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CBN approves naira payout for diaspora remittances
Image source: Zikoko Memes
Nigerians will soon be able to send money to beneficiaries abroad in naira.
Yesterday, the country’s apex bank announced that it had approved the payment of naira to beneficiaries of diaspora remittances.
What it means: This means that banks and International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) can now pay their recipients in naira, ending a three-year ban. Part of the CBN’s circular said, “The Central Bank of Nigeria hereby announces Naira as a payout option for receipts of proceeds of International Money Transfers.”
In December 2020, the CBN banned banks and IMTOs from paying recipients in Naira. The policy also stated that only banks could transfer funds onward to recipients. In theory, the CBN policy ended the business model of many digital remittance companies that allowed Nigerians abroad to send money directly to the Naira accounts of recipients.
This recent policy removal is another step towards loosening the strict control the CBN has exercised over FX rates in the last five years. It’s also great for customers who can now choose between receiving their funds in foreign currency, e-naira and the Naira. Customers who choose to receive their funds in Naira will be paid using the Investors & Exporters Window rate on the day of the transaction.
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Egypt set to launch NExSat-1 satellite
Image source: YungNollywood
Egypt is leading the way in Africa’s space exploration.
The Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) has announced plans to launch the NExSat-1 satellite before the end of this year from China, after successfully completing all satellite launch-related tests in Germany.
The satellite is part of the Egyptian government’s strategic initiatives to develop satellite technology.
About NExSat-1: NExSat-1 is a 65kg remote sensing earth observation microsatellite that was built by the Egyptian National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) in collaboration with Berlin Space Technologies (BST). The satellite is said to be 45% locally engineered, and according to EgSA CEO, Sherif Sedky, NExSat-1 has a six-month lifespan and will be used for urban planning.
There’s more: EgSA’s planned launch of NExSat-1 will follow the launch of MisrSat-2, another remote sensing satellite In October, also from China. Both satellites were originally scheduled to be launched last year.
Zoom out: These consecutive missions represent significant achievements for the EgSA, showcasing its commitment to advancing its presence in space exploration and satellite-based initiatives, strengthening its position in the field.
Nigeria’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is taking some serious action to protect customers from loan application bullies. Per Techpoint, they’re even teaming up with Google to permanently wipe out these troublesome apps from their app store.
Why are they doing this? Well, it’s all because of the relentless harassment and defamation that Nigerians have been enduring at the hands of these digital lenders. Some of these loan apps have stooped to unimaginable lows by gaining access to borrowers’ private and intimate pictures. Some even send messages to the borrower’s friends, threatening to expose these personal images unless the loan is repaid. The FCCPC is stepping up to the plate to ensure that Nigerians can breathe easy and borrow without fear.
How so? Earlier in the year, the FCCPC mandated loan apps to register with it and approved about 173 apps to operate in the country. In April 2023, the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the FCCPC collaborated to develop the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending 2022. This collaboration aims to establish clear rules and guidelines to govern the industry, protect users, and hold loan apps to higher standards.
Even the tech giant, Google, has jumped on board to combat loan app harassment. They announced months ago that loan apps would not be allowed on their app store without regulatory approval. It’s a strong stance that can ensure only compliant apps make their way onto the platform. As of May 31, loan apps on the Play Store reportedly lost their ability to access users’ contacts or photos, an added layer of protection for users.
However, despite these efforts, the FCCPC has uncovered a troubling fact: many of the loan apps causing distress to users are not found on Google. It’s a sobering realisation that highlights the need for users to be vigilant and exercise caution. The FCCPC advises users to steer clear of apps downloaded using apk files or those that operate on platforms like WhatsApp, as these are often the ones employing such invasive measures.
Zooming out: Loan app harassment is a growing epidemic affecting other nations as well. Take Kenya, for instance, where the government is also cracking down on non-traditional loan providers who misuse user data. They have introduced new regulations that require loan companies to re-register as legal entities. So far, only 32 loan apps have received approval, indicating the scale of the challenge.
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Apple updates its App Store prices
Image source: Apple
Apple is striving to make in-app purchases fair for everyone, including developers.
On Monday, the company announced adjustments to its pricing for apps and in‑app purchases (excluding auto‑renewable subscriptions) made through its App store.
Why the price adjustments? Starting from July 25, prices in Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Türkiye storefronts will be updated. According to Apple, this is due to changes in tax regulations, adjustments in foreign exchange rates, and the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the aforementioned countries.
The new price adjustments are expected to impact both app developers and consumers in these markets.
How the pricing works: Per the company, the prices of your app or in-app purchase will change depending on your primary storefront and the country you are in. If you choose Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, or Türkiye as your primary storefront, the price will stay the same in that storefront. However, the prices in other storefronts will be updated to match the prices in your primary storefront. In the event that your primary storefront is not in any of these four countries, the prices in Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Türkiye will increase to match the prices in your primary storefront.
Furthermore, if your in-app purchase is an auto-renewable subscription or if you manually manage prices on storefronts instead of using the automated equalised prices, your prices will not be affected and will remain the same.
Zoom out: The Pricing and Availability section of App Store Connect has been updated to show upcoming price changes for your apps, in-app purchases, and auto-renewable subscriptions. You can still change the prices at any time.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 21:20 PM WAT, July 12, 2023.
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- The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards 2023 ($5,000 prize) is now open to applications from reporters doing work for independent news organisations around the world, with articles readily accessible to the public by subscription, newsstand sales or online access, with the submitted work available in English are eligible to Apply by August 1.
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