…insists on July 1st N2bn recapitalisation deadline
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to revoke licences of more than 15 mobile money operators that have increas ingly found it difficult to operate in the country in the past few years, New Telegraph has gathered. Already, a new capital requirement of N2 billion has been set for the licensees and any operator that fails to meet the recapitalisation by July 1, this year, will have its licence revoked, according to the apex bank. Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the development to New Telegraph yesterday.
According to him, “With the potential explosion in mobile money and other related activities, the CBN, after very rigorous research and consideration, came up with the new capital requirement to make for a strong mobile money industry.”
He said the initial capital requirement was N500 million, stressing that the operators were required to have met N1 billion at the end of December 2017 and to make up N2 billion by 1st of July 2018.
Asked what happens to any operator that fails to meet the new deadline, Okorafor said: “We expect any serious operator to meet the requirement. To the best of my knowledge, there is no plan to shift the deadline.”
Though Okorafor was silent on the number of operators that may be affected at deadline with full implementation of the new N2 billion recapitalisation policy, New Telegraph gathered that more than 15 of the licensed mobile operators, which lack the financial muscles to recapitalise as required by the apex bank come July, may have their licences withdrawn.
According to analysts, what the apex bank is trying to do is akin to the recapitalisation exercise implemented by the Charles Soludo-led CBN in 2005. Speaking in the same vein, Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Interbank Settlement System Plc. (NIBSS), Mr. Ade Shonubi, said the CBN had increased the take-off capital for the operators to sort out “the serious mobile money players from the unserious ones.”
He said: “All the CBN needs to do now is to enforce that policy. So for anyone who cannot meet the new minimum capital, the apex bank is withdrawing their licences. “When the licensing of mobile money started, the take-off capital used to be N20 million and has moved through phases, but the apex bank has decided to increase this to N2 billion. Only implementation is what remains.”
Mobile money is an aspect of financial transactions where financial values are transferred from one person to another using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platform on mobile networks.
The electronic fund transfer platform was introduced to complement the entire spectrum of cashless economy policy effectively introduced by the apex bank in January 1, 2012. Till date, some 21 mobile money licences have been issued by the CBN with only a few of them operating effectively, including United Bank for Africa/ AfriPay (U-Mobile); Zenith Bank (EazyMoney); GTBank (GTMobileMoney); FirstBank/Pridar – (First- Monie); Stanbic IBTC (*909# Mobile Money) and Ecobank (Ecobank Mobile Money) and others. It was, however, gathered that most of the mobile money operators not backed by any bank have had their operations crumbled due to what industry pundits refer to as “paucity of funds to run effective operations to compete in the financial services market” and may find it difficult to meet the deadline “without some re-alignment.”
Operators within this precarious fold, as gathered, include Parkway Projects (ReadyCash); eTranzact (PocketMoni); PagaTech (Paga); Fortis MFB (Fortis Mobile Money); Monitize (Monitize mobile money); FETS (My Wallet); Eartholeum (QikQik); Teasy Mobile (Teasy Mobile); Mkudi (Mimo); PayCom (Payment Irrespective of Distance or Obstacles – PIDO); VTNetwork (Virtual Terminal Network – VTN) and Cellulant (CeLLulant) among others. Despite having 21 mobile money operators licensed by the CBN in the circulation, the volume of transaction on the payment platforms is still grossly low, according to data obtained on NIBSS official website.
New Telegraph gathered that on the basis of the licensees’ inactivity occasioned by sheer paucity of funds to effectively roll out, the CBN has introduced the recapitalisation of mobile money operations in order to have strong players with adequate financial chess power to advance mobile financial services in the country.
Speaking on the misunderstanding of their role and conditions of licensing, Shonubi, in an interview with New Telegraph, said, “Most mobile money licensees have left what should be their niche markets to compete with big financial institutions such as banks. Until, they refocus their attention towards playing in micro transactions area rather competing with the banks’ market, they will continue to have problem.”
According to him, mobile money operators, looking for where to make money from, decided to run after bank customers who also have mobile phones and were determined to take some of them off the hook of the banks, which is a misplaced priority. President, Medallion Communications, Mr. Ike Nnamani, blamed the poor performance of mobile money operators on lack of adequate funding, lack of technical skills, poor shared infrastructure arrangement as well as lack of focus as to what their mandate should be.
Police arrest suspects who allegedly stole N3.5m from Bayelsa govt
Authorities of the Bayelsa State Police Command at the weekend confirmed the arrest of four personnel of the Nigerian Civil Defence and Security Corps (NCDSC) and a civilian over the alleged theft
of N3.5million from the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff of Governor Seriake Dickson, Mrs. Ebizi Brown-Odiomu.
According to the Police, the incident occurred on Thursday, at about 0850 hours, when the Command received a report of burglary and stealing in the office of the Deputy Chief
of Staff, Government House, Yenagoa.
According to the statement issued by the Spokesperson of the Command, Asinim Butswat: “It was reported that the main entrance door to the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff was broken and the safe inside the office was destroyed
Rotary Int’l District 9110 launches cancer vaccination centre, vaccinates 114 girls
As part of its global interventions to nip cervical cancer in the bud, Rotary International District 9110, Nigeria, during the week, launched a cervical cancer vaccination centre in
Lagos State to further drive down the number of deaths resulting from cervical cancer.
The centre, which domiciles at the Estate Junior Secondary School, Town Planning Way, Ilupeju, Lagos, where over 114 girl students were vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer in women, was the first of its kind.
According to the District Governor of District 9110, Rotn Jide Akeredolu, the vaccination of young girls at tender ages (the school age), will accord them all-life protection against HPV, which cases the cancer.
He noted that cervical cancer is a unique cancer in the sense that a proper vaccination with the right vaccines against the virus will prevent the women from having the cancer in their lifetime, unlike other cancers that do not have vaccines.
He said: “What we are doing today is different from cervical cancer screening and treatment exercise; we are on the cervical cancer prevention project. By vaccination of these young girls, they will not encounter this disease in future and there will not be any need for screening and treatment.”
The District Governor noted that cervical cancer is the second most common cancer of women after breast cancer, stating that the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that a woman dies in the world every 55 minutes.
He, however, thanked individual supporters, who joined hands with Rotary International District 9110 in sponsoring one or two girls with vaccination.
Speaking further, the Chairman, Cervical Cancer Prevention Project Committee, Rotn Adetoun Agbe- Davies, who thanked her committee members for their commitment to the project, said about 117 students were given consent forms for the vaccination but only three declined.
“Thank God that this day came to be. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a step. This is our first step to cervical cancer prevention in the country and I know that my District Governor will take us to where are going to,” she said.
According to Mrs. Tayo Olufemi, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, the newly launched cervical cancer vaccination centre in Lagos and vaccination of young girls against the disease, are laudable projects which the state government has shown concern on.
“This is a laudable project that will save the lives of many women in the country. The state government will do something about the vaccination in the state and by January next year, we are most likely to see what the government has been able to do. We will get to the point where we will say that cervical cancer does not kill again,” she said.
Also speaking is Mr. Olawale Kazeem, the representative of Tutor-General, Lagos State Ministry of Education, District 6, who conceded that many women have lost their lives to the disease due to absence of prevention measures in the country.
AbdulRazaq lists priorities of his administration
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has spelt out the priorities of his administration to include big investments in education, infrastructure, health, agriculture, enterprise, and human capital development.
In an address to wrap the three-day retreat held for his cabinet picks, the governor said the state is almost starting “from the scratch” across every sector, especially education and primary healthcare, and directed the appointees to be ready to spend long hours, listen more, and work as a team to rebuild the state.
He said: “The manifesto has been dissected and as you have known, we are going to emphasise on key issues because if we try to do everything, at the end of the day, we might look back and see that we’ve probably done nothing.
“We have to do big in agriculture, health care, education and enterprise – social investment scheme, job creation and infrastructure. I was (just coming from) Kpada. A journey of 30 minutes from Patigi took almost two hours. There is no road, no electricity, the health care and the school system has collapsed and so on. These are part of the challenges you will face when you assume office. It cuts across.
“We’re building from the scratch and people may not understand the enormity of the challenges you are all going to face. You will all have sleepless nights. I can’t over-emphasise the challenges ahead of us and that means
we all have to work together. That is what a cabinet is all about. We are all in it together like the symbol of our political party — broom. So, we need to be strong together to move the state forward.”
He urged the appointees to ensure that they constantly relate with their communities for their input into governance, and said his administration will not abandon projects inherited from the previous administration but may always renegotiate the contracts to save public funds.
The retreat, which attracted top-notch experts from various sectors of the Nigerian economy as facilitators, was held between Wednesday and Friday and featured drills on public service rules, procurement process, public relations, and practical tips on how to deliver democ
NGO advocates better life for disabled persons
Worried about the state of people living with disabilities in the country, the President of Jesus People Enabled, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Tokunbur Oyejobi, has advocate a better life for persons with disabilities in the country.
Oyejobi said that it is quite unfortunate that a country which prides itself as the black biggest nation in Africa, disabled persons cannot boast of a good life.
“What we present to the international community is quite different from the exact way it is. How can a country, with over 35 million persons with disabilities, cannot boast of two percent of them living a good life,” he said.
He added: “I remembered when the former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, offered the sum of N100,000 soft loans for persons with disabilities, before you knew it, the very same set of disabled persons placed in care to make the loans available diverted it.”
Oyejobi also frowned at the non-accessibility of finance houses in the country for disabled persons.
“Tell me one finance house in Nigeria that disabled people can access? I have once aired my view in a TV station on a 9th floor without a working elevator,” he lamented.
Knowledge, innovations, tools for Nigeria’s economic growth, says Minister
inister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu has said that the country is in a situation where the economy is gradually moving from total dependent on commodities or resources to knowledge and innovation.
He therefore encouraged youths especially students not to be discouraged by what they are seeing in the nation today but added that Nigeria will truly be a great nation.
The Minister said this at the maiden edition of musical festival/award night of Caleb Group of Schools held at the Caleb British International School, Abijo GRA, Lekki, recently.
He added that Nigeria will forever be grateful to the founder of the school, Dr Ola Adebogun.
Former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon, who was the Chairman at the event, urged the management of the school to continue following the Lord as Caleb in the Bible.
Gowon, who was represented at the event by his former Chief Press Secretary, Ambassador Moses Ihande, said soon the university will be the best and the first choice in the country if the management continues to follow God.
Wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG Pastor (Mrs) Folu Adeboye, who was one of the awardees, also congratulated the school’s management for organising such an event which she described as needed by the country to encourage the spirit of healthy competition for excellent performance among staff and students.
Speaking on the significance of the event, the Director of Caleb Group of Schools, Dr. Ola Adebogun, said the Musical Festival and Award Night underscores the school’s commitment to Christian values, grooming of highly-educated and skilled students, and rewarding of excellent performance and behaviour.
Show God some gratitude, Adenowo charges Nigerians
he Resident Pastor of the Royal Chapel, London, in the United Kingdom Pastor Moses Kayode Adenowo, has asked Nigerians to down play the economic hardship in the country and show God some gratitude.
Adenowo, who was the Guest Speaker at the 21st anniversary/thanksgiving of the Fadeyi, Lagos branch of the Christ Healing Evangelical Church, urged the citizens to appreciate God’s grace, no matter how little or big.
He said that it is necessary for God to turn the country’s fortunes around, and make the nation most economically and socially vibrant again.
In his sermon titled “The 10 Lepers, the London-based preacher reminded his listeners that Jesus healed 10 lepers pointing out that only one returned to appreciate Jesus for his healing.
He explained that the show of appreciate made Jesus to pronounced greater blessing on the lepers and commanded that his healing was permanent.
On that premise, the Guest Preacher decreed permanent and all-found solutions to the problems plaguing the society.
He also charged the Christian faithful be good role models for others to emulate.
The church’s General Overseer, Pastor Samuel Babatunde Ogunfowokan, reiterated the need for the entire members and the leaders, to renew their strides to drive the church to an enviable height.
Our lives under threat, family cries out in Ekiti
69-year-old resident of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Mrs. Eunice Oladosu, has cried out that her life and that of her family is in danger as unknown persons suspected to be cultists from Ikorodu, Lagos, invaded her home recently.
Oladosu alleged that the assailants, who shot severally into the air, gained access into her bedroom and continuously asked for the whereabouts of her son in-law, Olufemi Shoyoye and his wife Mojisola, while beating her and her daughter-in-law Bukola Oladosu at the same time, inflicting injuries on them in the process.
The aged mother and the daughter-in-law living with her are currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital for fear of being revisited by these men of the underworld.
Shoyoye’s and his family’s lives have been under serious threat and several failed attempted assassination since 2001 when the head of the deadly cult group wanted to force the wife (Mrs. Mojisola Shoyoye into marriage in Mushin, Lagos State.
The alleged threat to life and failed assassination made the couple to flee to an undisclosed location with their three children for fear of being killed.
HMO to FG: Make health insurance mandatory
anaging Director, Clearline HMO, Dr. Babatunde Ladele has enjoined the Federal Government to demonstrate more political will in ensuring adequate funding of healthcare as well as make health insurance scheme mandatory for all Nigerians.
Dr. Ladele, who made the call recently in an interview, also said that all tiers of government should adopt health insurance scheme which aligns with the best global practices.
Also, he said that there is the need for the government to adopt a blueprint for the nation’s healthcare system and health issue come into national discourse.
This according to him would make all stakeholders work assiduously in order to facilitate the desired growth for the nation’s healthcare.
Ladele called for concerted efforts to rescues the nation’s health care sector as the penetration of health insurance is still very low in the country.
“The health insurance is nascent in Nigeria and this should be worked on by all and sundry,” he said.
JOHESU/AHPA to Buhari: Concession of health institutions, invitation to mortality
he Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU)/Assembly of Healthcare Professionals Associations (AHPA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the concessioning and privatisation of federal health facilities, which it said was being promoted by greedy and selfish entrepreneurs.
JOHESU and AHPA in an open letter to Buhari signed by Comrade Bio Joy Josiah, Chairman of JOHESU and Olumide Akintayo who is an Executive Member of AHPA, said it had become necessary to alert the President of some selfish entrepreneurs in healthcare bent on facilitating concessioning and privatisation of major health facilities at the federal level to themselves and their greedy cronies.
JOHESU/AHPA appealed to the president to be decisive in taking a position that the profiteers, concessionaires, greedy entrepreneurs and their collaborators in government jostling to take over the Federal Health Institutions (FHIs) should be responsible enough to build their own world class health facilities like their counterparts in the global arena.
The group lamented that the first leg of the unwholesome agenda, aided by major players at the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) between 2015 and May, 2019, had been won with the recent approval for concessioning of 22 FHIs by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
It said the propaganda machine was activated even at the highly prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria (NIPSS) where a recent NIPSS study tour advocated the need to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria using the Lagos example.
“We firmly assert the need for UHC as canvassed by members of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 41 of the NIPSS. What is, however, unacceptable is hinging the workability of the UHC on the exaggerated success story of a manipulated Public Private Partnership, which is portrayed as an innovative strategy for financing UHC in Lagos and a dead-on-arrival Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS),” they said.
JOHSU/AHPA contended that privatisation symbolises a total sale or transfer of the public or government assets to private investors or company with a sole motive of making profit (profiteering).
Total stresses commitment in lifting host communities
il giant, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, has declared its readiness to support the people of its host communities of Oil Mining Licence (OML) 58 in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, in a bid to make them accomplish their goals and objectives.
The company’s Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water District, Engr. Ahmadu Musa Kida, who stated this after being conferred with a chieftaincy title by the Eze Egi of Ogbaland, HRM Prof. Anele Nwokoma in Egi, noted that the host communities will continue to get Total’s support in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda.
He said that what is good for its host communities is good for Total, noting that the company will improve on what it has achieved in its host communities as both sides continue to grow together.
Kida bagged the chieftaincy alongside Engr. Joel Hervochon, a French citizen, and the Executive Director, Deep Waters of Total; Sir Blessing Nwaerema and Dr. Ifeanyi Obulor who are both indigenes of Egi Kingdom.
Musa-Kida stated that Total sees itself as a citizen of Egiland, and that whatever affects the people affects the oil firm.
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