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I’m writing this newsletter from Lagos, Nigeria, the second worst city to live in, if you believe The Economist Intelligence Unit. Lagos ranks 139 out of 140 in a grading system based on factors like stability, healthcare, culture & environment, education, and infrastructure.

Lagos’ rank was pulled down by its score on stability which was the worst in the world; significantly lower than other cities in the bottom 10 like Damascus and Tripoli. I have questions about their methodology and I’d have typed a long rant, but there is no power, and my battery is almost dead. Report.

+ On the bright side, we have the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge to take photos of. ??‍♂️

Gifts from the Nigerian Bureau of  Statistics

By the way, I’m Derin, Head of TechCabal’s new Data and Analysis unit. If your job, like mine, deals with data or statistics in Nigeria, I’m sure you also wake up thankful for Dr Yemi Kale, AKA MC Stats.

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics is much improved under his watch. Last week, they released a bunch of reports, and these caught my eye:

1. An NBS report on banking sector statistics shows that $54bn worth of electronic payments were made in Q2 2017. Web payments amounted to only $102m, although this doesn’t include the bulk of e-commerce transactions which are still payment on delivery. Bank transfers accounted for the 68% of the transaction volume. Interestingly, ATM transactions accounted for 57% of transaction volume but only 8% of transaction value. Report

+ The Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum released its 2016 annual report. There were 35 million ATM cards in circulation in Nigeria in 2015, up seven times from 2010. Attempted fraudulent transactions increased by 82%, while actual fraud loss decreased by 3%. On a less positive note, Nigerians lost at least N12bn to MMM, the ponzi scheme. The figure is most likely much higher as the methodology only covered inter-bank transfers. The full report is worth a read, as it also has some tips for fraud prevention. Report [pdf].

2. It’s not news that there’s a lot of corruption in Nigeria, and thanks to NBS, we now know exactly how much — $4.6bn in purchasing power parity terms per year. But let’s not forget that stealing is not corruption and a much bigger effect may be the inefficiencies caused by corruption, e.g. the loss of revenue caused by Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum selling our oil assets to her friends.

+ This report, however, focuses on quotidian cases like bribery. 32% of Nigerian adults paid a bribe when dealing with public officials. The police were the biggest culprits, collecting bribes 46% of the time. Read all the gory details here

+ And here is the head of the Nigerian Police Force ‘customer service’ unit throwing a tantrum on Twitter because he didn’t like the NBS’ findings. ?

What else is interesting?

+ Somebody is worshipping at the altar of data. Link.

+ Another day, another report of Nigerian telcos crying about OTT services eating into their revenue. Link

+ WeChat partners with food delivery startup, UCOOK, to allow users pay using WeChat Wallet. Link. (Has anyone noticed just how many partnerships WeChat has gotten into lately?)

+ Marek Zmyslovski, on how to scale internet businesses across Africa. Podcast.

+ What if jobs are not the solution, but the problem? Link.

Cranium One is looking for a General Manager who will lead and manage performance in operations, and also grow the Cranium One brand through events, public relations efforts, brand awareness, and local specialized support. Find out more here and send an email: to to apply.


+ Imisi 3D is partnering with hardware Lagos for a VR hardware challenge, the i3D Challenge. The challenge is to create an all-in-one solar powered VR headset. You can find out more about it here and register here. Applications close on the 3rd of September.

Tizeti is piloting Unlimited Speed to combine with its Unlimited Download wifi service to prospective subscribers in Gbagada, Anthony, Ogudu, Maryland, Ikeja and environs. For Just N9,500 monthly, you can enjoy this upgraded experience. To sign up, click here, or call 01-4405610, 08172004139 or 08170590310

Upcoming events and deadlines

Lagos: TechCabal has scheduled an Office Hours session (August 23rd) with Mark Essien for entrepreneurs who would like help and advice with the challenges of running a startup as a technical founder. Seats are capped at 15, so register now.

Radar: Radar AMA sessions are back, and Yele Bademosi, founder and managing partner of Microtraction will be taking your questions on the 25th. Mark your calendar. Link 

Owerri: Owerri’s first major tech meetup will be held on the 26th of August. Register here.

Abuja: The Abuja Masterclass on the 31st of August will be ‘an introduction to Angel investing’ conducted by Tomi Davies. Check it out if you’d love to deepen your understanding of early-stage investing. Link

Deadline: African startups have three weeks left to enter DEMO Africa 2017. Link

P.S. If you find any reports or statistics from across Africa that you think I’ll find interesting, please send them to me at derin [at] bigcabal [dot] com. Cheers.

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