• New data from the statistics agency indicate that the compensation of Nigerian employees grew by 11.14 percent in real terms, the first positive annual growth recorded on that metric since 2015. In its GDP by Income and Expenditure Approach report for 2017, the NBS said the combined data for all the four quarters showed that workers remuneration rose nominally to ₦29.9 trillion from ₦25.8 trillion in 2016. In 2016, compensation of employees, in real terms, had declined by –9.68% year on year. Employee compensation was ₦24.7 trillion in 2015 in nominal terms. Labour force participation at the end of Q2 2017 was 85 million out of which about 51 million were categorised as being fully employed. In 2016, participation was 81 million with those in full employment standing at 52.5 million. Despite the rise in salaries and wages, a 48 per cent decline in the exchange rate between 2014 and 2017 essentially halved the purchasing power of Nigerians.
  • Registration of Nigerian .ng country code top-level domains, grew by 20 percent to reach 123,812 from January to July 2018. An analysis of Nigeria Internet Registration Association data showed that the number of .ng domain increased by 20,716 within the first seven months of the year. In January, data showed that 103,096 domain registrations were recorded by NiRA; 106,736 in February; 108,599 in March; 111,146 in April; 114,308 in May; 118,264 in June and 123,812 in July. The data showed that about 32,152 new domain registrations were recorded in the seven months under review; with 17,811 renewals and 587 transfers to other registrars. According to NiRA, the growing number of registrations show that Nigerians are embracing the .ng brand and indicates the efforts of NiRA accredited registrars in growing the country’s ccTLD.
  • The CBN has revised clearing system rules for DMBs in the country set to kick off on 1 September, the regulator announced last week. According to the bank’s director of banking and payments system, Dipo Fatokun, the new rules are aimed at the developing the electronic payments system in the country. “A member bank will be suspended from participating in any clearing session if an amount of clearing collateral that has been utilised to fund an account is not replaced within two business days, or if a collateral so discounted is insufficient, or if a bank overdraws its settlement account maintained with the CBN for three consecutive working days,” the circular read. The CBN also said all clearing instruments returned unpaid “shall now bear the appropriate returned reason code”. Failure to adhere to the new rules will attract a fine of ₦250 per instrument.
  • WhatsApp said it will start charging businesses for sending marketing and customer service messages, as the messaging platform faces slowing usage and revenue growth. Messages from businesses will be charged at a fixed rate for confirmed delivery, ranging from 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message and depending on the country. After acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, Facebook has been looking at ways to generate revenue from the messaging service. WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, says large businesses will be charged for sending non-promotional content, such as shipping confirmations, appointment reminders or event tickets. Users can also send messages to the business to ask questions, and responding to these messages will be free, for the first 24 hours — but will come at a premium thereafter, when compared to SMS rates.
  • Cameroon’s cocoa production in the 2017/18 season rose 9.5 per cent to 253,510 tonnes from 231,510 tonnes last season, the National Office of Cocoa and Coffee said in a report on Friday. Bean grinding rose 61 per cent to 53,403 tonnes this season compared with 33,023 tonnes last season, the regulator said. Exports fell to 170,981 tonnes from 197,365 last season, while unsold cocoa volumes rose to 27,159 tonnes compared with 7,212 in the previous year.
  • AccorHotels, a French hospitality company, has announced the launch of two of its flagship brands in Nigeria. The multinational said it has signed agreements with TomHawksworth Limited, a property and real estate developer for the building of MGallery and Pullman – both located in Ikoyi. CEO for AccorHotels Middle East and Africa, Olivier Granet said both brands were likely to open in late 2020. “Since opening our very first hotel in Nigeria almost 20 years ago, we’ve believed in the long-term potential of the destination, having witnessed incredible growth as one of the largest economies in Africa,” he said in a statement.