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Business News

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

Bike-hailing firms are in talks with the Lagos State Government to lift the ban and resume operation in the state.

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ORide, Gokada and MaxNG may soon return to Lagos roads after the ban imposed on them by the Lagos state government last February.

Nairametrics gathered that the bike-hailing firms are in talks with the state government to lift the ban and resume operations.

The Babajide Sanwo-Olu led-administration banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles operating in major 15 local governments area and Local Council Development Areas across the state. The controversial ban was also extended to the operators of tech-driven motorcycles (bike hailing firms).

The government might, however, change its policy, as all parties are on the negotiation table. In an exclusive interview with Nairametrics, a source in ORide, who prefer anonymity, said, “We never stopped discussions, we never stopped engaging as regards the government even before the ban came.”

[READ MORE: Chinese TikTok announces $250 million pledge to aid combat coronavirus)

“We’ve always been hopeful, we’ve never told ourselves it’s not going to happen, I guess that’s why those conversations are still going down because we are hopeful, that one time or one day the government will actually give room for an alternative means of transportation within the city.”

The negotiation has, however, been delayed due to the Coronavirus outbreak which the Lagos State government is currently battling.

When the Media Liaison of Gokada, Odion Aleobua, was asked about the ongoing talks, he simply stated that, “We are still in lockdown, so I can’t give you confirmation on that information.”

Why bike-hailing return is certain: The revenue opportunity is a propelling factor that could make the Lagos State Government revisit the ban. Lagos has a massive market for their operations, with about 4 to 5 million rides a day.

The co-CEO of Gokada, Ayodeji Adewunmi, had projected that the market could worth about $3 billion to $5 billion revenue opportunities.

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Also, there are allegations that the state wanted to introduced a N25 million license fee to the operators. The CEO and co-founder of MAX, Adetayo Bamiduro stated that a government official suggested the license fee for Ride-hailing operators, which many of them frowned at.

Although Country Manager of OPay (parent company of ORide), Iniabasi Akpan said last year that “Nothing has been finalised; discussions are ongoing about it. So definitely, there’s going to be a license fee.”

Another factor that could lead to the return of the motorcycles, especially the bike-hailing firms and services, is that they obey traffic laws of Lagos. The Lagos State Road Traffic Management Authority explained that the roads should only be plied by motorcycles or tricycles with a minimum engine capacity of 200cc.

Stanbic 728 x 90

This requirement is followed by ORide, MAX.ng and Gokada, all of which operate with motorcycles that have above 200cc engine capacity. And all the operators are open to regulation by the State government.

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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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Billionaire Watch

TikTok’s 38 year-old founder is worth $35.5 billion – Here’s what we know

At 38 years old, Zhang Yiming is the 39th richest man in the world.

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TikTok a video sharing app was named the most downloaded app of the first quarter of 2021 but not much is known about its founder. The app now has over 689 million active users worldwide according to statistics from oberlo.com. It has also been downloaded over 2 billion times on App Store and Google Playstore. It is arguably the most popular video-sharing app out there and the numbers keep growing.

TikTok was able to grow at a faster rate than Facebook and Instagram since its startup. The man behind this massive success is currently worth $35.5 billion and he is our person of interest today.

Meet Zhang Yiming, the founder of Bytedance 

38-year-old Zhang Yiming is the CEO and Founder of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. Zhang Yiming majored in microelectronics and software engineering at Nankai University. He worked for various tech startups including Microsoft before settling to start his own company.

The billionaire leads a very secretive lifestyle. He founded ByteDance back in 2012 and steered it all the way to financial success. He is currently worth $35.5 billion but his net worth is well on its way to doubling based on recent valuations.

ByteDance has two main flagship products – Toutiao, an AI-backed news aggregator and TikTok which he founded later after the success of Toutiao.

Revisiting the success of  TikTok 

Last year Zhang Yiming’s ByteDance was regarded as the most valuable startup in the world. TikTok became the most downloaded iOS app worldwide in the first quarter of 2019, according to the US research app Sensor Tower.

TikTok is available in 155 countries and in 75 languages.

Impressive valuation 

Bytedance’s first major valuation was in 2018 where it was valued at $75bn according to Forbes. This was followed by another valuation which put it at $140bn according to CB Insights.

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The latest 2021 valuation places ByteDance at over $250bn according to the South China morning post.

Zhang Yiming owns a quarter of ByteDance and with this recent valuation, his net worth is set to grow to $60bn according to experts in the field.

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Donald Trump scare 

The former president of the United States was on the verge of banning TikTok in the country. He claimed the App has ties to the Chinese government. This would have been a setback giving that the application is quite popular among US millennials and Gen Z. Donald Trump lost his re-election bid and very little has been said by the Biden administration on the issue.

What you should know 

  • At 38 years old, Zhang Yiming is the 39th richest man in the world. His parents were civil servants.
  • The popularity of TikTok in the United States has raised concerns from US regulators.

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Business

FG explains why the loan amount for youth investment fund is limited to N300,000

At N300,000 per beneficiary, only 41,000 beneficiaries would be covered in the first tranche of N12.5bn.

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President Buhari to address Nigerians on Lekki toll plaza shootings after investigation , Youth Investment Fund:  Ministry of Finance and CBN to launch provision of funds- Minister, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports launch DEEL initiative

The Federal Government has explained why it limited the loan amount for the current beneficiaries of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to N300,000.

The government said that it had to place a limit of N300,000 for individuals and eligible businesses who meet the conditions and guideline in order to ensure that it gets to as many beneficiaries as possible.

This disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, who noted that the disbursement of the fund is being done in phases.

What the statement from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is saying

The statement explained that the ministry had received more than 3 million applications for the initial N12.5bn made available adding that at the current cap of N300,000 per beneficiary, only about 41,000 beneficiaries could be covered.

The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has been following with interest the reaction of some beneficiaries of the NYIF, particularly those expressing disappointment at the N300,000 cap on disbursement under the first tranche of N12.5bn.

Firstly, the framework specified N250,000 as the maximum for individuals and eligible businesses that are critical can access up toN3m subject to meeting key criteria set in the guideline and conditions.

Considering the number of applications received, there was the need to ensure spread and enable more beneficiaries enjoy the facility.”

The ministry assured beneficiaries that higher loan thresholds would be possible once additional funds were available in subsequent phases.

The ministry in the statement also noted that it is ideal to start and gradually increase, considering that there are lots of first-time borrowers as well.

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The ministry reaffirmed that NYIF was not a grant, but a loan, targeted at supporting the youth to start small businesses or to inject funds into existing small businesses.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had on October 15, 2020, launched the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, which was set up for investment in the innovative ideas, skills, and talents of Nigerian Youth.
  • It is to also institutionally provide the Nigerian youth with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills, and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.
  • The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilization.

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