[Nigeria Business Week] Andrea Ayemoba: Local fintech spreads to East Africa, oil and gas find major milestone
Nigeria, like other countries of the world, is going through some economically turbulent times. Inflation is on the rise (recently pegged at 21.9%) and local startups are directly impacted by financial crises on the other side of the world.
Some industries continue to flourish however, giving hope and support to others in decline. Though local production has not been at optimal, exports will see a moderate boom as Nigeria is set to process and export local rice to North Africa.
In telecom, MTN has made headlines this week as a result of its request for 5G license, a request that has been met with intense protest from its competitors who claim that a 5G license would give the MTN an unfair advantage with little benefit to the overall industry.
In media, GhanaWeb and Age Africa Agency are holding the second edition of the YouTube Creators Festival from the 24th-26th November.
Satellite operators and internet providers have inked a deal to improve broadband penetration in Nigeria’s under-served communities, and Microsoft has partnered with Planet to support Africa’s climate adaptation projects.
Fintech has also taken some positive strides in recent weeks. Paystack has been granted license to operate in East Africa and a large investment into low-income entrepreneurs in Nigeria has been made by an international investment institution.
The Central Bank has directed banks to commence Saturday operations in efforts toward the issuance of new naira notes. It is noteworthy that the Senate is in disagreement with the apex bank as to the implementation of this process with the public.
On the oil and gas front, the European Union is looking to Nigeria for gas supply as an alternative to Russian gas and an agreement between UTM Offshore and three engineering firms is has positioned Nigeria to hit a major gas milestone. These advances notwithstanding, there are intellectuals in the country who argue that Nigeria has little excuse for not being more developed than it is, as are other oil-producing countries. On a more positive note however, the ILO has commended Nigeria (the first African nation to joint the ILO) for its recent steps toward a healthy, decent workplace, and Nigeria remains a favorite choice among the African countries projected to perform best in the year 2022.