In the past week, Interswitch announced that it has partnered with American Express (AmEx), the US multinational financial services corporation, to expand the usage and acceptance of the card, which is the world’s most accepted credit card.
This partnership will enable AmEx card members to transact using a wide range of merchants who process payments through Interswitch for a variety of expenses including for ATM withdrawals and website transactions nationwide.
For background, Nigeria’s journey to digital payment has been largely driven by cards (mostly debit and prepaid) with over 80M cards issued to customers, majority (close to 60%) being MasterCard.
There have also been concerted efforts by players to increase acceptance by bringing more merchants into the network and providing them tools to accept card payment. To be clear, this move by Interswitch is an acquiring play only, at least as far as we know. Interswitch will not be issuing American Express cards; you can recall that it has its own card network called Verve.
But generally, this is a great development in the following ways:
* Broadens international acceptance: many travelers (business and tourist) travel with Amex cards, so they will be able to use their cards in more places in Nigeria. Assumedly, the priority will be on the hospitality industry where travelers interact the most.
* Enables American Express to witness the potentials in the Nigerian market and may inspire them to open up issuance in the market, maybe in partnership with other fintechs.
* This could potentially drive volume for the merchant, through increased sales and acceptance. From this arrangement, Nigerian merchants will be integrated into the global American Express network, which means many more business opportunities and growth with an expected expanded user base.
* The partnership positions Interswitch as a leading financial technology company in Nigeria and strengthens American Express as a leading global network as well.
Today, more and more tech businesses are making connections globally with like-minded enterprises. Exciting collaborations of this magnitude truly accelerates the progress of the tech players in Nigeria, seeing as collaboration in so many ways drive innovation without the need for geographic proximity and helps in early adaptation of products and services to completely different markets.
It also fosters the identification of business needs that ordinarily may not have been appreciated in home markets. Sharing technology and market know-how will create ground breaking solutions, not just locally but overseas.
Nigeria to fix irregular power supply in 40 years- Senate
The four decades is needed due to underfunding and the FG’s failure to fix the challenges of electricity generation.
The Nigerian Senate has said that it will take Nigeria 40 years to fix irregular power supply.
This was disclosed by the Senate Committee on Power on Tuesday after the Minister of Power and his team made a presentation to the Committee, according to Guardian.
The four decades wait, according to the lawmakers, is due to underfunding and the Federal Government’s failure to fix the challenges of electricity generation.
The committee was astonished by the submission of the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, that of the N165billion required for capital projects in 2020, N4billion was given as bribe of which only N3billion was cash-backed.
In lieu of this, the Committee dismissed claims made by the minister over raising hope on early provision of constant power supply, while Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, painted a gloomy picture during the ministry’s budget defense.
A member of the Committee, Danjuma Goje, expressed concern that based on Abdulaziz’s presentation, N165billion was proposed, but the ministry gave N4billion in envelope, insisting that it would take 41 years to deliver constant electricity when N165billion is divided by N4billion.
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that it will take nothing less than $100 billion to enable stable power supply in Nigeria.
What they are saying
Mr. Danjuma expressed pessimism over hopes of stable power supply in the country. He went as far as stressing that even if ongoing projects are being completed there is still no hope for stable transmission of power in the country.
Mr. Danjuma was quoted as saying: “Going by the minister’s presentation that transmission gas increased from 5000 to 8000 megawatts, it is not enough. When dishing out figures, we should bear in mind that capacity, transmission, and distribution have increased and that Nigerians, manufacturers, and industrialists want to see stable electricity.”
#EndSARS: ECOWAS calls for protesters to remain peaceful in their demonstrations
ECOWAS has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests and urged Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of protests.
This was disclosed in a statement by the organization on Tuesday and comes on the heels of statements by other International bodies and personalities, who have expressed worry over the nature of brutality meted on protesters, especially after the Lekki shootings.
— ECOWAS-CEDEAO (@ecowas_cedeao) October 27, 2020
“ECOWAS Commission notes with concern that demonstrations by Nigerian youth calling for Police reforms, particularly the abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police force, accused of misconduct by those demonstrating, have turned violent,” they said.
The body said it recognizes the right to peaceful protests and also called for protesters to be peaceful, due to the rising reported cases of lootings post protests during the curfews.
“While ECOWAS recognizes the right of citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and protests, it also wishes to stress that those rights should be exercised in a nonviolent manner.
“In this regard, ECOWAS calls on all protesters to remain peaceful in the conduct of their demonstrations. It also urges the Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of the protests and act professionally.”
The tone of ECOWAS’ message is different compared to the rest of other stakeholders including the statement of the Lagos State Governor, House of Reps Speaker, and the Vice President, who all acknowledged that the protests were peaceful and the protesters were attacked and that the violence from the curfews was not done by the protesters but by hoodlums.
The ECOWAS message is also the first statement by West Africa’s most important regional body since the #EndSARS protests started in the first week of October.
Kano State presents N147.9 billion budget for 2021 fiscal year
Governor Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as Kano State’s proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as its proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year before the Kano State House of Assembly today.
Presenting the budget tagged “Budget for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development,”Governor Ganduje said the budget is in furtherance of his administration’s vision for diversification of the state sources of revenue which will engineer development in the future.
Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported the drive and optimism by Kano State government to boost its Internally Generated Revenue. This might probably explain why IGR increased by almost 10% between 2020 allocations and proposed estimates for 2021.
What you should know: The breakdown of the budget verified by Nairametrics showed the following key highlights:
- The total budget increased by approximately 7.0% from N138.279 billion in 2020 to N147.935 billion in 2021.
- Capital expenditure for the periods under view increased by 10.93% from N60.485 billion to N67.095 billion.
- Recurrent expenditure also increased from N77.79 billion to N80.839 billion, indicating a 3.92%. increase for the periods under view.
- Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) increased by approximately 10% from N24 billion to N26.395 billion during the period under view.
- A breakdown of the budget showed that the Education sector has over N37 Billion representing 25% of the total budget while the health care delivery service has over N25 Billion representing 17% of the total budget.