Rich countries stockpiling critical minerals Nigeria has but ignores
Rich countries are building strategic reserves of metals that will be critical as the world moves away from fossil fuels to a greener economy but only one of four of such metals found in Nigeria is on the government’s priority list.
Some of the minerals that will dominate the future are those used in the production of battery including Nickel, Aluminum, Phosphorus, Iron, Copper, Graphite, Lithium, Cobalt, Manganese among others.
Of these minerals, Nigeria has deposits of Iron ore, Copper, Manganese, and Graphite but on the government’s priority list of minerals to develop, only Iron ore features due to the industrialization potential steel can offer Nigeria.
Alarm as Indian virus strain found in Kenya, Uganda and Morocco
The coronavirus strain circulating in India known as B.1.617, has been detected in three African countries are Kenya, Uganda and Morocco, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fearing an influx of infections and mindful of how transmissible the variant is, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are among countries that have temporarily banned flights from India.
African countries have administered 20.2 million of the 37.6 million vaccine doses they have received, covering 1.1 percent of the population of over 1.3 billion, while Morocco and Kenya have distributed nearly 90 percent of their shots, the continent’s most populous nation — Nigeria — has only issued 1.2 million vaccines or 29 percent of its allocation.
Digitisation to spur growth but poor internet speed might see Nigeria missing out
Although the pandemic challenged businesses operationally, it sped up digital transformation across many economies, creating the immense potential to accelerate growth, nonetheless, Nigeria may struggle to reap the benefit of this transition.
According to the Digital Global Overview report by Datareportal, the number of internet users in Nigeria increased by 22 percent to 104.4 million in January 2021 compared to 85.4 recorded in the same last year, this is an additional 19 million people as the pandemic increased the pace of digitisation. However, despite achieving about 50 percent internet penetration, Nigeria’s internet download speed is one of the slowest in the world.
To make matters worse, the cost of internet use is so expensive in Nigeria despite the stiff competition between telecommunication firms.
CBN extends Naira for dollar scheme indefinitely
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the Naira for dollar scheme till further notice, saying all aspects of the operationalisation of the programme remain the same.
On March 6, 2021, the CBN introduced the Naira 4 dollar scheme as an incentive to boost inflows of diaspora remittances into the country.
The new policy on remittances flows by the lender of last resort, which offers to reward recipients of diaspora remittances is expected to reduce costs and check roundtripping, according to the regulator.
Paystack eyes African commerce as it opens South Africa office
Paystack, a payment gateway provider has opened its doors to businesses in South Africa, after three months of intently focusing on the market and studying its strategic importance to the firm’s ambition for the rest of Africa.
Paystack already has a semblance of a continental player with teams spread across the continent. The company is currently 100 percent remote and a growing team of over 160 friends distributed across 12 countries (including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Côte D’Ivoire, UK, US, Senegal, UAE, France, and Turkey) and more than 16 nationalities.
Paystack says it plans to leverage South Africa’s internet connectivity, one of the highest on the continent, to significantly drive up the adoption of digital transactions.