
This year’s finalists were four and were from different sectors of the economy. They were on a quest to end the traditional method still being applied by Nigerians in their daily activities.
Gerocare is a tech health-startup established to take care of the medical needs of senior citizens (elderly) in Nigeria. It was founded by Dr Ebinosa Ofrey, Bruce Lucas and Ajibola Meraiybu in 2017.
It was co-founded by Hassan Tobiloba, Salako Segun and Ejinne Ogbuo in 2017. It is a tech startup operating in the real estate business. It provides electronic estate management service to gated communities and residential estates.
It is an education tech startup looking to transform the archaic method of learning in Nigeria’s educational system. In 2017, the startup was founded by Abdulazeez Ogunjobi and Sodeeq Elusoji.
Carido is an automotive tech startup connecting automobile owners with verified automobile service pro riders close to them. The startup was founded by Juatus Obaoye and Abdullateef Ololade in 2017. Carido didn’t pitch its tech solution at the Demo Day.
Speaking about the event and the essence of Itanna acceleration programme, Tomi Otudeko, Director at Itanna and Head of Innovation and Sustainability for Honeywell Group, told Nairametrics that, “The event was a demo day for our second acceleration programme. We’ve had two acceleration programmes in Itanna.
“This was a Demo Day to showcase three of the companies that are in our acceleration programme, the work they do and to present them to the world.
“I’m truly impressed by the companies. I’m excited by the product and services they offer. I’m quite excited that they are solving real problems and I believe that they will do amazing things.”
What’s the big deal about Itanna?
In an interview with two of the startups that presented at the Demo Day, Nairametrics was told that the investment wasn’t the motivating factor, rather, it was the value the Honeywell brand would have on their portfolio.
According to Ogunjobi of SimbiBot, “We applied to Itanna because we needed an acceleration programme and after looking around, we saw the value we could get from Itanna knowing fully well that it’s an extension of Honeywell and Honeywell is a giant company in Africa.
“And I also heard it’s (Honeywell) passionate about education, so those are things we factored in before applying. And on getting the application and the interview stage, we also saw the value we also get from the mentors and their network which made us so particular about this acceleration.”
Also speaking about the reason for applying, Lucas, the Chief Technical Officer of GeroCare said, “We did a due analysis of what we needed to grow, and most of the things we needed to grow was not funds at that time because we had funds from venture platforms but lack the right network, which Itanna provides.”
NNPC spends N535.9 billion on subsidy, FAAC in Q1 2020
Petrol subsidy gulped N101.65bn in the first three months of the year.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation spent over N535.9 billion on subsidy and Federation Account Allocation Committee in the first quarter of 2020.
This was disclosed by the corporation in its Monthly Financial and Operations March 2020 report.
The report revealed that while the petrol subsidy gulped N101.65bn in the first three months of the year, the sum of N434.25 billion was paid to FAAC within the same period.
The national oil firm described the subsidy spending as under-recovery. This means that Nigeria is incurring an additional cost in subsidizing the price of petrol to make sure it falls within the regulated price of N143.80 per litre, even though the real market price is above this regulated rate.
It had consistently argued that only the National Assembly was empowered to approve petrol subsidy, despite the fact that NNPC’s monthly under-recoveries were due to subsidy on petrol.
According to the report, while the corporation spent N43.31bn as subsidy on petrol in January 2020, in February, it incurred N20.68bn as under-recovery, and N37.66 billion in March as subsidy.
However, subsidy was halted in March 2020 by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency after the crash in global crude oil prices.
The development, according to the PPPRA, led to the end of petrol subsidy, as the agency stated that petrol price would be adjusted in accordance to global oil prices.
The PPPRA has adjusted petrol price about three times since after the first adjustment in March this year.
The NNPC report further stated that the corporation paid N434.25bn to the Federation Account Allocation Committee during the quarter under review.
It stated that in January, a total of N138.57bn was remitted to FAAC, while the committee received N148.53bn from the corporation in February 2020.
The NNPC said it paid N147.15bn to FAAC in March this year.
CBN adds Maize importation to “41 banned list”
Dealers are to return their forms on or before Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country. This directive is contained in a notice that was addressed to authorised dealers and signed by Dr O.S Nnaji, CBN’s Director in charge of Trade and Exchange Department.
In the notice which was made available to the public earlier today, the CBN noted four main reasons for the directive to discontinue maize importation, The reasons are:
- To increase local production
- To stimulate a rapid economic recovery
- To safeguard rural livelihoods
- To increase jobs
In line with this development, all the authorised dealers have been told to return all the Forms M they have already registered for the purpose of importing maize. They are to return the forms on or before Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The notice by the CBN said:
“As part of efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods, and increase jobs which were lost as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Authorised Dealers are hereby directed to discontinue the processing of Forms M for the importation of Maize/Corn with immediate effect.
“Accordingly, all Authorised Dealers are hereby requested to submit the list of Forms M already registered for the importation of Maize/Corn using the attached format on or before the close of business on Wednesday July 15, 2020. Please ensure strict compliance.”
You may see a copy of the CBN notice along with ‘the attached format’ by clicking here.
4.48 million beneficiaries apply for N-Power jobs in 16 days
The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development announced on Twitter.
The Federal Government have announced that it has received 4.48 million applications from beneficiaries for the Batch C of its N-Power programme within 16 days.
The N-Power 2020 recruitment portal which opened on Friday, June 26, 2020, at 11.45 pm is the third batch of the programme
This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, on her official Twitter handle on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
The Minister in the tweet post said, ‘’My team and I continue to interface with stakeholders to ensure a successful transition for the N-Power programme. It has been 16 days since the portal opened and we have received 4.48 million applications to date.’’
According to the ministry, the batch C of the N-Power National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), will only absorb 400,000 applicants at the end of the recruitment exercise.
Nairametrics had over 2 weeks ago, reported the opening of fresh online application portal for the batch C of the N-Power Programme. It was reported that those that applied before the due date and time set for opening of the portal, will have it declared null and void. They also said that all the processes involved in the application are free and as such, applicants do not have to pay anybody.
It was also reported that upon the opening of the portal, the ministry received over 1 million applications across the country within a period of 48 hours. While playing down the initial fear of the portal being compromised, the ministry also assured that it was secured, with all data safe.
My team and I continue to interface with stakeholders to ensure a successful transition for the @npower_ng. It has been 16 days since the portal opened and we have received 4.48 million applications to date.
— Sadiya Umar Farouq (@Sadiya_farouq) July 12, 2020