I welcome you all to this historic event, which is landmark in the political landscape of our country, Nigeria.
I welcome you all to this historic event, which is landmark in the political landscape of our country, Nigeria.
|Youtap Cloud enables real-time transaction processing for contactless mobile money and bank wallet payments|
|NAIROBI, Kenya, September 25, 2017/ — Youtap (www.Youtap.com) has launched Youtap Cloud, a payment processing platform delivered as a cloudservice for mobile money and payment providers in developing markets.
Youtap Cloud enables real-time transaction processing for contactless mobile money and bank wallet payments. It supports QR code payments, as well as NFC technology, including low-cost micro point-of-sale (POS) devices, companion cards and ‘tap and pay’ using tags or wearables. The solution is a white-label service with minimal upfront costs, allowing the provider to focus on go-to-market initiatives and merchant acquisition.
Youtap Cloud connects to banking and traditional payment networks through a range of interfaces and to blockchain for digital payments, interbank, interbranch and cross-border settlement.
The service is deployed from regional PCI-compliant data centres as a public or private cloud service. Based on Java and Oracle, with a range of Android and Apple OS apps, Youtap Cloud provides banks and payment service providers with open APIs to integrate the next generation of mobile payments into their existing banking and payment applications. It can be integrated with an existing mobile wallet or for new entrant companies requiring a mobile wallet.
Peter Meredith, chief marketing officer for Youtap, said providing the payment platform as a cloud-based service allows for faster delivery and implementation.
“Mobile money providers can transform their business quickly and gain an edge over the competition in their markets,” he said.
“Other merchant payment platforms may take months to install. Youtap’s cloud-based white label solution can be skinned for mobile money services in a matter of weeks. Merchants with a participating service can download the Android app, register and start processing digital payments in less than 24 hours.”
Youtap Cloud can be integrated with devices from Verifone, Pax and Ingenico, while also supporting Android and Linux based devices from a variety of manufacturers.Youtap’s encrypted payment processing network ensures that transaction data is safe and secure.
Use cases for the service include merchant payments, airtime top-up, bill payments, toll-road and transport payments, disbursements and welfare to citizens and refugees, loyalty and promotions, microfinance and international remittances.
Youtap Cloud features a transaction-based pricing model. The standard solution includes white-labelled Android-based apps for merchants, consumers, and POS applications.Optional bundles can be selected for integration with transport readers, Visa/Mastercard acceptance, biometric fingerprint registration and authentication, and social media payments. Providers can also opt in for additional analytics services, including detailed consumer and merchant insights.
|Instant cash pickup service to become available at over 2,000 Wafacash locations in 7 countries|
|CASABLANCA, Morocco, September 28, 2017/ — Morocco-based financial services companyWafacash (www.Wafacash.com) is scaling up operations with leading digital money transfer serviceWorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) to offer instant money transfers across West and Central Africa.
The companies already work together in Morocco and Senegal, but will expand into Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Cote D’Ivoire before the end of the year.
The new service will let WorldRemit customers in over 50 countries transfer money as easily as sending an instant message, using the app or website.
WorldRemit’s digital, mobile-first model significantly improves security and compliance standards. Senders no longer need to visit a bricks and mortar agent, which can be inconvenient and time consuming – often forcing hard working migrants to take time off work to stand in line.
Wafacash is a subsidiary of Attijariwafa Bank, one of Africa’s major banking institutions. It has a reputation for excellent customer service, and ambitious regional growth plans. The company currently has pay-out points at Wafacash offices and Attijariwafa Bank branches and agents, enabling customers to pick up funds quickly and conveniently.
Remittances in the region have experienced a decade of strong growth, amounting to a projected $34 billion across Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017.
According to the World Bank, the value of remittances to Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal grew by an estimated 86%, 130% and 74% respectively, between 2006 and 2015.
Morocco alone received over $7 billion in 2015 according to the World Bank, the equivalent of 7% of its GDP.
Samira Khamlichi, Chief Executive at Wafacash, comments: “By extending our partnership with WorldRemit we wish to contribute to the improvement of the financial inclusion in our country and to the diversification of legal financial channels. Our extended partnership will allow WorldRemit customers in over 50 countries to send money to our cash pick up locations across the region. This is only the beginning, as together with WorldRemit we will explore many other countries and horizons because our main objective is to better cater to the needs of our clients and business partners.”
Ismail Ahmed says, Founder and CEO at WorldRemit, added: “We are delighted our partnership with Wafacash is growing. We have a shared vision that money transfers should be as safe, fast and low-cost as possible. This expansion means more cash pickup points in the region, making our service even more convenient to our customers”.
In June WorldRemit announced a global integration with Google’s Android Pay, followed by a partnership with Huawei’s mobile money platform across Africa. WorldRemit customers now complete 700,000 transfers every month from more than 50 send countries to over 140 receiving destinations.
29 NOVEMBER AT FIRST DIRECT ARENA, LEEDS & TICKETS ON SALE THIS FRIDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
Tuesday 26 September 2017: The MOBO Awards is returning to Leeds for its 22nd annual celebration of the best in urban music. The prestigious awards show will take place on Wednesday 29 November at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
This will be the second time MOBO has hosted the awards in Leeds, following the show in 2015, which was the fastest selling arena, show in recent years. The evening was glittered with highlights fitting of the leading urban music awards show.
FKA twigs gave a tantalising, rare performance with her troupe of dancers, Rita Ora collaborated with hotly-tipped South London rap group Section Boyz bringing on stage the Best Newcomer winners to an audience of thousands, Lethal Bizzle opened the show in pure style arriving in a Lamborghini, Best Female Act winner Ella Eyre stopped everyone dead in their tracks with a mesmerising, stripped back performance of ‘Even If’, while international music star CeeLo Green closed the show with a medley of his greatest hits.
Elsewhere there were unforgettable moments like Sir Lenny Henry’s breathless Paving The Way award acceptance speech – which swiftly went viral – and also from Leeds’ very own sports champion Nicola Adams, Idris Elba and the night’s big winner, Stormzy.
With preparations for the live show spectacular under way, Kanya King, MOBO Founder and CEO, commented: “We are truly excited to return to Leeds – we had an amazing experience here two years ago thanks to all our partners and a very enthusiastic and welcoming audience. I still have people coming up to me saying what an electrifying show it was. Looking at the list of musical talent this year, it promises to be another exciting celebration of the best in urban music”.
The MOBO Organisation was founded in 1996 to champion and elevate urban music genres in the mainstream music industry. Since its inception MOBO has consistently offered opportunities and mass media platforms to countless artists in the broadest range of genres including R&B, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz, Gospel, Garage, Reggae, Grime and African music. As such, MOBO has played an instrumental role in the careers of UK artists like Craig David, Tinie Tempah, Krept and Konan, Stormzy, Kano, Ms Dynamite, Estelle, Emeli Sandé and So Solid Crew to name a few, giving them their very first big platform on their journey to international success.
A long list of international artists have also been part of the annual MOBO Awards celebrations over the years including Lionel Richie, Janet Jackson, P Diddy, Destiny’s Child, 50 Cent, Dionne Warwick, Tina Turner, Jay Z, LL Cool J and Rihanna.
LeedsBID’s (Leeds Business Improvement District) Chief Executive, Andrew Cooper, said: “Following the success of 2015, LeedsBID is delighted to bring the MOBO Awards back to Leeds. This has been a demonstration of the powerful partnerships in Leeds, with businesses and public organisations coming together to amplify Leeds and its diverse cultural offer.”
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said: “We are delighted to welcome the MOBO Awards back to Leeds following a very successful event in 2015. It is hugely important that as we bid for European Capital Culture we find every opportunity to showcase the cultural diversity of the city on an international stage and MOBO Awards with its support for emerging artists and world wide reputation for championing music of black origin is a fantastic platform for this.”
There has been a sustained improvement in the estimated level of error in payments from the EU budget, according to the latest Annual Report from the European Court of Auditors. About half of EU spending audited in 2016 was below the 2% threshold for material level of error. As a result, the auditors have issued a qualified opinion on 2016 payments, rather than an adverse one. This is their first qualified opinion since they began to provide an annual statement of assurance in 1994. In addition, the auditors have given a clean opinion on the 2016 EU accounts’ reliability, or “signed them off”, as has been the case every year since 2007. Revenue in 2016 was free from material error.
The overall level of error for EU spending in 2016 was estimated at 3.1%, compared with 3.8% in 2015 and 4.4% in 2014.
“Entitlement payments”, made for meeting specific conditions, account for about 49% of EU spending and showed levels of error below 2%. They include direct aid for farmers, grants to students and researchers, and staff costs. ‘Natural Resources: Market and direct support’ had an estimated level of error of 1.7 % and ‘Administration’, 0.2 %.
However, higher levels of error were found in “Reimbursement payments” made through refunds. For ‘Economic, social and territorial cohesion’, the estimated level of error was 4.8%; for ‘Natural Resources: Rural development, the environment, climate action and fisheries’, it was 4.9%.
“This year’s qualified opinion reflects an important improvement in EU finances,” said Mr Klaus-Heiner Lehne, the President of the European Court of Auditors. “Going forward, we will take a fresh look at how we audit the EU budget. We will take greater account of internal controls at the European Commission and in the Member States, so we can better promote accountability and further improve the management of EU finances. We will also increase our focus on performance to ensure EU citizens get value for their money.”
Action by the Member States and the Commission reduced the overall estimated level of error by 1.2%. However, sufficient information was available to further prevent or detect and correct many errors. If this information had all been used correctly, say the auditors, the levels of error for ‘Economic, social and territorial cohesion’, ‘Natural Resources’ and ‘Global Europe’ would have been below the 2% threshold. “This means there is no need for additional controls, but the existing controls must be enforced properly,” said President Lehne.
The auditors confirm that the European Commission’s reporting on compliance with the rules is in line with their own results in most cases. But they recommend that the Commission should focus more on performance and simplify its measurement tools in line with international good practice.
Finally, the auditors warn that the total payments the EU is committed to making from future budgets (‘outstanding commitments’, known as thereste à liquider or RAL) were higher than ever in 2016, at €238.8 billion. Clearing this backlog and preventing a new one should be priorities for planning EU spending in the period starting in 2020, they say.
By Ossom Raphael
Abuja – The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has dismissed reports that the bank was over funding the federal government.
CBN Governor, who was fielding questions from journalists after the the 115 Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja said such insinuations were not true.
He said:, “Let me state categorically that the CBN has not over funded the federal government.”
Mr Emefiele, further explained that its various interventions in the economy was in tandem with global standards as it cannot fold it’s arm and allow the country become too vulnerable to economic shocks and other issues.
While reaffirming that Nigeria’s central bank remained one of the most transparent globally, Emefiele said the CBN will always play its role as the bankers’ bank, adviser to the federal government and the lender of last resort.
“For instance, if you own a fixed deposit account and for some reasons, you want spontaneous financing; your bank can allow you over draw your account. So, there is no truth about over-funding the government.
“What is over-drawn is much less than what the government has in its TSA account. This issue of over-funding the government sprang from what an online medium culled from what a member of the MPC said. It was a personal statement and this goes to show that members of the MPC are independent-minded people.
“The size of our balance sheet relative to GDP is 23 per cent. China is 49 per cent. Euro is 27, Swiss is 95. Taiwan is 98. In the US, it is 28 per cent. Ours is low and calls for no concern or worry. We need to get that clear” he added.
Meanwhile, the Apex Bank Governor, announced that the Committee voted to retain its benchmark interest rate at 14 per cent.
Emefiele said the Committee also decided to keep the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), at 22.5 per cent, Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent and the Asymmetric Corridor at +200-500 basis points around the MPR.
He disclosed that 1 of the 7 members who attended the meeting had voted to cut the headline rate, while the other 6 members voted to retain the MPR and all other parameters at their current levels.
According to Mr. Emefiele, the Committee took the decision in order not to reverse the gains of achieved..
“The option was whether to hold, tighten or ease. These were subjected to extensive debate. As in previous meetings, although tightening would help rein in inflation expectations and strengthen the stability in the foreign exchange market, the Committee felt that it would further widen the income gap, depress aggregate demand and adversely affect credit delivery to the private sector.
“The Committee also noted that tightening may result in the deposit money banks re-pricing their assets and loans, thus raising the cost of borrowing and therefore heightening the already weak investment climate and non-performing loans.
“With respect to loosening, the Committee believed that although while it would make it more attractive for Nigerians to acquire assets at cheaper prices, thus increasing their net wealth, and therefore stimulate spending as confidence rises, it nevertheless, felt constrained that loosening at this time would exacerbate inflationary pressures and worsen the exchange rate and inflationary conditions.
“The Committee also felt that loosening will further pull the real rate deeper into negative territory as the gap between the nominal interest rate and inflation widens”, Emefiele, said.
The CBN boss while admitting that the Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) of some Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) were beyond the 5 per cent threshold, assured that the bank would continue to intensify its supervisory and regulatory roles to ensure that the sector remained healthy to play its role in the economy.
He announced that Nigeria’s External reserves position grew to $32.9 billion especially with $7 billion inflows in the last 7 months.
According to him, “The Committee observed that the Investment and Export (I&E) window has increased liquidity and boosted confidence in the market with over US$7.0 billion inflow in the last five months.
Head of West Africa Division in GIZ Headquarters, Mrs. Ella Schieber, made the pledge, when she led a team from the agency on a courtesy call on the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in his Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta office, yesterday.
Commending the state government, for always collaborating with development agencies towards the success of its programmes and policies, Schieber said GIZ is willing to further strengthen its areas of partnership with it.
She said this has greatly impacted on the growth of the state as well as well-being of the people.
GIZ, she added, will continue to be supportive to the Amosun administration, in all areas to better the lot of the citizenry.
Responding, Amosun, who described GIZ as a true and wonderful partner in various important sectors of the state, said his government will continue to explore areas of common interests with the agency, in the overall interest of the state and the people.
He thanked Schieber for personally visiting the state to access the situation, and said his government will not take the supports, such as those from GIZ, for granted, but rather, always deploy necessary resources towards the development of the economy.
In a related development, Amosun has charged youths in the state to embrace technical and vocational trainings, saying acquired skills will ensure their self reliance.
Speaking at the 2017 graduation ceremony of the 154 graduates of the Peter Akinola Foundation Youth Centre for Industrial Training, the governor promised to sponsor 100 participants to the next set of training, urging parents to encourage their children to acquire vocational training.
Initiator of the foundation, Rt. Primate Peter Akinola restated the foundation’s commitment to nurturing talents and transform the lives of the youths into excellent professionals.
LAGOS COMMISSIONS FIRST STATE OWNED DNA FORENSIC CENTRE IN WEST AFRICA
…Crimes, Paternity Issues, Others Can Now Be Resolved Through Technology- Ambode
…Centre’ll Enhance Justice Delivery, Resolve High Profile Cases- U.S Consul General, Lagos CP
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday commissioned the first state owned DNA Forensic Centre in West Africa, saying that the move would go a long way in resolving all form of crimes, paternity issues and others through technology which is the modern trend across the world.
Governor Ambode said the completion and handing over of the centre located at Odunlami Street in Lagos Island, was a significant milestone and a symbolic manifestation of his administration’s policies in reforming the justice sector and in line with his vision to make the State safe for residents and investors.
He said the State Government, with the completion of the centre, is joining other advanced countries of the world which had embraced technology to make life easier for people in all spheres of existence.
He said: “From the domestic front to our places of work; from the way we learn, to doing business, the use of technology has become a way of life. You will therefore understand why our administration had no hesitation in approving this project which serves amongst other things, as an effective method of bringing perpetrators of crime to book and ensuring quick dispensation of justice.”
The Governor recalled that from inception, his administration realised the fact that security was key to good governance and sustainability of investment to make life better for the people, a development he said necessitated the heavy investment in security equipment, recruitment and training of security personnel to assist law enforcement agencies in the maintenance of public peace and security.
The interventions, Governor Ambode said, had translated into tremendous success by the reduction in the incidents of crimes in the State, adding that the DNA Centre was another move demonstrating the State Government’s resolve to stay ahead of criminals through scientific-led investigations.
Giving details of the DNA Centre, the Governor said the facility has capacity to provide the Police, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys and Private citizens with crime scene processing; serological screening for blood and semen; DNA analysis of bone, teeth and hair; maternal and paternal relationship DNA analysis; expert witness and case handling services; paternal and maternal ancestry DNA analysis; cold case file review and mass disaster human identification
While assuring that the government would not rest on its oars in coming up with initiatives to secure the State, Governor Ambode said with the commissioning, the government would now move to the second stage of building additional capacity in the areas of Toxicology; Trace Evidence and Controlled Substance Analysis; Fingerprint and Latent prints; Firearms, Ballistics and Tool Marks; Digital Forensics; and Questioned Documents Examination.
According to him, “The development of these other forensic sections at the facility will complement the DNA forensic section and enhance the level of services offered today.
Before now, most, if not all DNA analysis and testing were performed outside Nigeria, a situation that caused longer turn-around times and an overall higher cost of bringing closure to a case.
“I am therefore convinced that the establishment of the Lagos DNA & Forensic Centre will improve the speed and quality of evidence collected to assist our Courts in the quick dispensation of justice. This centre is a definite boost for our administration’s Justice Sector reform programme. It shows that our covenant with Lagosians to create a safe and secure State is being kept,” Governor Ambode said.
In his welcome address, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem said the centre would assist the State to have a reliable DNA database that would enable investigators and law enforcement officers identify crime patterns and suspects, and also help exonerate or convict suspects.
On his part, the Consul General of United States Embassy in Lagos, Mr John Bray congratulated Governor Ambode and the people of the State for successfully completing the building of “the first DNA Forensic Centre not only in Nigeria but in West Africa,” saying that the development would enhance justice and progress.
Bray, who had worked as a law enforcement officer in United States for twenty-five years before being posted to Lagos, said the State Government deserved commendation for the foresight and vision to undertake such project as the DNA Forensic centre, adding that there was no question about the fact that the facility is of world class standard.
On his part, the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Abayomi Olonishakin represented by Rear Admiral Lawal Modu Adams said the centre was a significant milestone in the country’s fight against all forms of crime including terrorism.
Also, Lagos State Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal said the completion of the centre was another first by the Lagos State Government and one of the greatest moves by any state government towards boosting security and justice delivery.
He said with the opening of the centre, the State Police Command would now reopen unresolved high-profile cases hitherto frustrated by lack of solid evidence.
“I am perhaps the happiest person here today because this will enhance my job. We have a lot of pending high profile cases that we have not resolved yet. These cases, we intend to revisit with this new centre coming on board,” the CP said.
|A bright future for Ugandan oil & gas sector, Siemens predicts|
|Uganda International Oil and Gas Summit: 27-28 September 2017|
|KAMPALA, Uganda, September 27, 2017/ —
The International Monetary Fund recently stated that the oil reserves in Uganda may account for around four percent of the country’s economy annually in the next few years if managed well.
These sentiments were echoed by speakers and delegates attending the Uganda International Oil & Gas Summit in Kampala Uganda.
Addressing government officials and delegates, Patrice Laporte, Vice President of Siemens (www.Siemens.com) North American Oil & Gas Division, presented a keynote titled ‘Digitalization in the Oil and Gas Sector’.
“As more and more technology per barrel is required, oil and gas projects are becoming increasingly complex and the need for an integrated solution is important,” said Laporte. “The anticipated positive economic impact in Uganda from the oil and gas sector is indeed promising but the full effect of this will only benefit the country and its citizens through judicious planning and implementation of the proposed pipeline.”
Uganda is a new entrant into the oil and gas market. The proposed oil pipeline stretching from Uganda oil fields to the Tanzanian port of Tanga will be the world’s longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline. It is estimated to be one of the most expensive projects to develop upstream, midstream and downstream infrastructure and the country is looking to capitalize on lessons learned in other developing oil & gas markets, as well as from established producers.
“With an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil and close to 500 billion cubic feet of gas, Uganda is a promising site for exploration. Siemens has a proven track record of delivering fit-for-purpose technical solutions on a large scale in remote locations. This expertise and knowledge can play a decisive role in ensuring the performance and on-time delivery of a key infrastructure project of this magnitude,” added Laporte.
Siemens is considered one of the technology leaders in the industry because of its full spectrum solutions, products and services. “For many years Siemens have been supplying industrial automation, power generation and power distribution strengths and experience to the oil and gas industry.”
“What makes this special is that our expertise and technology is not only of benefit at the inception of a project but along the full value chain and throughout the entire lifecycle of an investment. Our innovative technical solutions ensure the sustainability of projects with a key focus on reliability, performance and economic efficiency.”
Siemens involvement in the third Uganda International Oil & Gas Summit follows on the back of its participation at Future Energy Uganda earlier this month as well as the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in May this year at the World Economic Forum in South Africa.The company is collaborating with Uganda on a number of fronts related to the country’s immediate and long-term energy and infrastructure ambitions as well as actively investigating the best option to establish a local presence based on business sustainability.
Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa recently commented while in Uganda, “Siemens is a company that invests for the long term and is optimistic about the long-term fundamentals of the Ugandan market. We want to support sustainable development – with solutions and projects in Africa, for Africa and are actively reviewing the requirements for the organization to open an office in Uganda taking into consideration business sustainability.”