UNN Produces Nigeria’s First Electric Car

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It was excitement galore at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) yesterday as the institution’s Engineering Faculty successfully unveiled its first five-seater electric car.

Christened Lion Ozumba 551, the car, made with 80 percent locally-sourced materials, could undertake a 30-kilometer distance when fully charged.

Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Charles Igwe, said the car was part of the drive to accord innovation and technology the highest attention to reposition the institution for greater heights. He commended the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, who he said laid the foundation for innovation and technology upon which the car dream was realised. Remember that the Institution is of the best Universities in Nigeria

“I feel happy that I inherited a strong institution from Ozumba and I promise to consolidate on his achievements,” he said.

Director-general, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu, also commended the university for the stride, urging other institutions in the country to give priority to technology and innovation.

He disclosed that the council had on February 6, 2019, invited UNN, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Usman Danfolio University, Sokoto (UDUSOK) and the Metrological Institute to make proposals on how to produce electric cars in the country, adding that he was elated that it had become reality.

Aliyu, who was represented by Director of Finance and Accounts, David Oyetunji, said improving on the automobile industry in the country would help create more employment and reduce huge amount of money used in importing cars into the country. He also commended UNN for the recent production of the gasification plant that uses organic waste to generate electricity.

Responding, Ozumba said he was overwhelmed when he was invited to witness the unveiling of the electric car, which was initiated by his administration. “When I came on board, I said we need innovation and technology to be at par with China, United States, Sweden and other developed countries of the world.

“That was why I provided the resources and encouragement for innovation and technology because I believe that is one of the ways we can improve our country’s economy. “It was part of my desire to improve UNN’s and Nigeria’s economy and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

Earlier, coordinator of UNN Medtronic team that produced the car, Ozoemena Ani, affirmed that it was produced with 80 per cent local materials, adding that it would go 30 kilometres when fully charged, The Guardian reports.

9Mobile Looses As MTN Gained Over 2 Million New Internet Users In May -NCC

Nigeria has gained 3.12 million Internet users in May 2019, the latest monthly Internet subscribers data obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission has shown.

However, this is lower than the number of new Internet users recorded by mobile network operators in April in which operators gained 3.6 million new users.

The statistics showed that overall Internet users rose to 122,624,417 in May from the 119,506,430 recorded in April, showing a 2.6 per cent growth in subscribers.

According to the data, Airtel, MTN and Globacom gained more Internet subscribers during the month under review, while 9mobile was the big loser and a major aspect that might have contributed their loss is the much complained about 9mobile data plan for internet users. Also, new Internet users were added on the 800 MHz spectrum owned by MTN.

The breakdown of the statistics revealed that MTN gained the most with 2,406,627 new Internet users, increasing its subscription in May to 52,433,020 from 50,026,393 recorded in April.

The data indicated that Airtel came second with 595,093 new Internet users in May, increasing its subscription to 31,932,750 in May as against 31,337,657 in April.

Also, Globacom gained 198,142 new Internet users in the month under review, increasing its subscription to 28,825,533 in May as against 28,627,391 recorded in April.

The NCC data further showed that 9mobile lost 90,866 Internet users in May and was left with 9,350,477 users in May as against 9,441,343 recorded in April.

The data revealed that 800Hz spectrum MTN got from Visafone recorded 82,637 Internet users in May as against 73,646 in April.

Meanwhile, the number of active subscribers to mobile network services in the country rose marginally by 21,491 in May 2019, the NCC data indicated.

The statistics further showed that while MTN, Airtel and Globacom gained new subscribers in the month of May, 9mobile lost some of its network users.

In April, the four mobile network operators had a total of 173,383,803 active users, which rose to 173,405,294 as of the end of May.

Further analysis of the data indicated that MTN added 80,524 new customers; Globacom gained 91,066 new subscribers; Airtel added 207,091 new users to its network; and 9mobile’s subscribers reduced by 356,826.

According to the NCC data, MTN remains the largest mobile network provider in the country by the number of subscribers, owning 37 per cent market share; it is followed by Globacom with 27 per cent market share.

Airtel is the third largest with 26 per cent market share and 9mobile holds nine per cent market share and the 800Hz Visafone spectrum has one per cent market share.

MTN: Best Mobile Network In Nigeria, Best In South Africa

MyBroadband Insights has released its 2019 Mobile Network Quality Report for the second quarter of the year. The data shows that MTN has been crowned as the best mobile network in South Africa once again.

With the help of 11 004 unique Speed Test users, MyBroadband conducted more than 330 000 speed tests through their Android Speed Test App between 1 April and 30 June 2019.

The research shows that South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 25.67 Mbps, up from 24.20Mbps in the previous quarter.

That is not bad, considering that the most recent Open Signal State of Mobile Network Experience report showed that South Africa’s average download speed is 15 Mbps (Megabits per second.)

Best mobile network in South Africa

The MyBroadband report shows that out of South Africa’s mobile service providers, MTN had the highest average download speed with 35.90 Mbps. South African are addicted to the network because of service like the very cheap MTN Data Plan and other services.

Vodacom was in second place with 29.76 Mbps, followed by Telkom with 23.07, and Rain with 17.91 Mbps. Cell C was last on the list, with only 17.32 Mbps.

The report also shows that there has been a significant increase in network performance from MTN, Vodacom and Telkom in 2019, thanks to the improved LTE coverage and HSPA availability in rural areas.

According to the report, Rain is the only operator that saw a dip in performance during the period from 1 April and 30 June 2019.

Davido Disappointed Supreme Court Affirms Oyetola’s Victory

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Nigeria’s Afro-pop star David Adeleke popularly known as Davido would certainly be disappointed over this morning’s Supreme Court judgment affirming Adegboyega Oyetola as the duly elected governor of Osun State.

Davido had in a reply to a tweet by fholarwealth @fholarwealth on Thursday that he had a dream that the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Senator Ademola Adeleke, stated: ”This dream shall pass in the mighty name of Jesus”.

But both were disappointed as the Supreme Court today declared Governor Oyetola as the true winner of the Osun governorship election. David Adeleke is one of the Richest Nigerian Musicians in Nigeria according to Forbes and other ranking bodies.

Wizkid and Soft For Remix Of Hit Song, ‘Money’

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After being relatively quiet for most of the year, Wizkid seems to be gaining his mojo back, as he’s featured on several jams, such as Larry Gaaga’s “Low” and ID Cabasa’s “Totori”. Now, the Starboy has teamed up with rising star, Soft for the remix of his hit song, “Money” Wizkid Ayo Balogun who reportedly The Richest Musician In Nigeria.

Last year, Soft released “Money” as a follow-up to his breakout song, “Tattoo”, proving he is no one-hit wonder. Now, he’s enlisted the biggest afropop star in the game, Wizkid, for the remix, a move that should definitely boost his visibility and put more people on to his music.

Wizkid clearly really enjoyed the original song, praising it multiple times on his Instagram. Now, he’s brought his midas touch to the remix, making it even more of a vibe. On the mid-tempo song, the two artists boast about their riches, declaring that life is all about enjoyment.

You can check it out right here:  https://youtu.be/-bXtuCws4pA

Again NSE Market Indicator Drops, Losses N33 Billion

 

Activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) sustained negative trend on Thursday with the market indicators dropping further by 0.26 per cent.

Specifically, the All Share Index, which opened at 29,375.25, lost 75.16 points or 0.26 per cent to close at 29,300.09.

Also, the market capitalisation of listed equities shed N33 billion or 0.26 per cent to close at N12.914 trillion against N12.947 trillion reported on Wednesday.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said they expected the bearish streak to be sustained in the absence of catalysts to stimulate investors’ sentiment.

Also, analyst at Imperial Asset Managers Limited also expected the market to continue within the existing range today amid bargain hunting on low priced stocks.

An analysis of the price movement chart shows that NASCON led the gainers’ table, appreciating by 70k to close at N15 per share.

Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc followed with a gain of 50k to close at N15; also, the Dangote Sugar Refinery owned by one of the richest people in Nigeria gained 45k to close at N11.45 per share.

Custodian and Investment also garnered close a N6.25, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated increased by 40k to close at N10.40 per share.

Conversely, Presco led the losers’ chart declining by N5.20 to close at N46.80 per share.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc trailed with a loss of 50k to close at N29.50, while Guinness shed 30k to close at N47.50 per share.

Dangote Flour was down by 25k to close at N17.25, while Oando dipped 10k to close at N3.85 per share.

New Dangote Promo To Make 21 Million Cement Users Rich

In an unprecedented move to empower millions of its product consumers economically, leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc yesterday launched a jumbo consumer promo tagged “Dangote Cement Bag of Goodies”, which is designed to produce 21 million winners across the country.

The promo, which runs between July and September in which prizes worth billions of Naira would be won, was formally unveiled to the media at a news briefing in Lagos. Lucky consumers are to win 43 cars, 24 tricycles, 24 motorcycles, 550 refrigerators, 400 television sets, 300,000 Dangote foods goodies packs and recharge cards for all networks worth N200,000,000.00

While unveiling the promo, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Engr. Joseph Makoju, who was represented by the Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries Limited, Knut Ulvmoen said the company decided to run the biggest promo ever in Nigeria as a way of contributing to the economic wellbeing of the consumers of its products given the prevailing economic situation.

He said the promo is to reward valued consumers for their unflinching partnership in ensuring that our range of cement products remains today the first choice for construction purposes across the country, and added that the consumer promotion gives opportunities for existing and new consumers to get a step ahead of their struggle for economic emancipation by winning any of the give-away items which has economic value.

“We have made it so transparent that you don’t have to go through any raffle or draw associated with many other promotions in the country. You win instantly because what is revealed in the scratch card is what you win”, he stated.

Explaining why Dangote Cement launched such a humongous promo, Mr. Knut explained that Dangote Cement is the largest in Africa with the largest production capacity and therefore decided to reward the consumers in the biggest way ever experienced in the country. Mr. Aliko Dangote who is the richest man in Nigeria own Dangote cement, in fact, he became one of the richest people in the world through Dangote Cement.

In her presentation on the promo, Dangote Cement Marketing Director, Mrs. Funmi Sanni stated that “Consumers are at the heart of what we do; without them there is no business. Consumers are important and a fundamental factor of production without which production process is incomplete and our ability to remain in business becomes impossible.

“To grow our business, we must constantly create value in terms of quality product and service, competitive pricing and depositing in consumers’ emotional bank accounts in order to become their preferred choice of brand at the point of purchase.”

The Marketing Director said as a business, the management of Dangote Cement recognizes the importance of every member of its value chain, distributors; wholesalers; and retailers, “and as such we have invested in growing their businesses through various empowerment schemes.”

According to her, the new Dangote cement promo bags have been shipped to all distributors and sellers nationwide and therefore there is no fear of scarcity of the new cement product.

She added that “every promo bag of cement contains a scratch card carrying winning items carefully inserted in each bag. Consumers need to be educated to scratch gently so as not invalidate their wining card.” She disclosed that the promo cuts across all Dangote Cement’s brands which include 3X, Falcon and BlocMaster.

Mrs. Sanni explained that the consumer promo was in line with the mission of the company which is to touch the lives of the people by providing their basic needs, and pointed out that the consumer promotion is another huge investment to help the customers improve their rate of sales and make more profit while at the same time improve the consumers’ quality of life. “We are doing this for the sake of our consumers who have not really benefitted much from our previous promo.”

The promo was also endorsed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. The Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Lagos Liaison Office of the NLRC, Mrs. Nkiru Onuzulu said the promo had been approved and registered with the Commission and can assure that it would be transparent, free and fair all through the processes.

“I can assure you that what you win is what you will get because we are monitoring and regulating the promo, and given the calibre of the company running this promo which is Dangote Cement, there won’t be any undercut.”

Also attesting to the inherent transparency in the promo, President of Blockmakers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Rasidi Adebowale said Dangote has done a lot of promos that benefited the blockmakers in the past where there was no issue. He said this cannot be an exception.

Osun set to disburse N615m soft loans to small businesses

Osun StateOsun State Government is set to begin the disbursement of over N615 million to micro and small businesses, General Manager of Osun Micro-credit Agency, Mr. Dayo Babaranti said at the weekend.

Babaranti added that the state had so far given out about N4.8 billion to about 28,000 residents to support their businesses.

He said the N615.150 million received from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is a part payment from the N2 billion revolving Micro Small Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF) loan being given to states by the apex bank.

Babaranti, who spoke in his office in Osogbo, the state capital, added that since 2014, the Federal Government, through the CBN, had been releasing intervention funds (MSMEDF) to support socio-economic activities in states.

The General Manager said the N4.8 billion received through the CBN microcredit scheme was disbursed to citizens as soft loans to support small businesses.

According to him, Osun was rated first among the 36 benefiting states of the CBN’s MSMEDF because of its promptness and diligence in repayment and for using the funds for the primary purpose it was meant.

Speaking on the terms and conditions for accessing the loan, Babaranti said the agency had maintained simple and bearable requirements for the citizens, adding that the scheme had helped to rekindle the hope among the citizens who were unable to meet the condition to obtain loans from commercial banks.

He said: “This scheme has been really helpful in boosting socio-economic activities in the state as thousands of people have benefited from it. Our state has received N4.8 billion since the intervention of the CBN on MSMEDF began in 2014, and so far so good, over 28,000 people have benefited from this scheme.

“We have recorded over 70 per cent repayment by beneficiaries. We divide our lending scheme into three categories to accommodate all sectors and these include: individual lending, group lending and SME lending. The maximum amount individual lenders can benefit from this agency isN500,000 and this must be paid back within one year.

“We are empowered to give from zero to N5 million to those who are operating Small and Medium Enterprise, while those under the umbrella of co-operative or group can access limitless funds depending on the strength of their membership.”

“This scheme has helped our people to expand the scope of their businesses, reduce unemployment, eradicate poverty, banish hunger and create a sense of belonging for all. It has helped to improve on the capital of the participating microfinance banks, which has translated into increased sales volume.

“We have made significant improvement on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state through tax payments from the income earned by the beneficiaries. Through this scheme, the nine per cent interest of the facility has forced all microfinance banks in the state to review downwards their hitherto high-interest rates.”

Sunu Assurances backs recapitalisation

The ongoing move to recapitalise Nigerian insurance sector will lead to emergence of a more virile, productive and competitive insurance sector that will contribute more to national development.

Managing Director Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc  Mr Samuel Ogbodu, at the weekend praised the new policy on minimum capital requirements for insurance functions recently released by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), noting that the move was in the best interest of the insurance sector.

NAICOM had in May 2019 released new capital requirements for insurance businesses with a 13-month compliance period for operators to shore up their minimum capital base to the required level. The minimum paid-up share capital of a life insurance company was increased from N2 billion to N8 billion, non-life insurance from N3 billion to N10 billion, composite insurance from N5 billion to N18 billion while re-insurance companies were directed to raise their capital base from N10 billion to N20 billion.

Ogbodu spoke in Lagos at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) Quarterly Forum themed, “Deepening insurance penetration through effective broker engagement”.

He said the recapitalisation would lead to consolidation of the insurance sector and provide more opportunities for large ticket transactions while positioning Nigerian insurance companies as big players, as against the current trend of being agents to foreign insurance underwriters.

He added that insurance brokers would have more creative roles to play towards harnessing the benefits of the new capital base requirement.

According to him, the recapitalisation will help to reposition the Nigerian insurance sector to take its rightful place in the country’s economy as insurance companies would at the end of the recapitalisation be able to take up opportunities hitherto taken by foreign companies.

He said various efforts aimed at boosting the insurance sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from its present 0.1 per cent level would be accelerated with the implementation of the new capital base.

Ogbodu was optimistic that insurance penetration in the country would surpass one per cent with proper implementation of the capital raising exercise as players would be forced to harness new grounds.

He assured shareholders that Sunu Assurances Nigeria would surpass the new capital base of N10 billion.

“Sunu is positioned to take up the new challenges, having been rightly placed to meet up with the new capital requirement of N10 billion, even as the framework for the new policy is yet to be released,” Ogbodu said.

He said the new era would open doors for new products, reduce challenges posed by liquidity in the sector, strengthen financial inclusion and as well re-open new regulatory windows for regulators.

He pointed out that Sunu Assurances with its presence in over 14 countries, combined robust product offerings and a unique technology-driven platform, provides insurance management solutions at competitive costs to individuals and institutions.

Executive Director, Strategy and Performance, Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc, Mr Karim Dione, also lauded the recapitalisation effort, noting that recapitalisation was the right step to take.

He said the players needed to have profitable businesses adding that the potential in Nigeria in terms of size, potential, and resources was enormous for the Sunu Group, which is ready to meet the new capital base.

“SUNU is here to stay because Nigeria is the real market in Africa in size, potential, resources and population,” Dione said.

He noted that the company’s fully paid capital presently stands at N7 billion against N10 billion required for general insurance.

Dione said the company would fully comply with the Naicom’s policy but urged the Commission to make clarification on whether total shareholders’ funds or paid-up share capital will be used to measure the minimum capital base.

Dione said enforcement of the new capital requirement would boost penetration, and also enable companies to take bigger risks.

“Nigeria is extremely competitive, when there are too many players in the industry, it will lead to price dumping. We need to reduce the players in the industry to boost the reputation of the industry,” Dione said.

He said Nigerian insurance brokers were largely professional and ethical contrary to insinuations in some quarters.

Stressing the role of brokers in the sector, Ogbodu said the sector’s earnings were mainly due to the contributions of the brokers that stood at 80 per cent.

“Without the brokers, there won’t be insurance; they contribute about 80 per cent of the earnings. We place very high premium on brokers,” Ogbodu said.

He also commended the efforts of brokers in the industry in strengthening insurance penetration.

EU okays 165m euros for Nigeria’s renewable energy

EU Nigeria’s renewable energyTHE European Union (EU) has approved 165 million euros to support Nigeria’s renewable energy programme, it was gathered at the weekend in Lagos.

Its  Head of Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ketil Karslen, said all was set for the funds to support the aspirations of the Federal Government to improve electricity supply  and grow the economy.

He said the EU set a target of 32 per cent for its 28 member countries  to provide renewable energy by 2030.

According to him, though the target  appears ambitious, it will, nevertheless, enable Africa, especially Nigeria, to improve its renewable activities for economic growth.

In an interview with The Nation on the sideline of an event organised by the Delegation of the EU to Nigeria and ECOWAS in Lagos, Karslen said the fund will help in creating opportunities in the off-grid sub-sector of the electricity industry and grow businesses in the country.

Karlsen said: “More than 80 million people in Nigeria are outside the grid electricity bracket, a development, which has affected the growth of businesses and families. This implies that Africa and

“Nigeria, in particular, has a long way to go in the areas of creation, developing and usage of electricity. This is the reason  EU is supporting power initiatives  in counties in Africa and beyond.

“Nigeria has a  huge population and this informed the decision by EU to support its renewable programme. Renewable is the energy for the future, because it is clean, affordable and provide a conducive habitats for the people.”

On the target, he explained: “If  EU did not set an ambitious target for European countries, in order to motivate Africa to action, it would be difficult for the world to attain a very high standard in the area of provision of electricity.”

According to him, the world is changing, so is every facet of human endeavours.

This, he said, meant that the world must embrace the technology, which would help in providing solar and other renewables.

Nigeria’s population, he said, is growing rapidly, stressing that the development implied that the future generation of the country must  create an revenue that would help sustain growth.

” This is the reason, EU is calling on individuals, communities, states and Federal Government, to see the need to give renewable energy a priority in order to recorded the much needed economic growth,” he said.