News Roundup: Fake Covid vaccines in Uganda, GTBank named Africa’s best bank, Elon Musk to accept Bitcoin again, Omojuwa joins Halifax…

Hundreds of people in Uganda injected with water instead of Covid vaccine
MORE than 800 people in Uganda were given fake Covid vaccines which were made of mostly water. The counterfeit jabs were administered over May and June during a deadly surge of the coronavirus in the East African nation, when new infections soared to record highs of about 1,700 cases per day. The fraudsters targeted people looking to pay for immunisation, including corporate employees, at a time when vaccines were in short supply, said Warren Naamara, the director of a health services monitoring unit under the presidency. He said those conned into getting a fake vaccine should not be alarmed as tests indicated the vials contained nothing dangerous.

Elon Musk says Tesla will likely accept Bitcoin again
Tesla is likely to begin accepting Bitcoin as payment again, Elon Musk said. Musk made the comments at the virtual B Word conference, stating the company will first research how much renewable energy is needed to mine the currency. In May, Musk said Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin as payment because the mining of the cryptocurrency utilized too much electricity generated by fossil fuels. Tesla is likely to begin accepting Bitcoin as payment again after the company conducts further research into how much renewable energy is needed to mine the currency, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said.

Nigerian GTBank named Africa’s best bank in the 2021 Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence
Africa’s leading financial services institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, has been named Africa’s Best Bank 2021 by Euromoney, the premier information authority on global finance. Guaranty Trust Bank was also recognised as Nigeria’s Best Bank for a record 11th time at the awards. “Not the biggest but the most profitable. That’s the strategy of Guaranty Trust Bank,” said Euromoney, following the announcement. “With a return on average equity of 28.5 per cent in 2020, [Guaranty Trust Bank] is clearly achieving among its banking competitors in its home country Nigeria and also across Africa,” the global financial publication added. Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence recognizes financial institutions that demonstrate leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets they operate. With the 2021 Excellence award, Guaranty Trust has now been named Africa’s Best bank twice in three years, reflecting its leading position as one of the best managed financial institutions on the continent. The Euromoney award is the latest recognition for Guaranty Trust, having recently retained its position as Africa’s most admired financial services brand in the 2021 ranking of The Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands.

Nigeria’s Omojuwa joins Halifax as first African board member
Media expert and social commentator Japheth Omojuwa, popularly known as JJ Omojuwa, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX), Washington DC. An HFX statement Monday in Abuja said Omojuwa became the first Nigerian and African to make a list of respected world leaders who make up the board. “We are truly delighted to have Omojuwa on board and everyone here looks forward to working closely with him to further our mission of strengthening cooperation among democracies around the world,” HFX wrote on his Twitter page. HFX is a global, non-profit think tank that brings together senior officials from mostly democratic countries around the world to freely discuss issues, share knowledge, and debate possible responses to global security challenges.Current members of the HFX board include: White House candidate for ambassador to United Nations food and agriculture agencies, Cindy McCain; President of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations, retired Major-General. Tammy Harris.

Read also: Delta Covid riskier: Evades immunity, vaccines

Lagos Agberos collect more cash than IGR of 35 states
As many states struggle to generate revenue, Agberos in Lagos state generate N123 billion yearly in Nigeria, more cash than 35 states in Nigeria generate yearly, according to a research by International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR). Excluding Lagos which generated N418.9 billion in 2020, this amount is bigger than the IGR of any state in Nigeria last year. However, this huge sum does not do into the Lagos state account for the welfare of the 2o million Lagosians but mostly into private pockets. According to an estimate by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), there are 75,000 commercial buses in Lagos (danfos). Each driver of these buses pays at least N3000 to agberos every day, according to oral testimonies obtained by ICIR from more than 50 commercial bus drivers in 21 out of 37 local council development authority’s (LCDAs) in Lagos. This implies that the drivers pay N225 million daily, N6.75 billion monthly and N82.1 yearly to agberos in Lagos.There are at least 50,000 tricycles (keke Marwas) in Lagos, according to a 2020 report by Techcabal. According to ICIR, tricycle drivers pay at least N1,800 to these agberos daily. This means that agberos pocket about N90 million daily, N2.7 billion monthly and N32.1 billion yearly. Despite the Lagos State government motorcycle (Okada) ban, the ICIR obtained information from the Motorcycle Operators’ Association of Lagos State (MOALS) that there are about 1000 motorcycles in each 37 LCDA in Lagos state. This means there are 37,000 commercial motorcycle drivers in Lagos who pay N600 to agberos daily, according to ICIR. That means agberos pocket N22.2 million daily, N666 million monthly and about N8.1 billion yearly.

SEC licence pays dividend as Chaka raises $1.5m pre-seed funding
Barely a month after it was issued the first fintech licence by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Chaka Technologies has secured a $1.5 million in pre-seed funding round from a mix of foreign and local investors. Leading the funding round is Breyer Capital, a global venture firm and private equity investor. Breyer had in the past invested in high-impact companies like Spotify and Facebook. Chaka said in a statement that the funding will enable it to focus on its goals to build a roaster of formidable partners and accelerate its expansion to other markets within West Africa. The company also plans to hire top talent and integrate more advanced functionalities into its investment and wealth management solutions. Founded in March 2019 by Tosin Osibodu, Chaka is a platform that provides opportunities for Nigerians to invest in dollar assets and allow foreigners to invest in Nigerian assets. The platform gives Nigerians access to more than 10,000 stocks and ETFs trading on local and foreign capital markets.

Jobberman Nigeria is using AI to help employers hire better
Jobberman, Nigeria’s leading job placements platform has introduced an improved way to curb the challenge of recruiting in Nigeria with the enhanced Best Match product that helps employers find the best match for their roles in just ten working days. This product has been tagged – #ANewWaytoMatch. This new and improved recruitment solution is an automated candidate matching system that saves employers time and effort by screening, testing, and ranking the high volume of candidates received for an application, matching them with the best fit faster. With this product, employers get a shortlist of 10 “qualified” and “tested” candidates who match their job description the best in only 10 working days. In 2019, Jobberman introduced a recruitment solution that aimed to use a mix of HR experts and our automated matching algorithm to sort and rank candidates that best match the criteria an employer is looking for. Nigeria is currently facing a plague of unemployment and underemployment, with the current statistic reaching an all-time high of 33.3 percent.

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