Connect with us
nairametrics
UBA ads

Business

How five Nigerian tech-startups are tackling COVID-19 outbreak

The front line of Nigeria’s fight against Coronavirus seems to be occupied also by tech startups, by providing tech-driven effort amidst the pandemic. 

Published

on

How five Nigerian tech-startups are tackling COVID-19 outbreak

The front line of Nigeria’s fight against Coronavirus seems to be occupied only by the banking industry and billionaire’s club in Nigeria, but when you look closer, there are others, including Nigerian tech startups,  also taking up arms in this battle, providing tech-driven effort amidst the pandemic.

The outbreak has led to a global lockdown, pending the time medical researchers find a vaccine for the Coronavirus. But while the world waits, corporate organisations have been making donations. In Nigeria, banks like UBA, Zenith, and Keystone have provided about N1 billion each to the State and Federal Governments.

UBA ADS

But while some banks and corporate companies like GTBank, Access Bank and Dangote have joined forces with state governments, to build Isolation centres for confirmed cases, which have reached 343, tech startups have directed their efforts straight to the people.

Though their efforts seem to be going unnoticed, these tech startups are engaging investors and putting their innovations to use for the benefit of the infected and those stuck at home due to the lockdown, which has been extended to another 14 days.

(READ MORE: 5 agritech investments to consider, as COVID-19 causes uncertainty in stock market)

GTBank 728 x 90

Nairametrics has compiled a list of five digital startups leading the fight by technologically aiding the efforts against COVID-19.

How five Nigerian tech-startups are tackling COVID-19 outbreak

Co-founder Kuda- Babs Ogundeyi

Kuda: This is one of the digital banking startups that revolutionised the banking industry. It was co-founded by Babs Ogundeyi, who also acts as the Chief Executive Officer.

onebank728 x 90

Kuda launched a COVID-19 fund to provide for the less privileged in Lagos. The tech startup, established in 2016, has taken it upon itself to purchase and distribute food, as well as other essentials, to the poor and vulnerable who have been the most affected amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuda committed N1.5 million and partnered with non-governmental organisation, Lagos Food Bank, as a way of providing succour, and reducing the economic impact of the virus on the poor communities in Lagos.

The fund was created eight months after Kuda raised $1.6 million.

app
GTBank 728 x 90

(READ MORE: Index Ventures raises $2 billion to fund emerging tech startups)

MDaaS: This is a tech startup that focuses on health-related issues. MDaaS has a history in medicine, public health and pharmaceuticals which makes the firm essential during the pandemic currently being experienced.

How five Nigerian tech-startups are tackling COVID-19 outbreak

Founder 54Gene- Abasi Ene-Obong

devland

Founded by Oluwasoga Oni, MDaaS created a website to provide needed resources for the COVID-19 period. The startup is helping health organisations and African governments, starting from Nigeria, to create mass testing centres.

The mass testing centres include drive-through testing sites and booth testing sites. The “out-of-health facility” locations will help attend to high volume of patients for COVID-19 samples and send to a centralized laboratory for processing.

app

54Gene: This is another tech startup operating in the health space. It was founded by Abasi Ene-Obong to focus on human genetic data, but the outbreak of Coronavirus has compelled the startup to setup a COVID-19 testing support fund to assist the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

(READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: More females could be what the Nigerian tech space has been lacking –…)

54Gene created the fund to raise $500,000 and has already secured a donation of $130,000 from Union Bank to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria. The fund is expected to be used to procure testing instruments and critical biosafety materials in order to increase COVID-19 testing capacity by 1,000 a day within Nigeria.

How five Nigerian tech-startups are tackling COVID-19 outbreak

Co-founder Gradely-Boye Oshinaga

The equipment will be installed in laboratories and general hospitals across Nigeria and will remain there post-COVID-19 pandemic for future outbreaks. This is part of 54Gene’s effort amidst the fight against the Coronavirus. 

Gradely: Co-founded by Boye Oshinaga, Gradely recently secured an undisclosed investment from Microtraction to extend its tech expertise to the education system, to help students and teachers currently stuck at home continue their education during the lockdown.

The Ed-tech startup is using its AI-driven educational tool to assist students further their education and not experience disruption to their learning. This is one of the reasons Gradely attracted the investment from Microtraction, which believes Gradely will be highly essential as schools begin to adopt home-schooling due to the lockdown.

Future Africa/Flutterwave: Flutterwave is a portfolio of Future Africa. Both are providing different kinds of support during this pandemic. For Future Africa, the investment firm created Future Africa Collective fund for investors to invest in tech startups amidst the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

(READ MORE: TechRoundUp Season 2 Episode 13)

This is to encourage investors to see opportunities in the African market during the crisis. Future Africa had defended the initiative by offering Andela and Flutterwave as startups that became successful after being established amidst economic crisis. 

Meanwhile, Flutterwave created a donation portal for Sharing Life Africa, an initiative created by Henry Anumudu, for their website visitors. The donation is tagged School Children & the Pandemic and intends to reach 10,000 public school children within the country during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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. Wisdom

    April 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    All I have to say is that god should help us .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Business

CITN issues rejoinder to ICAN’s claim over court case

The rebuttal claims that there are some ‘critical misinterpretations’ contained in ICAN’s claims concerning the judgment.

Published

on

CITN

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has issued a rebuttal to the “critical misrepresentations” that are supposedly contained in a notice to members sent out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) over a court case, as reported by Nairametrics.

Recall that ICAN had informed its members that Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State ruled in their favour by striking out “Suit No. LD/3288GCM/19 – CITN VS ICAN” which was filed by CITN. In the suit, CITN had, among other things, prayed the court to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) unless they have a CITN license.

UBA ADS

CITN’s position: Now, in its rebuttal to ICAN’s claims concerning the court case, a copy of which was sent to Nairametrics, CITN clarified the following points:

  1. The Ruling of the Hon. Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the 2/7/2020 in LD/3288GCM/19 did not invalidate the MOU and TOS because it did NOT address the issues in the substantive suit, itself. However, since ICAN has resiled from the MoU and ToS it freely entered with CITN, the CITN will not stop ICAN from walking away.
  2. The Judge only struck out the suit based on the Preliminary Objection of ICAN to the effect that the suit was an abuse of court process because the issues in it were the same as the issues in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 – ICAN VS FIRS & 1 OTHER which was earlier decided in favour of CITN.  However, the issues in the two suits are completely different and distinct as has now been explicitly admitted by ICAN in its Notice under reference when it said: “The earlier ruling at the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.”ICAN having admitted  that the judgment in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make any pronouncement on the MOU and TOS (and this is a fact), how then could issues in that suit be the same as those in LD/3288GCM/2019 (decided by Justice Onigbanjo) which only asked for judicial pronouncement on the MOU and TOS?
  3. Regulation 5 of the Tax Administration (Self-Assessment) Regulations, 2011, was categorically annulled by the Hon. Justice Liman in the judgment delivered in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 on 21/11/2019.  None of the lawyers to the parties (including ICAN) can deny hearing the annulment of Regulation 5 during delivery of the judgment. It is unfortunate that ICAN is jumping the gun in a case with a pending post-judgment application.
  4. In the judgment delivered in FHC/L/CS/1480/2018 – CHIEF IGBAROOLA & OTHERS VS FIRS & OTHERS on 21/5/2019, the Hon. Justice A. O. Faji, declared: “CITN Act is thus superior to ICAN Act on the issue of tax practice.  The Self-Assessment Regulations being in conflict with the CITN Act is null and void.  The Plaintiffs cannot practice as tax agents without first being members of the 2nd Defendant.”
  5. In the Court of Appeal judgement of 2013 between ICAN v. CITN, it was held that the power to regulate and control the tax profession, to the exclusion of any other body, in Nigeria lies with CITN.
  6. It is, therefore, now firmly settled from all the relevant judgements at the Lagos High Court, Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, which have all upheld the primacy of the CITN Charter, that no member of ICAN can practice taxation without first being a member of CITN.
  7. For the avoidance of doubt, no ICAN member, who is not registered with CITN, has been permitted by any law or court decision to practice taxation. The law has made it clear about the professional body that can regulate tax profession in Nigeria and CITN reserves the right to invoke the relevant provisions against any person that violates the provisions of its charter.

The backstory: The disagreement between ICAN and CITN dates back to 2015 following a misinterpretation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Due to the disagreement, CITN took legal actions in a bid to basically make the MoU and ToS binding on ICAN members.


You may read CITN’s full rejoinder by clicking here and follow up on ICAN’s notice to its members here.

GTBank 728 x 90

Patricia
Continue Reading

Business

UPDATED: Court rules ICAN members do not need CITN license to file tax returns

The suit, which was filed some years ago by CITN, was basically struck out for lacking merit.

Published

on

ICAN

Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State has ruled that members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) do not need to be licensed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) before they can file tax returns.

The ruling on July 2nd followed a suit filed by CITN trying to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns for their clients unless they have a practicing CITN license.

UBA ADS

A notice to ICAN members regarding this development, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that Justice Onigbanjo struck out the suit after describing it as “an abuse of court process and an embarrassment to the judiciary.”

The backstory: Nairametrics understands that the disagreement between ICAN and CITN stemmed from the misinterpretation of a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Consequently, CITN had filed a suit before the High Court of Lagos State, seeking the following:

  • A declaration that the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Service both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on the CITN and ICAN.
  • An injunction restraining ICAN whether by its agents, privies, assigns, or whosoever called, from repudiating, resiling from or acting in any manner or doing anything that is inconsistent with, contrary to or is a violation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Terms of Settlement dated February 12, 2015, between the CITN and ICAN.
  • Determine whether the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Settlement both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on CITN and the ICAN.

However, last week’s ruling by Justice S. A. Onigbanjo which, by the way, was delivered virtually due to COVID-19, has made it impossible for the CITN to implement the terms of the 2015 MoU and ToS. The ruling also aligned with ICAN’s earlier objection to the MoU and ToS.

GTBank 728 x 90

The status quo: In view of this development, ICAN has informed its members that they do not need to obtain any license from the CITN before they can file tax returns for their clients with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.

ICAN members were also informed that an earlier ruling by the Federal High Court on the case does not affect the status quo. This is because “the earlier ruling by the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.” More so, regulation 5 of the FIRS Act was not reflected in the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court.

onebank728 x 90
Patricia
Continue Reading

Business

China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors

Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.

Published

on

A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.

The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.

UBA ADS

After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.

The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.

The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.

GTBank 728 x 90

China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.

The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.

onebank728 x 90
Patricia
Continue Reading