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Second edition of Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize opens for applications

Applications for the second edition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize has been announced by the Jack Ma Foundation

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IPO, World's Biggest IPO suspended, Jack Ma's second edition of Africa Netpreneur Prize opens for applications

Applications for the second edition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize has been announced by the Jack Ma Foundation. The application process is open to 54 African countries, although only ten participants will make it to the finale and share a prize pool of $1.5 million; up from $1 million last year.

The entrepreneurship initiative was created to identify Africa’s next generation founders through the “Africa’s Business Heroes” (ABH) initiative. Last year, Nigeria’s Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and Chief Executive Officer of LifeBank, was announced as Africa’s Business Hero.

Ten entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities, solving the most pressing problems, and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future will be selected to compete for the final pitch competition that will be broadcasted online

According to the organisers, applications will now be accepted in English and French. In a statement obtained by Nairametrics, it was disclosed that about 10,000 applications were received from 50 African countries last year. That number could increase in 2020.

(READ MORE: Ecobank partners Jack Ma’s Alipay to ease money transfer across borders)

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The competition is open to various industries, including cloud kitchens, tech agribusiness, healthcare and pharma, e-commerce, consumer goods, and water supply solutions. Interested entrepreneurs are urged to visit the organiser’s site on: africabusinessheroes.org. The application closing date has been fixed for June 9, 2020. The top ten finalists will be announced in September 2020.

Jack Ma's second edition of Africa Netpreneur Prize opens for applications

The world is in need of groundbreaking idea: Speaking on the situation surrounding this year’s edition, Jason Pau, the Senior Advisor for International Programmes for Jack Ma Foundation said: 

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“We find ourselves in unprecedented and extraordinary times. Now, more than ever, we need entrepreneurs with courage, initiative, and vision to do what they do best – solve problems for society.

“With this prize competition, we are looking to inspire and reward African business heroes in all sectors and encourage any aspiring applicants to seize this opportunity to break through barriers and create hope for the future.”

READ MORE: World Economic Forum: Globalisation and the African entrepreneur

The $1.5 million is part of the $100 million grant funding created for African entrepreneurs by the foundation. The ANP plans to identify 100 African entrepreneurs in the next ten years. Aside from funding, participants will experience training programmes and support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Anchor Partners, including Ashesi, Dalberg, Janngo and RiseUp will join forces with ANP to identify and support African entrepreneurs for this year’s edition. ANP also has on its advisory board, Graca Machel, Chair of the Graca Machel Trust Board and Ban Ki-moon, Former UN Secretary-General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

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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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Economy & Politics

Senate rules out the use of unclaimed dividends to fund 2021 Budget

The Senate has ruled out the Federal Government’s proposed plan to use unclaimed dividends to fund the 2021 Budget.

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National Assembly approves Federal Government’s plan to borrow $11 billion in 2021, Senate urges FG to diversify from crude oil to natural gas production , Senate seeks textile importation ban , Senate receives six aviation sector bills from Buhari , PenCom: Constitute a board, NASS and pension operators tell FG, Nigeria’s total debt now N33trn —Senate, Senate confirms appointment of board members for NDIC, law reform commission, Senate to confirm reappointment of Danbatta as NCC boss, Senate investigates claims of NELMCO, AEDC over govt asset, Senate Investigate Banks over customers exploitation and high fees, 2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review, #EndSARS: States affected by hoodlums should get 1% VAT - Senate

The Nigerian Senate has ruled out the use of unclaimed dividends to fund the 2021 Budget.

The objection was raised by Senator Suleiman Kwari, the lawmaker representing Kaduna North District Zone I, at today’s senate plenary in Abuja.

While speaking on the creation of an unclaimed dividend and unutilised bank balance trust fund where dividends declared and unclaimed will be held, as stipulated in the 2020 Finance Bill, Kwari said the subsequent request of these dividends by the owners would deter the government’s activities if relied on.

Kwari called on the Federal Government to rule out the use of unclaimed dividends to fund the 2021 budget and consider a more sustainable and relatively option like the Pension Fund Administrative instead.

What they are saying

Speaking at the Senate plenary today, Senator Suleiman Kwari said: “I wish to commend some of the ways the Executive has put before us, measures to fund the 2021 budget. Some of them are really commendable. But Some of the ways here might be counter-productive.

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“I want to single out the use of unclaimed dividend to fund the 2021 budget. I think it should be reviewed by the Executive because if eventually, the owner of these funds come up to claim them, the fund will not be readily available for use.

“I urged the Federal Government to look at something like the Pension Fund Administrative instead of hoping on the unclaimed fund.”

What you should know

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year disclosed that the total value of unclaimed dividend in the Nigerian capital market closed 2019 at N158.44 billion, with over N100 billion of the dividend from unclaimed shares.
  • However, the House Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions raised an alarm over the growing unclaimed dividends in the capital market, which was projected to cross the N200 billion mark at the close of 2020.
  • Following this projection, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance at a webinar organised by KPMG in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, disclosed that the Federal Government was considering the creation of an unclaimed dividend and unutilised bank balance trust fund where dividends declared and unclaimed will be held.
  • Through this, the unclaimed dividends would be handed over to the government, as trustee, in the perpetual fund created under the supervision of the CBN & DMO, with private sector involvement in the governance of the fund.

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Tech News

WorldRemit and The Nest partner to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria, 3 others

WorldRemit has partnered with The Nest to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.

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WorldRemit, a global fintech platform, has partnered Nigeria’s tech innovation hub, The Nest, to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.

This was disclosed by the company via a statement issued on Wednesday, and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the statement, the partnership is to build scalable business models across Africa via the WorldRemit Entrepreneurs Program.

In its quest to go beyond digitalizing payment methods across the globe, strengthen its renewed commitment to creating opportunities, and facilitate development in Africa, WorldRemit will now equip African entrepreneurs with effective skill sets and tools to build, innovate, and scale their businesses.

Country Manager (Nigeria and Ghana), WorldRemit, Gbenga Okejimi, explained that the partnership came right in time for impact, as many small businesses had taken a hit in the course of the tumultuous year.

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He lauded the efforts of the team at The Nest Hub for their resolve at ensuring continuous education, and enabling a thriving environment for start-ups and small businesses.

He said, “Much of what Africa is today is due to its entrepreneurship, which is a key driver for socio-economic progress through significant job creation and innovation.

“At WorldRemit, we want to be known for fostering the African entrepreneurship spirit. We want to be a part of Africa’s future prosperity. By helping build entrepreneurs across our African markets, we are enabling growth and development.”

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Co-founder, The Nest, Oluwajoba Oloba, explained that the Entrepreneurs Program will serve as a catalyst in building scalable business models across Africa as the continent enters into a new wave of business revolution.

He said, “The entrepreneurs will be equipped with effective skills and tools required to build and scale their businesses. The Nest definitely plays a big role in this important partnership, as the project partner leads the designing of the digital business course, otherwise known as the learning modules, that would be used in training selected entrepreneurs while also mentoring them on innovative ways to manage and scale their businesses.”

He added that beyond training and mentoring, The Nest provides entrepreneurs, creatives, start-ups, and small businesses with dynamic facilities and workspaces.

What you should know

  • The WorldRemit Entrepreneurs Program will run simultaneously in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, from November 2020 through January 2021.
  • It is expected to empower 50 aspiring and budding entrepreneurs.

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Energy

FG says vehicle owners to pay N250,000 to convert from petrol to autogas

FG says owners in the country will have to pay N250,000 to have their cars converted to autogas from petrol.

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FG says vehicle owners to pay N250,000 to convert from petrol to autogas

The Federal Government has revealed that vehicle owners in the country will have to pay N250,000 to have their cars converted to autogas from petrol.

This disclosure was made on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, by the Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to Minister of State for Petroleum, Justice Derefaka, while on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, which was monitored by Nairametrics.

READ: FEC okays N5.4 billion for gas parks, airport security project 

While stating that the conversion of vehicles from petrol to autogas will take at least 7 hours at the various conversion centres, Derefaka also pointed out that vehicle owners will have different payment plans to perform the conversion.

What they are saying

Derefaka, who is also the Programme Manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Project, said:

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The cost varies. So, in terms of cost implication, it depends on the cylinder of the vehicle and of course, for a typical SUV cylinder, it is a bit higher. On the average, it is around N200,000 to N250,000 and this is for a four-cylinder vehicle, but it becomes a little bit higher for a six-cylinder SUV vehicle.”

READ: Ikeja Electric tops with 10.7% approved meter allocation – NERC

Nairametrics earlier reported that the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, disclosed that the corporation is going to provide free conversion services in some selected NNPC retail filling stations across the country.

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Derefaka further explained that there will be different payment plans for making the conversion, adding that vehicle owners can have agreement with commercial banks to get the conversion done.

READ: FG to make forex available to oil marketers for import to drive down petrol price

He also said, “The owner of the car basically will decide to say I want to run on autogas or CNG or LNG and like the Honourable Minister had mentioned as well, conversion basically has different strands, you can partner with your bank and then the bank will now agree with the conversion centre to say ‘Convert this our customer’s car for free.’

“Not free in its entirety, but you now go and covert your vehicle. What happens is that the installer will put some form of mechanism, that each time you buy the gas; a certain amount will be deducted to pay for the conversion kits.”

While dismissing the notion amongst many Nigerians that the conversion fee is expensive, the ministerial aide noted that payment can be done within 5 to 7 months, in addition to saving up 45-50% cost associated with petrol.

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READ: My recent experience selling a car on Carvana, lessons for Nigerian startups

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What you should know

  • The Federal Government had on Tuesday launched the autogas scheme, called the National Gas Expansion Programme.
  • The programme involves the conversion of fuel-powered cars and generators from petrol to gas, and is aimed at deepening domestic usage of natural gas in its various forms.
  • The programme is also in line with the Federal Government’s plan to make gas the first choice source of cheaper and cleaner energy. This follows the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry with sharp increases in prices of petrol.
  • The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources said that the availability of Autogas as an alternative fuel option will afford Nigerians cheaper, cleaner and additional choice of fuel. Cheaper than the price of petrol and better for automobile and other engines.

READ: Hyundai to invest $87 billion into producing 44 new electric vehicles 

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