Open banking in Nigeria
Nigeria became the first African country to implement open banking regulations, last week, when the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), launched the new regulations aimed at enhancing innovation, competition and financial inclusion in the banking sector. Open banking allows third-party financial service providers to access bank data and use it to develop innovative financial products and services. With the regulations in place, banks are required to provide access to customer data to licensed third-party providers who meet certain criteria. This will facilitate the development of new products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses and promote financial inclusion by providing access to financial services to more people. The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) will serve as the sole regulatory sandbox operator for the initiative.
More trouble for Flutterwave
Last week, Flutterwave, a leading Nigerian fintech company, was hit by rumours of a security breach that led to claims that they lost $2.9 billion to hackers. Flutterwave refuted the claims, stating that there was no loss of funds and that none of their customers was affected. The company reassured its users that they have top-notch security measures in place, and they take the security of their platform very seriously. Over the years, Flutterwave has become one of the most prominent fintech companies in Africa, with operations in several African countries and partnerships with global giants such as PayPal and Visa. The company’s focus on providing safe and secure payment solutions has been instrumental in its success. The company’s response to the security breach rumours shows the importance of having proper security measures in place and being transparent with users about any issues. However, the company is not off the hook as it is currently facing its second legal case from ongoing issues in Kenya. The new case is related to a dispute with a local business partner, who is alleging a breach of contract and seeking damages. Flutterwave is yet to publicly comment on the matter.
Nuclear power in Uganda
According to news reports, Uganda is considering a move to nuclear power production by 2031. The east African country is home to uranium deposits and plans to exploit them to boost its energy sector, with the aim of reducing reliance on hydropower and increasing energy security. The country has already begun exploring the possibility of nuclear power with the help of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has conducted a feasibility study. Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr Kitutu Kimono Mary Goretti, has stated that nuclear power is a “viable and sustainable option” for the country. However, concerns have been raised about the high cost and potential safety risks associated with nuclear power, as well as the challenge of finding suitable sites for nuclear plants. It remains to be seen whether Uganda will ultimately pursue nuclear power or explore alternative energy sources.
ICYMI: Market roundup
- The NGX All-Share Index increased by 0.48% from last week to close at 55,794.51 points. The top gainers were Julius Berger plc (10.00%), Trans-nationwide express plc (9.88%), International energy insurance (8.33%), U A C N plc (8.24%), and Transnational corporation plc (7.81%). The top decliners were MRS oil Nigeria plc (-18.99%), Coinoil plc (-18.89%), FTN cocoa processors (-13.33%), NCR (-10.80%), Multiverse mining and exploration plc (-9.85%).
- The naira closed the week at N461.50/$ on Friday at the investor’s and Exporters’ window.
- Brent crude closed the week at $82.78, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $76.68.
- The global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $984.74 trillion, as of 7 pm Sunday, the 12th of March. Bitcoin stood at $21,362.36 a 1.24% decrease from last week, and Binance coin dropped 2.17%, to sell at $283.44.
- BioBuu, an East African insect company raised $200,000 in seed funding from the GIIG Africa Fund.
- Andela, the network for remote technical talent, has acquired Qualified, the technical skills assessment platform to identify, qualify, and certify top engineers.