JANUARY 30, 2023

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If you are Nigerian and have old naira notes, good news!

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday extended the deadline for submission of old ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1,000 banknotes by two weeks.

Everyone has until Friday, February 10, to send all the old bills to their respective banks.

The main bank also noted that it had raised ₦1.9 trillion ($4.1 billion) in old notes and has ₦900 billion ($1.9 billion) left to reach optimal balance.

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* Data as of 20:50 pm WAT, January 29, 2023.

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SA GOVERNMENT ASKS GHANA TO RESOLVE MTN TAX

The South African government is not very happy with Ghana.

Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor expressed disappointment that Ghana criticized MTN with a $773 million fine.

ICYMI: Earlier this month, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) fined MTN’s Ghanaian subsidiary for outstanding (or unpaid) tax liabilities for 2014–2018. The GRA claims that MTN underreported its income in Ghana by approximately 30%. The $773 million tag also includes non-disclosure penalties and interest charges. MTN Ghana, on the other hand, is disputing the fine and claims it is in compliance with the taxes.

Now, MTN has taken the matter to its head office in South Africa, where the country’s foreign affairs office has intervened. On Friday, its Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), headed by Pandor, issued a statement condemning Ghana’s treatment of MTN. .

The statement, which singles out South Africa as one of the largest foreign direct investors in Ghana, warned the Ghanaian authorities about their treatment of South African companies.

“According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, there are more than 100 South African companies registered and operating in Ghana, employing more than 19,087 Ghanaians and 510 expatriates,” he said. Unfavorable labor conditions in Ghana and other African markets, the statement added, have led to the divestment of several other South African companies such as Game and Woolworth, which left Ghana in 2021 and 2019 respectively.

“Divestment has had a devastating impact on employment opportunities, poverty and inequalities in particular, and GDP growth in general.”

The statement ended with Minister Pandor urging MTN to work with the Ghanaian authorities to come up with a solution to the problem.

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MAFAB LAUNCHES 5G IN NIGERIA

Nigeria’s newest telecommunications company is getting started with 5G.

Last Thursday, MAFAB Communications launched its 5G network and unveiled its new logo and brand name: Mcom.

ICYMI: MAFAB, or Mcom, and MTN are the only two telcos licensed to operate 5G in Nigeria. In December 2021, both MTN and MAFAB won the tender for the 5G network and paid the license fee of $273.6 million required by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Both telcos were expected to roll out 5G services by August 2022, but only MTN met the deadline, while Mafab was given a five-month extension.

Time is up, and so is 5G

The extension is due this month and Mafab is finally ready…or at least ready to announce that it’s ready.

Like the MTN announcement in August, the service is not yet commercially available to users: Nigerians are not yet able to access the 5G network.

However, the service will be rolled out in six Nigerian cities – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna – on dates yet to be disclosed by Mafab. To achieve this deployment, the company shared that it will be based on partnering and sharing the existing telecommunications infrastructure to achieve national coverage, although it did not reveal how much investment it has made in physical infrastructure.

“As the second operator to launch 5G in Nigeria, Mcom expects greater coverage for Nigerians and acceleration of broadband services,” Musbahu Bashir, MAFAB’s president and founder, said at the event in Lagos.

A total of nine states in Nigeria including Imo, Maiduguri and Ibadan now have access to 5G services provided by MTN and MAFAB.

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AMAZON POSTPONES LAUNCH IN SOUTH AFRICA

Amazon isn’t coming to South Africa any time soon.

Last week, a well-placed source told the South African publication Daily Investor that the company had postponed its South African launch until the end of the year.

According to the source, the launch was delayed due to a “challenging environment.”

Since announcing its $280 million African headquarters in Johannesburg in April 2021, Amazon has faced increasing difficulties in completing its project.

In August 2022, it almost considered halting the project after the Western Cape High Court ordered all work on the construction site to halt because developer Liesbeek Leisure Property Trust (LLPT) had failed to carry out meaningful consultation with the people of affected First Nations, considering development. area as sacred ground. While the South African Court of Appeal eventually approved the construction, many South Africans, including First Nations peoples, still believe that Amazon is trespassing on sacred land.

Unfortunately, not much is known about the reason for the current delay, but the company’s Nigerian launch still appears to be on the way.

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TC PERSPECTIVES: SOLVING AFRICA’S HOUSING PROBLEMS WITH TECHNOLOGY

There is growing concern about the lack of affordable housing in Africa. For example, Kenya has a housing deficit of approximately two million homes, while more than 12 million Egyptians live in informal buildings. The situation is worse in Nigeria with a housing deficit of 16 million and more than 69% of the country’s urban population living in slums.

With Africa’s population growing rapidly and the rate of urbanization increasing, the need for affordable housing for Africans has never been more critical.

Currently, the supply and demand sides of the housing market are mostly at odds. To unlock these vast potentials, proptech companies are leveraging the network effect of technology to solve this problem from both the demand and supply sides. On the supply side, technology companies have been able to simplify the process of connecting people to properties. With just a few clicks, vetted tenants can conveniently reserve and pay for apartments using the flexible payment options available to them.

While technology has taken over the demand side, the supply side is still a tough nut to crack. According to Naomi Olaghere, co-founder of Rent Small Small, a Lagos-based tech company, “it will be almost impossible to close the deficit gap and reach the government’s target using our current construction method. Government-incentivized, quick-build technology that can deliver mass housing, such as prefab building systems, will help achieve quick wins.”

Beyond the use of rapid construction technology to improve supply, it is necessary to adopt or modify some regulations. Those regulations include enforcing monthly rental payments and facilitating a more viable mortgage system that gives people the opportunity to own a home after years of paying rent.

Although the technology is still expanding and is not without its shortcomings, it has been able to address and resolve many human errors and inefficiencies in the housing market. It will by no means solve housing problems entirely, but it will go a long way toward redefining traditional processes from property, landlord, and tenant management to construction issues.

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IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL

Backing the Next Wizkid: Tech platforms want you to invest in the next Afrobeats star.

Political activist Farida Nabourema is using bitcoin to free herself and others from abusive monetary systems.

Gokada is confident in his community as he looks to raise $750,000.

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Written by: Timi Odueso and Mobolaji Adebayo

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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