It’s another weekend in a world where the only thing many people look forward to is the weekend break. One company that is definitely excited about the weekend is Uber.  Earlier this week, it announced that it ate more than $5 billion in losses last quarter. Now that’s a lot!
Although a majority of that — about $3.9 billion — was caused by stock-based compensation that Uber paid its employees after its I.P.O. 

Let’s dive into the news 😊

Nigeria

Fraud is on the Rise

The Story

With the advent of musicians jumping out to support conmen aka Yahoo Boys, It’s only normal to wonder how much damage these conmen do, well the National Deposit Insurance Commission’s report for 2018 has answered that question. The Nigerian banking industry lost N15.15 billion to cyber-crime and forgeries in 2018. This amount was 539% higher than the N2.37 billion recorded in 2017.

Let’s look at the breakdown

59.2% of fraud cases reported in 2018 were via the internet and technology-based channels.

43.83% of the 899 staff involved in frauds and forgery cases in 2018, were temporary/contract staff,  in 2017 there were just 320 staff. 

There was an increase in the number of web-based fraud cases to 12,343 in 2018 from 7,869 in 2017.

On the bright side the number of Automated Teller Machines (ATM)/card-related fraud cases declined from 16,397 in 2017 to 10,063 in 2018. This decline was attributed to the improved security features of the cards as well as security awareness on the part of the users.

Why it matters?

Hiring temporary staffs on the surface appear to be a cheaper option for banks but could it be that they are costing banks more.

N15.15 billion lost to fraud provides further evidence to question the support of Conmen, Isn’t it obvious that cons outweigh the “pros” – that’s if there is any at all.

MTN is in another Mess


The Story

MTN Nigeria seems to be in another mess as the Nigerian tax authority, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is tackling the telecoms company for a wrong accounting treatment – deducting the 330bn fine it paid before paying tax. 

The back story: The NCC in October 2015 imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on the telecommunications giants for non-compliance with a deadline set by the Commission to disconnect all unregistered SIM cards. The regulator later reduced the fine to N780 billion in December 2015 after some considerations, then to N330 billion this year after MTN agreed to be listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). 

What this new mess means?

Deducting the fine from the taxable income reduces the tax liability MTN has to pay to FIRS.

Normally, Fines aren’t tax-deductible (able to be deducted from taxable income or the amount of tax to be paid) but it appears MTN knows something the FIRS doesn’t know.

What’s next?

MTN requested for a judicial review against the move of the FIRS to prosecute it, arguing that since incorporation in 2001, MTN has invested more than N2 trillion in the Nigerian economy and has paid more than N1.7 trillion in taxes, levies and other regulatory fees.

More Fuel Please

The Story

The latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows Nigeria imported more premium motor spirit (petrol) in the second quarter of 2019 (Q2).

What it means

As the volume of petrol importation increases, so is Nigeria’s spending on the commodity. In the first quarter of 2019, Nigeria spent a whopping N190 billion to import petroleum products.

Why it matters?

The report also shows that Nigeria is the only nation among the 15 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) importing petrol.

A question on the mind of many Nigerians for many years now has been when will Petrol importation stop? Well, The NNPC had earlier set a deadline to stop petrol importation by the end of 2019. However, NNPC has now moved it to 2020. One reason why it did so could be the delay experienced by Dangote’s refinery which was planned to take off by the end of this year, to produce 65.4 million litres of Petrol daily.

Africa

Why is the US starting to look back into Africa

The Story

In the race of who trades the most with Africa, China’s trade with the continent has surpassed America’s in the past decade, and in 2018 it was more than three times larger. Also, a number of other emerging powers, like Japan, Turkey and India, are also expanding their hand of friendship to Africa.

What’s up with the US?

The US seems to be focused on other things, as Mr Trump who earlier described African nations as “shithole countries” / a place where his friends were going to try to get rich, seems to have other more pressing issues. 

No Ambassadors yet: Relationships between countries are fostered via ambassadors but it appears there are many African Countries without a US Ambassador. Countries like South Africa, Chad, Eritrea, Tanzania, are yet to have American ambassadors. This is in contrast with China that has sent senior foreign officials to many African countries. Clearly, China is making more effort in this relationship.

Zoom out: It seems all rosy but Africa should be cautious of the fact that China’s economic growth has shown signs of a slowdown recently and that may well affect its levels of trade and investment in Africa in the future.

What’s next?

Tibor Nagy, US assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, hints that things would soon change as he said  “For too long when investors have knocked on the door, and the Africans opened the door, the only person standing there was the Chinese, My job is to make sure when there’s a knock on the door, there’s an American as well,”

Question on our mind: Does Africa need trade with the US to increase with the influx of many trade partners?

No Babies allowed here


We live in a world where men tend to forget that they’re not the only ones living in it. Have you seen the movie Hidden figures, remember this scene where Taraji P Henson had to travel just to get to the female bathroom? 😢

This week, Female Members of Parliament walked out of Kenya’s parliament in solidarity with a colleague who was ordered to leave because she showed up to work with her baby.

Tell me more

In 2017, Kenyan lawmakers passed a bill compelling employers to construct special rooms where mothers could breastfeed and change their babies. However, it seems they need to start looking into doing more. 

The Lawmaker who was excused from Parliament was Zuleika Hassan who said she had brought her five-month-old baby with her to work because of a domestic emergency and that parliament didn’t have a creche. But according to the house rules, “strangers” are not allowed into the chamber, children included. So she was asked to leave, only to return without her baby.

Why it matters

The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) has raised its voice to condemn this act by saying that Motherhood cannot be a basis to deny nursing female MPs a chance to conduct their legislative duties. But is this really a case of denying mothers the chance to do their work or protecting the sanity of the parliament as we know that a baby can cause a disturbance.

The call for gender equality in governance isn’t just about creating female slots or having female members of the government, it’s also about creating a more inclusive environment where males and females can co-exist and thrive together.

This incident happened during the World Breastfeeding week, a celebration that happens in 120 countries to promote exclusive breastfeeding within the first six months of childbirth due to its apparent benefits. Women all around the world took out time to talk about their experiences Breastfeeding. 

International

E-Commerce in Developing countries

The Story

By 2020, the global e-commerce market is projected to hit $4.2 trillion, about double its size in 2016, according to eMarketer. While Amazon is clearly king, there a few regions where it’s not reigning yet. Let’s see how it’s going as told by Axios

Africa: The dominant player is Jumia which doesn’t just sell goods but also food delivery, flight and hotel bookings, and even a subscription service for free delivery called Prime.  With a customer base of about 4 million shoppers across Africa. It still has a long runway ahead of it on a continent that now has 400 million internet users.

However, one of the biggest hurdles Jumia faces is that many homes don’t have traditional addresses. “For example, if you say in a city in Africa, ‘I live in the third street by the church with the blue door,’ that’s the address,” Jumia co-founder Sacha Poignonnec said in an interview with McKinsey.

In Russia, the biggest online retailer is apparel company Wildberries, which has gotten ahead because it has invested billions in trucks and warehouses, However, around 60% of Russian e-commerce orders are paid for upon delivery, usually in cash.

Also, a large portion of the population is uncomfortable with having packages left on doorsteps, so 75% of orders are collected at lockers or pick-up points – maintaining these facilities adds another cost.

Asia: In Japan, the biggest player is Rakuten while in China it’s Alibaba, these countries leapfrogged credit cards and went straight from cash to mobile payments, so e-commerce has thrived there. It accounts for 30% of all retail, compared to 10% in the U.S.

But in India, although it’s the second-fastest-growing e-commerce market, behind Mexico. It’s population relies heavily on cash which has its downsides.

Big Picture: In the e-commerce world, the rest of the developing world might be lagging behind but it seems to be solving its different problems and catching up.

Cutting down your losses

“When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled.” An African proverb

The Story 

Earlier this week, central banks in three countries—India, New Zealand, and Thailand—issued surprisingly aggressive rate cuts meant to safeguard their growth-focused economies from the U.S.-China trade war and its global fallout.

What this means

When times are hard it’s only normal to cut down on your spending, but for the economy to move the government needs people to keep spending.  So central banks cut down on interest rates. Lower interest rates mean it’s cheaper to borrow from banks, this makes it more appealing to source funds to invest in businesses.

Why it matters

With the initiation of new tariffs on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese imports sent to the United States set to go into effect on September 1st, Countries like China are investing in other stores of values such as Gold, Silver and even Bitcoin. This is driving up the prices of these other commodities.

Now might be a perfect time to get some coins – Gold, Silver or Bit 😉

Also, this trade war has caused the risk of recession to increase in most of the world’s biggest economies


Learn a new trick



Worth reading 📚

Destroyer of Worlds: How a childhood of anger led the founder of 8chan to create one of the darkest corners of the internet

Should I Just Give Up on Saving Money?

The Invention of Money


And that’s all for this week! 😎

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