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Bitcoin users rise in Nigeria despite Senate, CBN campaign against it 

The use of Bitcoin is rising in Nigeria despite the warnings given by the Nigerian Senate and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against it.

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Bitcoin users rise in Nigeria despite Senate, CBN campaign against it, Answering the big Bitcoin question - buy, sell or hold?, Bitcoin hits a 12-month low, Bitcoin price under pressure, stays under $7000, How to protect your bitcoin from hackers, Bitcoin Whales Gathering More Bitcoins, Waiting For the Bullish Run, Bitcoin is scarce, entities, individuals hold for long term

The use of Bitcoin is rising in Nigeria despite the warnings given by the Nigerian Senate and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against it. According to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency is penetrating Nigeria regardless of the risk involved.

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria said 41% of new users in bitcoins were reportedly from Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. The use of bitcoins has continued to grow worldwide irrespective of the dangers of insecurity of funds and scams.

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Campaign against Bitcoin futile: In 2018, CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) were all directed by the Senate to enlighten Nigerians on the risks involved in trading with Bitcoins, but this report shows the enlightenment campaign has done little or nothing to dissuade Nigerians.

A pile of bitcoins

Bitcoin is described as a volatile currency because it is operated mostly without regulations in place, thereby, creating loopholes for users to be defrauded. So, it is no surprise that the CBN didn’t recognise it as a legal tender. The CBN identifies naira as the sole legal tender to trade.

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But not recognising Bitcoin as a currency for trade hasn’t stopped Nigerians, as consumer behaviour has gradually changed.

“There are concerns on the use of other digital currency which is currently changing the global payment ecosystem.” The report on ‘Legal issues in eCommerce,’ said, adding that, “It was stated that in 2018, 41 per cent of new users in bitcoins, a cryptocurrency, hailed from Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.”

[READ MORE: Cryptocurrency: Discern investors’ goldmine]

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Bitcoin spread can’t be stopped: The growth recorded among users in Nigeria is a pointer that the use of Bitcoin can’t be stopped. However, the CBN can curtail the activities of operators by regulating the cryptocurrency market.

Senior Partner, Punuka Attorneys & Solicitors, Anthony Idigbe, suggested that the CBN should take steps to regulate and offer a visible certification badge for the Bitcoin market.

“The CBN has to consider ways of applying its regulations to the new consumer behaviours of blockchain and cryptocurrency as there are new infrastructure or payment gateways that allow online/offline merchants to receive other modes of payments from the regular fiat currency such as cryptocurrency.

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“To improve recognition of credible e-commerce, the CBN can require payment gateways and merchant aggregators linked to an e-commerce site, to issue its merchants with a visible certification badge.”

Patricia

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]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. thomas grant

    December 9, 2019 at 1:24 pm

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Financial Services

NEXIM Bank issues rebuttal following explosive N50 billion fraud allegation

NEXIM Bank was established in 1991 and is devoted to diversifying Nigeria’s non-oil export base.

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Nexim Bank

Following numerous claims accusing Abba Bello, the Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) of diverting the whopping sum of N50 billion, the organisation finally issued a rebuttal yesterday in an attempt to clear its name.

A detailed statement that was signed by NEXIM Bank’s Corporate Communications Department described the accusations as false. The statement also noted that ‘a faceless organisation’ known as Citizens Committee for Corruption Free Nigeria (CCCN) had been the one behind the fraud claims.

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The statement further noted that Nexim Bank initially ignored the accusations, but felt the need to respond after those leveling accusations against the organisation showed no sign of stopping.

READ MORE: NEXIM Bank set to disburse ₦25bn loan to non-oil exporters

The intrigues: In an obvious attempt to absolve the Abba Bello-led management of these fraud allegations, the statement had attacked NEXIM Bank’s immediate past management team. The erstwhile management was dissolved in 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari due to gross incompetence. Apparently, Abba Bello was brought on board to help rescue Nexim Bank from its huge non-performing loan problem which was worsened by what the statement described as “reckless abuse of process” which led to insider related loans and an absolute breakdown of professionalism in bank’s loan administration processes.

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The statement then praised Bello for successfully re-tooling NEXIM Bank and bringing it back from the brink of failure within the 3-year period he had been in charge. The statement also noted that NEXIM Bank reported profits of N2.03 billion and N1.09 billion in full-year 2019 and 2018 respectively, as against losses of N569 million and N8.03 billion in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

“We have noted recent incessant attacks on the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) and its management in a section of the media, predominantly the social media. Most recently, a report has been trending on the social media claiming that a petition has been forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), calling for a probe of the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Nexim Bank, Mr Abba Bello, over alleged corruption and mismanagement of the N50 billion Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility (RRF), provided by the Federal Government…

READ MORE: Buhari orders probe of past administrations over $9 billion U.K judgment

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“The current management of the bank, led by Mr Abba Bello, resumed office in April 2017 to replace the erstwhile government, which was removed by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, over issues relating to gross incompetence, which had made the bank almost insolvent, with huge non-performing loans, exacerbated by reckless abuse of process, insider related loans and lack of professionalism in loans administration, amongst other issues,” some parts of the statement said.

More details: Citizens Committee for Corruption Free Nigeria (CCCN) had started a petition with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), calling for Bello’s probe over the alleged diversion of N50 billion from Nexim Bank’s coffers. Specifically, the petition had accused Abba Bello of diverting and mismanaging the N50 billion Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility which was availed by the Federal Government to assist commercial and merchant banks to provide short-term finance in support of exports.

NEXIM Bank also clarified on the N50 billion Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility, noting that the money has been used to fund about 60 projects since it was released by the Federal Government in 2018. The bank said the track records of the fund’s beneficiaries are verifiable, and that the loans were adequately secured.

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Note that NEXIM Bank was established in 1991 and is devoted to diversifying Nigeria’s non-oil export base through the provision of adequate financing.

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Tech News

Gokada Founder, Fahim Saleh murdered in New York apartment

Mr. Fahim Saleh’s body was found decapitated and dismembered with an electric saw.

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Gokada Founder Fahim Saleh murdered in New York apartment

Fahim Saleh, the entrepreneur who founded Gokada, has been murdered in his luxury New York City apartment, according to the New York Times.

Police detectives in New York disclosed that Mr Saleh’s body was found decapitated and dismembered with an electric saw. His head, limbs, and torso were said to have been found in different parts of the apartment after whoever murdered him tried to clean up the crime scene.

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The police also revealed that plastic bags were found on the scene of the murder, which they say could have been an effort to “clean up” evidence of the murder.

The casualty was identified as 33 years old, Fahim Saleh, tech entrepreneur and Gokada founder who owned the apartment. His body was found by his sister, 3:30 pm New York time after she went to check on him after not hearing from him in 24 hours, calling the police immediately after finding the body.

Police also believe his sister’s arrival may have interrupted the evidence clean up, as the electric saw was still plugged in. Police are investigating it as a case of homicide.

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READ MORE: Bike-hailing firms in talks with Lagos State to resume operations

Surveillance video showed Mr. Saleh entering the elevator with someone else in a black mask and suit, the person also follows Saleh as he enters his apartment, and a fight began between the two. Police say there is a second exit through a service entrance in the apartment.

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Fahim Saleh was born in Saudi Arabia to Bangladeshi parents before settling in New York with his family and started coding as a teenager. He founded PrankDial after graduating from Bentley University where he recorded his first success in tech.

READ ALSO: Gokada returns amidst price war, market expansion and government regulations 

He founded the bike hailing company Gokada, which began operations in Lagos 2 years ago. Gokada has raised $12.4 million according to Startup listing site Crunchbase. During their venture capital raise of $5.3 million in 2019, Saleh announced plans to expand Gokada services into a club with restaurants, letting drivers relax and get things they need from a  Gokada shop such as food.

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Gokada had to reduce operations in Lagos after the February Okada ban. The Lagos Sate Government had banned okada services in Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LGA, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate LCDA, Coker-Aguda LCDA,  Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo LCDA, Ojodu LCDA, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, Iru-Victoria Island LCDA, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.

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Coronavirus

Moderna’s shares gain over 16% as COVID-19 vaccine passes first human trial

Participants received two doses of the potential vaccine.

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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine passes safety test on animals

Moderna’s share price gained over 16% on Tuesday after the U.S drugmaker disclosed that its potential vaccine in containing the COVID-19 virus had produced a “robust” immune response in all the 45 patients in its first phase of the human trial, according to data released yesterday night in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine.

In a report credited to CNBC, about 45 patients produced neutralizing antibodies, which scientists believe is important for building immunity. It also provided more promising data that the vaccine may give some protection against the coronavirus. In the trial, each participant received a 25, 100 or 250 microgram dose, with 15 people in each dose group. Participants received two doses of the potential vaccine.

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READ ALSO: Remdesivir has received FDA’s emergency approval to treat COVID-19, according to Trump

“After two vaccinations, the COVID-19 vaccine generated a “robust” immune response in all participants in all dose cohorts,” Moderna said. The company also disclosed that the levels of neutralizing antibodies in patients in the high dose group were fourfold higher than in recovered COVID-19 patients.

“These Phase 1 data demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits a robust immune response across all dose levels and clearly support the choice of 100 µg in a prime and boost regimen as the optimal dose for the Phase 3 study,” Moderna’s chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, said in a statement. “We look forward to beginning our Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 this month to demonstrate our vaccine’s ability to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease.”

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Quick fact about COVID-19: Although for some individuals, the COVID-19 virus causes only mild illness, it can make other individuals seriously ill. The disease can be very fatal, especially among older individuals, and those with compromised immunities (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems) appear to be more susceptible.

Recall that about a month ago, Nairametrics reported news of a series of tests carried on laboratory mice with Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine showing hope that it might not increase the risk of more serious diseases and that one dose might provide protection against the COVID-19 virus.

Moderna also disclosed that the COVID-19 vaccine was generally well-tolerated, though more than half of the participants reported mild or moderate symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aches, or pain at the injection site.

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