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Facebook trains 7,000 women on digital skills in Nigeria, others  

No less than 7,000 women businesses have been trained by Facebook in 2019. #FACEBOOK #DIGITALSKILLS

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Facebook widens anti-fake news project to 10 more African countries, Facebook just changed its logo, here’s why , Facebook launches new payment platform, Facebook Pay, Startups in Facebook Accelerator Programme raise $500,000 , Facebook to pay $550 million to settle privacy violations lawsuit , Facebook builds a gaming app, Facebook is building high speed internet connectivity to Nigeria, Facebook Takes on Zoom with its New Video Chat Feature, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft hit all-time highs, with combined market value of about $5 trillion

No less than 7,000 women in businesses have been trained by Facebook in 2019 on digital skills in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa. 

This was revealed in an infographic released by the company tagged ‘2019 Year in Review’. Facebook also said, while highlighting some of its investments and achievements in Africa, that it expanded its third-party fact-checking to 10 African countries. 

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Recall that Nairametrics had reported that the fact-checking project which is aimed at combating fake news moved to Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia, Burkina Faso, and other countries after Facebook successfully pioneered it in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, and Senegal. 

According to Facebook, its investments in Sub-Saharan Africa is an expression of its commitment to giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

READ MORE: Tech founders raise funds to combat SARS’ extortion, harassment

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Facebook said it made significant support and investments into growing the ecosystem of developers, entrepreneurs, creatives, and many other communities.

 The tech company also said it partnered with MainOne in Nigeria to build and operate more than 750kilometres terrestrial fiber infrastructure to provide metro fiber connectivity to more than one million people in Edo and Ogun States. 

Also in Edo state, a tech hub was launched by a new gathering of developers known as Facebook Developers Circles. Punch reported that the Tech Hub is expected to create a community where experts and tech enthusiasts meet to deepen their knowledge of tech and develop new products. 

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About Facebook Developer Circles: Developer Circles is a new programme from Facebook which comprises of a global network of developer communities around the world. It is driven by Facebook’s overall mission to connect the world and provide its 20 million users and businesses with a growing host of tools and services. 

READ ALSO: Three African Startups win $75,000 from Microsoft and MEST Africa

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Patricia

Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Financial Services

Zenith Bank and GTBank are considering paying interim dividends despite COVID-19

Analysts earlier predicted that banks may hold off on dividend payments as a way of cutting down on costs in view of COVID-19.

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Zenith Bank’s board of directors is set to meet on July 23rd, 2020 to consider the tier-1 bank’s audited financial statements for half-year 2020. The directors will also consider “the proposal for recommendation of interim dividend for shareholders,” said a notice that was sent by the company to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In a similar development, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc said in a statement to the NSE that “issues relating to half-year dividend may also be discussed” when its board of directors meet later this month.

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Zenith Bank and GTBank, which are two of the most profitable banks in Nigeria, have always paid interim dividends to their shareholders. However, analysts earlier predicted that many banks may hold off on dividend payments as a way of cutting down on costs, in view of COVID-19 and its attendant economic implications. It is, therefore, fascinating to see that Zenith Bank and GTBank are considering interim dividends nonetheless.

Elsewhere, banks around the world have either been warned not to pay dividends at all or to be careful with dividend payouts. In April, The Economic Times reported that the Reserve Bank of India advised Indian banks to suspend dividend payments in order to conserve their capital amid the pandemic. In a similar development, regulators in Europe also banned European banks from paying any dividend in 2020. In Australia, banks were advised to slash their dividend payouts. Meanwhile, over in North America, the US Federal Reserve announced in late June that it will temporarily restrict dividend payouts by some of the country’s biggest banks, the New York Times reported.

As Nairametrics had repeatedly reported, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to adversely impact different sectors of the Nigerian economy, including the financial institutions. An earlier report by Nairametrics quoted Augusto & Co to have predicted how the pandemic would weaken Nigerian banks’ assets. An April report by PwC also highlighted some of the ways COVID-19 could impact Nigerian banks.

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In the meantime, the Banking Industry Risk Indicator (BIRI) in Nigeria stands at a score of 12.14 out of 100, according to a recent analysis by Fitch Solutions, as Nairametrics reported.


Do note that Zenith Bank Plc has declared a closed period for the trading in its stock starting from July 6th, 2020. The closed period will last until 24 hours after the company’s half-year 2020 financial report is released to the public. In the meantime, all persons with inside knowledge of Zenith Bank’s affairs shall be prohibited from buying and selling the company’s stock during the closed period. 

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Financial Services

GTBank declares closed period as directors meet July 22nd to consider H1 result

GTBank reported a net interest income of N64.28 billion in Q1 2020 as against N53.58 billion in Q1 2019.

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GTBank H1 2020 result

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has declared a closed period ahead of the release of its audited half-year 2020 financial statements.

A corporate disclosure that was signed by the Company Secretary (Erhi Obebeduo) and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange said the closed period commenced on July 3rd, 2020. In line with the listing rules of the NSE, the closed period is expected to last until twenty-four hours after the bank’s financial statements have been released to the public.

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Note that the implication of the closed period is that all persons with insider knowledge of the company’s affairs are hereby prohibited from trading the company’s stock.

READ ALSO: Fidelity Bank announces closed period as it readies to release unaudited Q1 2020 result

Meanwhile, members of GTBank’s board of directors are scheduled to meet on July 22nd to consider the audited HI 2020 financial statements. A separate notice that was sent to the NSE said:

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“Pursuant to the post-listing requirements of the Nigerian Stock Exchange for quoted companies, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc hereby informs you that the board of directors of our bank is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, to consider the audited financial statement for the half-year ended June 30, 2020. Issues relating to half-year dividend may also be discussed at the meeting.”

The audited financial statements for half-year 2020 shall be sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for approval prior to being made public through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

READ ALSO: Analysis: GTB is minting profits but CBN is squeezing its cash.

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Recall that GTBank reported a net interest income of N64.28 billion in Q1 2020 as against N53.58 billion in Q1 2019. In the same vein, the tier-1 bank’s profit before tax grew by 2.1% to N58.2 billion, up from N57 billion in Q1 2019. Profit after tax also grew from N49.3 billion in Q1 2019 to N50 billion in Q1 2020.

GTBank closed last week’s trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a share price of N20.80, according to trading reports seen by Nairametrics. Year to date, the stock has lost by more than -19%.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: WHO stops hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs trial after failure 

The WHO boss had earlier warned that the worst is yet to come from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Dr Tedros Adhanom, Head of the World health organization (WHO), COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it was going to abandon its trials of the malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine and combination of HIV drug, lopinavir/ritonavir on hospitalized patients that have coronavirus disease after they failed to reduce the death rate. 

This is a major setback for the WHO in the face of a second wave of the virus outbreak in US, China, Asia and some American countries. The United Nations (UN) health agency reported over 200,000 new cases of the disease globally, the first time in a single day. 

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According to a statement from the WHO, ‘’These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.’’ 

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s ratings risk downgrade over rising debt and lower revenue

The WHO has hinged its decision on the recommendation of the trial’s international steering committee and does not affect other studies where those drugs are used for non-hospitalized patients. 

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Another aspect of the WHO-led trial is looking at the potential effect of Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir on COVID-19. The European Commission gave remdesivir a conditional approval for use on Friday after it was discovered that it helps reduce hospital recovery times. 

The trial which is led by WHO started with five branches looking at possible treatment approaches to coronavirus. They include, standard care, remdesivirhydroxychloroquinelopinavir/ritonavir, and lopanivir/ritonavir combined with interferon. 

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, disclosed on Friday that almost 5,500 patients in 39 countries had been recruited into its clinical trials and that interim results were expected in the next two weeks. 

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There are about 18 experimental COVID-19 vaccines that are being tested on humans with almost 150 treatments under development. 

A top emergency expert from WHO, Mike Ryan, said it would not be wise to predict when a vaccine could be ready because while a vaccine candidate might show its effectiveness by the end of the year, the challenge might be how soon it could be mass-produced. 

READ MORE: Developing countries will pay less for COVID-19 drug – Gilead reveals 

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The WHO boss had a few days ago warned that the worst is yet to come from the coronavirus pandemic due to lack of global solidarity and the susceptibility of most people to the virus, which still has a lot of room to move. He stated that contact tracing of people that are infected with the virus is the most important step in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 

The UN health agency had also revealed its plans with its partners to buy 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the most vulnerable people across the globe. The plan projects that the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to countries with special priority on high-risk persons like people above 65 years, health care personnel and other adults with ailments like diabetes.  

 

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