The implementation of the ₦30,000 minimum wage appears to be taking its toll on the federal workforce as the Director-General of Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze said on Tuesday that about 428 out of the over 700 federal government agencies will not be able to pay workers’ salaries by the end of November. Akabueze, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, associated the development to the new minimum wage, which implementation commenced among federal workers in January, this year. He said since the introduction of the new minimum wage, most of the agencies had been struggling to pay their workforce in the last 10 months. Akabueze, however, assured the committee that the government will dip its hand into the service wide vote to cater for the shortfall in the salaries of the affected workers in the said parastatals.
Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday announced his intention to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for pension payments and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies. He made this known while presenting the 2021 budget to the Lagos State House of Assembly. Sanwoolu said the bill would be sent to the Lagos Assembly for legislative approval. According to Sanwo-Olu, the abolition of pension for former governors and deputies will reduce the cost of governance. According to the law, the governor is entitled to ₦30 million pension annually, a house in Lagos and Abuja, six brand new cars every three years, medical allowances in any part of the world and other allowances. This comes as the Federal High Court stopped such payment across the states. The court decision in Lagos directed the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to review various state pension laws sequel to a suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project. Zamfara repealed its pension law in response to the court’s ruling.
The Nigerian Communications Commission says the trial of the fifth generation mobile network shows that there is no health hazard associated with the use of the technology. The commission in a draft consultation document on Deployment of Fifth Generation Mobile Technology in Nigeria published on Monday stated that the trial was conducted in six cities – Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Kano and Calabar. The regulatory body said the tests were conducted in accordance with the 1998 International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection guidelines for general public exposure to varying electromagnetic fields, which were in force at the time of the trials. “These results are far below the ICNIRP specification for protection of members of the public in the Guidelines and therefore suggest that no public health hazards are expected from the use of 5G in Nigeria,” the NCC said. The telecoms regulator stated that the deployment of the new network in the country would be done in two phases. It said phase one, which involves deployment based on the non-standalone approach, would commence in 2021. According to the NCC, phase two is based on the stand-alone approach, which relies on new spectrum allocations, will commence in 2022.
Kuda, a Nigerian fintech startup that operates a popular mobile-first challenger bank for consumers and (soon) small businesses, is announcing that it has raised $10 million — the biggest seed round ever to be raised in Africa. The funding comes on the back of strong demand for its services and its ambitions — according to CEO Babs Ogundeyi — to become the go-to bank not just for those living on the continent, but for the African diaspora. “We want to bank every African on the planet, wherever you are in the world,” Ogundeyi said. Since launching in September 2019, Kuda has picked up around 300,000 customers — first consumers and now also small businesses — and on average processes over $500 million of transactions each month. The $10 million round is being led by Target Global, the giant VC out of Europe, with Entrée Capital and SBI Investment, along with a number of other notable individual fintech founders and angels. Prior to this, Kuda — which is co-founded by Ogundeyi and CTO Musty Mustapha — had raised $1.6 million in a pre-seed round to launch a beta of its service, and Ogundeyi said he’s already working on a much bigger Series A. Fintech in Africa has been in the spotlight of late. Paystack got acquired by Stripe for over $200 million, making it not only Stripe’s biggest acquisition, but the largest exit-by-acquisition to-date for any Nigerian startup. That news followed closely on the heels of Interswitch, another payments startup, hitting a $1 billion valuation on the back of an investment from Visa.