BD Insider: Why the Nigerian government closed down six digital loan firms

BD Insider, Letter 104 covers why the Nigerian government closed down digital loan firms, BasiGo launched electric buses in Nairobi and Google's $1 million fund for African women

BD Insider: Why the Nigerian government closed down six digital loan firms

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In this letter:

  • Nigerian government shuts down GoKash, OKash and four other digital loan firms for consumer protection breach
  • BasiGo launches electric buses in Nairobi, to cover 250km range
  • Google sets up $1 million fund for African women

Meanwhile, use Fincra to receive payments locally, make payouts and scale across multiple markets. Let's dive in!

Nigerian government shuts down six predatory digital loan institutions

Last Friday, Nigeria’s Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, and the Nigerian Police Force raided some illegal financial institutions operating on Opebi Road, Ikeja, Lagos.

Among the financial institutions affected were, GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice and Easy Moni. According to reports, the raid was in reaction to consumers’ complaints about the financial firms’ malpractices.

FCCPC has issued an order to Apple and Google to take down these companies’ apps from their platforms. It has also ordered concerned banks to freeze these companies’ bank accounts as well.

The Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, explained that customers had accused the financial institutions of violating their data privacy in the course of debt recovery. Irukera noted that investigations into the allegations started in 2020.

FCCPC's investigations revealed that the loan firms were not registered in the country. He also said that most of these companies operated from the same place and by the same person.

Prior to the raid, an investigation by ICIR in 2021 revealed that some lending companies in the country were not licensed to carry out monetary operations. For a money-lending firm or financial company to legally operate in Nigeria, they must obtain a license from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

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BasiGo launches electric buses in Nairobi, to cover 250km range

BasiGo, an EV mobility startup in Nairobi last week flagged off its first electric buses for passenger use. The startup is partnering with Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle in Nairobi for its pilot phase.

Citi Hoppa will be deploying the BasiGo electric bus on routes between the city centre and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The electric bus pilot program will give passengers along these routes the chance to ride in the electric bus just like any other minibus.

The 25-seat electric bus is designed by BYD Automotive, the world’s leading manufacturer of electric buses and has 250 Km of range and a recharge time of fewer than 4 hours. BasiGo said the buses arrived in Kenya in December 2021 and have undergone extensive validation and reliability testing in preparation for the pilot launch.

“We are ready to play our part in the electrification of transportation and will strive to support this endeavour and the transformation of the country to mitigate the effects of climate change,” Kenya Power's CEO and Acting Managing Director, Rosemary Oduor stated.

The unveiling comes a month after the company secured a $4.3 million seed funding round to accelerate clean-energy mass transit vehicles in Kenya.

Google sets up $1 million fund for African women entrepreneurs

Google has announced a $1 million fund to enable African women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. The global tech giant revealed this last Tuesday during a virtual event to mark this year's International Women's Day.

Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Google's Head Brand and Reputation in Africa said that the fund will also provide “free tools to support women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and has launched an intensive program to drive the discovery of women-owned businesses through Google Business Profiles.”

Aside from the fund, Google has also dedicated the March cohort of the Hustle Academy to women-owned SMBs. The Hustle Academy, launched last month, is a free, week-long boot camp designed to help SMBs build the expertise they need to expand their businesses.

In addition, Google also launched an integrated campaign called #LookMeUp to spotlight and celebrate female entrepreneurs through their stories.

“From founding a publishing company to providing a space to showcase culture to providing virtual mental health care during the Ebola outbreak, these women have inspired thousands through their work. Their circumstances and contexts might differ, but they all share a common tenacity and spirit.” Google stated.

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Have a great week!
🖊 Johnstone and Daniel

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