THIS WEEK TECH
This week’s featured tech personality is Bosun Tijani, the cofounder and CEO of CcHub – Nigeria’s pioneering open living lab and pre-incubation space. CcHub is a dynamic, multi-functional hub driving innovation across various disciplines.
He initiated the first visit of Mark Zuckerberg the founder and CEO of Meta (formerly Facebook), to Nigeria in August 2016 as part of efforts to place Africa on the global technology map.He has also hosted other global technology leaders in Nigeria, including former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019.
Tijani’s impressive contributions didn’t stop there. Just two months ago, he expertly moderated a conversation with Bill Gates during his visit to Nigeria as part of the prestigious Pan-African Youth Innovation Forum 2023.
Across Africa, CcHUB’s impact has been profound. With a network of over 1100 startups nurtured through innovation-focused programmes, the hub has created more than 7,300 direct jobs through its portfolio companies. CcHUB’s influence extends to creating over 35,000 indirect jobs through its value chain. Remarkably, Tijani’s leadership has enabled the direct investment of over $10 million in startups, and the startups in their portfolio have collectively attracted over $150 million in external funding.
Tijani’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed, as he was recognised by New Africa Magazine in 2017 as one of Africa’s 100 most influential people – a testament to his visionary leadership and dedication to fostering innovation on the continent.
Recently, CcHub made a significant stride in the edtech sector by launching a $15 million edtech accelerator developed in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. The accelerator aims to support 72 startups in Nigeria and Kenya, and 24 startups from both countries have already been selected for this transformative initiative.
Tijani’s journey as a tech visionary and change-maker continues to shape the landscape of innovation in Africa, inspiring countless entrepreneurs and startups to push boundaries and create a brighter, tech-driven future.
Bankly Launches Microfinance Bank to Boost Financial Inclusion
Bankly, a leading fintech firm, has taken a significant step towards enhancing financial inclusion in the country by introducing Bankly Microfinance Bank.
Specialising in payment processing through point-of-sale terminals, Bankly’s Chief Executive Officer, Tomilola Majekodunmi, announced the bank’s unveiling as a major milestone in the company’s journey to provide accessible financial solutions to individuals and businesses throughout Nigeria.
With the establishment of Bankly Microfinance Bank, the company also introduced the ‘Group Savings’ feature within the Bankly App. This innovative feature revolves around the thrift collection system and group contributions.
The launch of the bank and the group savings feature further underscores Bankly’s commitment to easing financial processes and catering to the needs of everyday people in Nigeria. In 2020, the company expanded its offerings to agency banking, establishing a network of over 50,000 agents nationwide, providing access to financial services for more than twelve million individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a lifestyle bank, Bankly continues to prioritise delivering straightforward banking solutions to diverse customers, whether they are farmers looking to sell their produce or students in need of payment for essentials.
Bankly operates with full support from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems and holds licenses from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, demonstrating a strong commitment to compliance and customer protection in all its operations.
FCCPC Delists Getloan, Joy Cash, Camelloan, Cashlawn, Others
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has issued a warning to loan apps, giving them five days to decide that they are operating in accordance with the industry’s guidelines. Failure to comply could result in sanctions and removal from app stores. Additionally, the FCCPC has requested Google to remove eighteen loan apps from the Play Store for violating its regulations.
The commission emphasised that adherence to its rules is mandatory, and any failure to comply would be considered a violation of the law. The 18 delisted loan apps were found to be operating without proper approval or violated the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending of 2022.
The list of loan apps that have been delisted includes Getloan, Joy Cash, Camelloan, Cashlawn, Nairaloan, Eagle Cash, Luckyloan, Cashme, Easynaira, Swiftcas, Crediting, Swiftkash, Hen Credit Loan, Nut Loan, Cash door, Cashpal, and Nairaeasy.
FCCPC clarified that only digital money lenders with proper regulatory approval can be on the Play Store. The commission will continue to engage with Google to ensure unapproved apps are unavailable on the platform.
All existing and approved digital money lenders are urged to provide evidence of compliance within the next five days. They are required to revalidate the information provided by filling out the DL Form 001 on the FCCPC website.
Kaspersky: Nigeria Witnessed 7% Increase in Ransomware Attacks
According to data from the Kaspersky Security Network, Nigeria experienced a seven per cent rise in ransomware attack attempts on both individual and corporate users in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. The cybersecurity firm highlighted that ransomware continues to be a major global and META region threat to information security. In 2022, the average ransomware attack cost was $4.54 million, and Kaspersky’s solution detected a staggering 74.2 million attempted ransomware attacks, a 20 per cent increase from the previous year.
International ransomware organisations continuously update their attack methods, with three main motivations driving them. First, they assess the likelihood of being caught while targeting a specific organisation. Second, they consider the potential ransom size. Lastly, they evaluate the technical complexity of the attack. Dmitry Galov, head of the Russian Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT), explains that attackers reevaluate their intentions if even one of these characteristics does not align with their goals.
The sophistication and targeting of ransomware attacks are on the rise, affecting various organisations, including healthcare, educational institutions, service providers, and industrial enterprises.
Verve Enables Local Payments on Google Play Store for Nigerians
Google has joined forces with Verve, Africa’s largest domestic card scheme, to enhance digital transactions on the Google Play Store for Nigerians. Nigerians can now use their Verve cards to make purchases on the platform, bolstering the country’s digital ecosystem.
Under this collaboration, Google will process Verve transactions within Nigeria, allowing payments to be conducted in naira and recognised as local transactions by the country’s banking institutions. This streamlined approach empowers any Nigerian with an Android device and a Verve card to easily make purchases on the Google Play Store.
Anthea Crawford, Head of Retail and Payment Partnerships at Google Play expressed excitement about the partnership, saying, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Verve, expanding Google Play access for more Nigerians. Introducing local payments with Verve cards is a significant milestone, enabling more Nigerians to participate in the app economy and access the apps they need.”
The Managing Director of Verve International, Vincent Ogbunude, emphasised that integrating with Google Play is a significant step towards achieving Verve’s vision of promoting financial inclusion.
By bringing digital content and services closer to Verve cardholders, this partnership bridges the digital divide and extends the reach of digital services to a larger segment of the Nigerian population.
With Verve’s widespread acceptance as a leading payment card scheme in Nigeria, this collaboration promotes inclusion by facilitating access to digital services for more Nigerians. Users can now easily add their Verve cards to their Google Play Account and make payments in naira without any hassle.
To use a Verve card on the Google Play Store, users can follow these simple steps: Open the Playstore, select the desired app to purchase, click the displayed amount, choose “add credit or debit card,” and enter their Verve card details when prompted. Alternatively, they can visit pay.google.com, log in with their Gmail account, click ‘Add a payment method’, enter their Verve card details, and save. Then, they can return to the Playstore to complete their purchase, and the card will be charged automatically.
This partnership simplifies payment processes for Google Play Store apps and services and contributes significantly to creating a more inclusive digital environment for Nigerians.
CcHub’s CEO Nominated for Ministerial Position
The CEO of Co-Creation HUB (CcHUB), Bosun Tijani, has been nominated as a minister. The nomination comes as a recognition of his achievements and leadership at CcHub, and he is now being considered for a significant position in the government.
The nomination was submitted along with a supplementary ministerial list, comprising nineteen individuals, by President Bola Tinubu’s chief of staff, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Reports suggest that the President is considering several Nigerian tech experts for ministerial roles, and among the potential choices are Tijani, Oswald Osaretin Guobadia, Olumide Soyombo, and Idris Alubankudi Saliu, as reported by various publications.
While the specific portfolio for the nominated individuals has not been disclosed, it is speculated that Tijani may be considered for a role in either the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy or the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation. However, these predictions remain unconfirmed, and the final decision on the ministerial role is yet to be made. Tinubu’s consideration of Tijani for a ministerial position is based on his impressive record as a tech entrepreneur.