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Tech News

Minister denies approving NIPOST license fee increment 

The news of the new fee structures had caused an uproar amongst Nigerians.

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FG approves digital ID for Internally Displaced Persons - Pantami, Minister denies approving NIPOST license fee increment , Isa Ali-Pantami, NCC to determine number of phone numbers entitled to an individual  

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications & Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Pantami, said on Saturday that he did not approve the new NIPOST increase of license fees. 

This was announced in a statement issued by the Minister via his Twitter handle after social media outrage at NIPOST over the increased fees. 

The Minister responded to NIPOST’s social media handles that “our attention has been drawn to an increase of license fee, which was not part of the regulation I earlier APPROVED for you. Your Chair and PMG were YESTERDAY contacted to put the implementation on hold and send a report to our ministry by Monday. Best wishes!” 

READ ALSO: RMAFC, NIPOST set to probe banks over stamp duty

“ The power of regulation of NIPOST lies with the Minister. Any change of fee must be specific & be approved by him before implementation. I know the economic challenges of NIPOST. However, looking at the economic hardship of our citizens, we need to suspend any move,” he added. 

Earlier this week, NIPOST approved new license fees for people in the courier business, increasing the new license fees for Municipal operators to N1 million, and renewals fees a year up to 40% of new license fees at N400,000.00 a year. 

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READ MORE:  Finance Act dwindling NIPOST revenue as Post Master General plead for review

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State operators’ fees rose to N2 Million, regional to N5 million, national to N10 Million, while Internal operators are meant to pay N20 Million as license fees. All license renewal is pegged at 40% of license fees per zone. 

READ MORE: NIRSAL Microfinance Bank to take off, targets 400,000 SMEs

The news of the new fee structures caused an uproar as Nigerians accused the regulator of cutting off competition from smaller operators during a coronavirus pandemic that has heavily affected Africa’s largest economy. 

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NIPOST earlier said that the new regulation aims to improve Nigeria’s logistic and courier structure with better efficiency following President’s Buhari new ease of doing business policies. 

 

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Business News

Paypal’s Venmo now permits cryptocurrency trading

Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

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Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal has announced that it has started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app. Just like PayPal, Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, and users can carry out transactions with as little as $1 on the app

Founded in 2009, Venmo has over 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment channels in the US. The payment platform processed around $159 billion in payments last year.

Since the app functions like a social network, adding cryptocurrency will offer a more user-friendly feel for people who love buying and selling crypto.

READ: 28 million merchants to be granted crypto usage on PayPal

As bigger companies show more interest in cryptocurrency, there will be wider adoption of virtual currencies in future. Venmo is the latest payment app that is offering support for cryptocurrency on its platform.

Paypal, the parent company of Venmo is one of the most active companies in the crypto space as it allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Paypal users can also spend their coins at millions of merchants globally.

Crypto on Venmo is enabled through PayPal’s partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.

What they are saying

Darrell Esch, Venmo’s Senior Vice President and general manager said “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”

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Business News

Airbnb and two other companies that could follow Twitter’s Ghanaian playbook

After Twitter, these companies might be moving to Africa next.

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Twitter to update privacy policies globally , Twitter to remove tweets wishing Trump dies of COVID-19.

On the back of Twitter’s monumental announcement to situate its regional headquarters in Ghana, Germany announced that it was choosing the Gold-Coast as the location for its German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention – another critical blow for Africa’s most populous country and self-acclaimed ‘giant of Africa.’

Despite Nigeria’s burgeoning reputation in technology, its propensity for government and regulatory interference, rising insecurity, inflation, poor capital repatriation policies, and infringement on free speech have been identified as reasons why foreign organizations are increasingly overlooking the country. So, we examine 3 organizations ripe for African expansion that could follow in Twitter’s footsteps.

READ: TikTok to relocate headquarters to London following approval by UK ministers

Airbnb

The $75bn online vacation rental marketplace has quietly made inroads into Africa over the last couple of years allowing listings from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and other African countries as part of the 220+ countries and regions it operates.

Over the past few years, destinations across Africa have emerged to become some of the fastest-growing Airbnb markets in the world.

However, the rental giant continues to operate a remote presence in Africa as none of its 23 offices is situated on the continent. But that may soon change as Africans increasingly adopt the service.

READ: Why investing in Airbnb might be worth it

Apple

Despite iPhone sales largely growing year on year, Apple doesn’t have a physical office in Africa. In 2015, it was rumoured that Apple was looking to establish a South African office in an effort to grow its presence in the continent’s local market but not much has been heard about this.

In countries where the tech giant doesn’t have a physical office, Apple works with the local resellers to service its numerous customers.

The African market is driven more by the demand for Apple products like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. With this high demand, it is highly probable that the company will consider a physical location in Africa in the near future.

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READ: Apple to start producing cars by 2024

Shopify

Another company that is likely to have a physical presence in Africa in the near future is Shopify. The multinational e-commerce platform that allows you to host your store online already has an online presence in Africa and has partnered with leading payment providers on the continent to allow users pay for services in their local currency. Shopify powers over 1.7 million businesses in more than 175 countries.

What this means

Africa currently has the youngest and second-largest population in the world. Massive population growth and a rising middle class have created millions of new consumers hungry for products and services. This is a large market for tech companies that are already operational in other countries to tap into. Currently, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and several others are already exploring this opportunity.

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