Investing Port RSS Feed All the latest news from Investing Port WATT Secures $13 Million to Drive Renewable Energy in Nigeria The parent company of First WATT Renewables Limited, WATT Renewable Corporation, has signed a $13 million deal with Empower New Energy to reduce diesel use in powering telecommunications infrastructure.At the signing ceremony in Lagos, the partners said that the investment would cover modernizing existing sites, powering telecommunication sites, and doing turnkey-type work on new sites to help them stay sustainable.Oluwole Eweje, the CEO of WATT Renewable Corporation, said: “To start off, we are looking at modernizing over 200 telecom sites within 10 months, and part of that plan is to reduce consumption of diesel by 3 million liters on an annual basis.”He added that the project will need the employment of 100 people to construct 200 telecom infrastructures, modernize them, and operate them efficiently.He added, The intent is to ensure that telecom infrastructure is actually sustainable and also cost-effective because what tends to happen is the more expensive the operational costs of telecom mast, for example, in Nigeria, the more expensive the tariff that is being passed on to customers will be.So, the more sustainable the telecom mast, the cheaper we can make it, not just build it, but the cheaper we can actually operate it.With the fact that the price of diesel has gone up to N1,000/liter since August, industry experts are worried over the cost telecom operators will use to power telecom sites, seeing that expenditure spent on diesel by telecom operators in a month is 40 million liters.Considering the diesel consumption figure and its current price, telecom services will spend about N40 billion monthly and N480 billion annually to keep their services online.More About WATTSpeaking further about WATT, Terje Osundsen, CEO of Empower New Energy said, This agreement will enable First WATT to solarise with PV panels and batteries, in more than 250 towers in Nigeria and the early phases will span for 10 years. There will be a new phase and then we will be discussing taking part in the future expansion as well.Empower New Energy is a Norwegian-based company focused on investing in renewables in Africa.WATT will provide grid, off-grid, micro-grid, and energy management services and solutions needed in the telecommunications and financial services industry. WATT has over 10 megawatts installed across the world, and it focuses on the implementation of Sustainable Development Projects, concentrating on infrastructure projects.]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2023 10:56:22 EST Tinubu Announces 6-Month N35,000 Wage Increase for Federal Workers On Sunday, President Bola Tinubu approved an additional N35,000 wage for all federal government workers for the next six months to cushion the effect felt by the removal of fuel subsidy. The President was represented by the Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila; the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris; and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, amongst other ministers who attended the meeting in State House, Abuja.In the meeting, the Federal Government announced that it would fast-track the implementation of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to reduce the hike in transportation fares caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.The Federal Government also said it is committed to providing funding for micro and small-scale enterprises and a six-month waiver on VAT on diesel.Additionally, the Federal Government also announced the payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month for the next three months, beginning from October to December 2023.MEETING HIGHLIGHTS REPORTED BY NEWS:In light of the discussions held during the meeting between the Federal Government and Labour representatives, the following were the major highlights:i) The Federal Government urged the Labour unions not to embark on strike action as the issues in dispute can only be resolved when workers are at work.ii) Labour Unions made case for higher wage award.iii) A sub-committee to be constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.iv) The lingering matter of Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State needs to be addressed urgently.v.) NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above.THOSE IN ATTENDANCE Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, participated virtually in the meeting, chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.Also in attendance were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, the Minister of State, Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.The labour delegation was led by NLC President, Joe Ajaero, Dr Tommy Etim Okon, Deputy President, TUC, NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja, TUC General Secretary, Nuhu Toro, among others. ]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2023 06:58:51 EST Government Lifts VAT on Diesel for a 6-Month Period The Federal government has announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) on Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel, will be suspended for the next six months in order to ease the hardship felt by the removal of fuel subsidy by Tinubu's administration.This was among the resolutions discussed at the meeting between the federal government and members of organised labour at the State House, Abuja, on Sunday.The government called the meeting to deliberate with the NLC and TUC over the proposed indefinite strike scheduled to commence on October 2, 2023, over the hardship felt by the removal of the fuel subsidy.The meeting had in attendance the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, and other ministers who represented the federal government.The labour team was represented by the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and the TUC President, Festus Osifo, amongst other members of their union.At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, said that the federal government is ready to provide adequate funds for Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.He also added that the government will speed up the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to tackle the issue of the hike in transportation due to the removal of fuel subsidy.He said,The Federal Government will commence the payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month for a three-month period beginning from October-December 2023.A sub-committee is to constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of oil subsidy removal.NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above.How NLC and TUC Responded to the FGConcerning the resolution given by the federal government, the NLC and TUC said that they will discuss it in the NEC to deliberate more on the government proposal.Joe Ajero said, I don’t have much to say than what the Chief of Staff has said. We’ve been meeting and we’ve looked at almost all the issues.All the promissory notes from the government and we’ll look at how to translate them to reality and to be workable.Then we’re going to take those promises to our organs, of course, you know these people here cannot just wake up and review and call off action.So like he said, we’re hopeful that our organs will have a look at them and give us a fresh mandate on what next to do. So it’s a simple one.Additionally, Tommy Etim Okon, who represented TUC President Festus Osifo, had this to say.Let me on behalf of the TUC also point out the fact that we’ve had a series of conversations surrounding the issue raised and we do hope that by tomorrow we are going to get across to our organs so that we can also look at it and cross-fertilize ideas and see the way forward,” Okon said.I’m sure we’re coming back again tomorrow for that.]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2023 06:14:06 EST Elon Musk’s Wealth Grows by $95 Billion as Tesla Stock Is up by 107% This Year Recently, after achieving a new milestone, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become the richest person globally. In the latest report about the billionaire’s life, it was reported that Musk's earnings increased by $95 to total his net worth at $252.6 billion, placing him as the richest man in the world. This revenue was a result of the 107% increase in Tesla's stock price.Presently, Musk owns about 13% of the stock at Tesla, which shows that the billionaire's wealth is linked to the performance of the stock price at Tesla.Back StoryIn September 2021, Elon Musk became the richest man in the world. That same year, in November, Musk's net worth skyrocketed to $340 billion, cementing his position as the richest person globally and gaping his counterpart. However, after he acquired Twitter on October 27, 2022, for $44 billion, his net worth didn’t recover early enough because X, formerly Twitter, didn’t help Tesla's stock or Musk's fortune.Every since his acquisition Musk has sold more than $25 billion worth of Tesla shares since his stake in Twitter went public.However, it hasn’t been a good start for Tesla this year due to the reduced price target of Tesla shares by Deutsche Bank, showing that Tesla production will witness obstacles in 2024.“The bank reiterated its Buy rating on the stock but reduced its price target on Tesla stock to $285 per share, up 5 points from the previous target of $300. This is largely due to the bleak production outlook for next year.The bank predicts that Tesla will report third-quarter deliveries of 440,000 units, below estimates of 455,000 units. That could result in quarterly revenue lower than the bank’s previous estimate, at $23.3 billion, down from $24.1 billion.At the same time, the bank said earnings per share could fall to $0.71, down from Wall Street estimates of $0.87 per share,” Nairametrics reported.ProfileElon Musk, the 52-year-old billionaire, is the co-founder of companies such as SpaceX, Tesla, and Boring Company.Most of his earnings come from the success of his automobile company, Tesla. In October 2022, Musk added to his investment by buying X, formerly Twitter, for $44 billion.Elon Musk was born in South Africa, and his father was an engineer, while his mother was a nutritionist. At the age of 17, Musk left home to study in Canada in a bid to escape serving in the South African army during the apartheid era.He earned a degree in physics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, after which he moved to enroll at Stanford University. He didn’t finish at Stanford University because he dropped out to pursue his goals in the Internet, clean energy, and space.In 1995, Elon Musk created an online publishing platform called Zip2 and sold it four years later for more than $300 million.He used part of his profit to launch, an online payment system. After that, he merged it with PayPal and sold it to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. ]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2023 04:56:32 EST UAW strike enters third week as automakers and union remain at odds More strike means more economic issues for the United States of America and the rest of the world. If the job world is at stand still, it affect revenue, salary payment and many other things. The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against General Motors (GM), Stellantis, and Ford Motor Company is now in its third week, with no end in sight. The union is seeking significant wage increases, improved benefits, and job security for its members. The automakers have said that they are willing to make some concessions, but they have also warned that the union's demands are unrealistic. The UAW strike is having a significant impact on the auto industry. GM and Stellantis have been forced to idle many of their assembly plants, and Ford has been forced to cut production at some of its plants. The strike is also having a ripple effect on other industries, as suppliers to the automakers are also being affected. The UAW is seeking a 30% wage increase over four years, as well as improved benefits and job security. The automakers have offered a smaller wage increase and some improvements to benefits, but they have not agreed to the union's demands for job security. The UAW has said that it is willing to continue negotiating, but it has also warned that it is prepared to expand the strike if necessary. The automakers have said that they are willing to negotiate, but they have also warned that they will not be able to meet all of the union's demands. The UAW strike is a major test for both the union and the automakers. The union is hoping to win a significant victory for its members, while the automakers are hoping to avoid a long and costly strike. The stakes are high for both sides. The UAW strike could have a significant impact on the auto industry, and it could also have a ripple effect on other industries. The automakers are also facing pressure from investors to avoid a long and costly strike. It is the 3rd week and no agreement yet. ]]> Fri, 29 Sep 2023 13:27:54 EST Google Announces Hustle Academy $75m fund to boost SMBs in Nigeria Recently, Google announced that it would be opening applications for the Hustle Academy SMB Fund. The N75 million equity-free fund is aimed at helping Nigerian Small and Medium-sized Businesses stand firm in the ever-changing business ecosystem.In Nigeria, small businesses pose the backbone of the nation's economy, but the challenge faced by most startups has been the issue of funding, which has led to the shutdown of many startups. The World Bank report shows that SMBs face a financial gap of $330 billion. While also stating that only 25% of SMBs have access to bank loans in Africa.Google plans to give 5 to 15 Nigerian small business owners funding to support their businesses with the ongoing scheme to boost entrepreneurial growth in Nigeria.Google Hustle Academy was introduced in 2022 to help SMEs with mentoring, management education, business, and networking to help them raise the necessary capital for their business. Since its inception, Google has assisted 4,000 SMBs in Nigeria with funding and education to strengthen their enterprises.With the impact of the Hustle Academy, Google dedicated an N75 million pool, particularly for Nigeria, to help with non-dilutive funding to support 15 investor-ready SMBs.This Is What Heads at Google Are SayingHead of Brand & Reputation, Sub-Saharan Africa at Google, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-MakindeThe Hustle Academy Fund is a testament to the resilience and innovation of Nigerian small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. We are hopeful that this fund will further empower them to succeed and drive economic growth, creating jobs and opportunities for all Nigerians.Product Marketing Manager and the Hustle Academy Programme Lead at Google, Echoing the sentiment, Sinmisola Nojimu-YusufThe Hustle Academy Fund provides SMBs with the resources and support they need to succeed.With equity-free funding, mentorship, and opportunities for increased visibility and networking, we are supporting SMBs to grow and thrive. We are committed to supporting the Nigerian entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the Hustle Academy Fund is a key part of that commitment.However, to be eligible for the Hustle Academy SMB Fund, the business must be Nigerian-founded and have operated for a period of one to five years with a scalable and clear business plan. The business must also have a good track record of commitment to growth, operate in sectors aligned with the digital economy, or have a digital enablement strategy—having past participation in the Hustle Academy in the past is also an added advantage.The application for the Hustle Academy Fund starts on September 28, 2023, and closes on October 12, 2023.Click here to start your application. ]]> Fri, 29 Sep 2023 08:24:43 EST Nigerian Banks Record N192bn From Digital Transactions As Nigerian banks continue to endorse digitalization, there has been a shift in revenue. In the first half of 2023, the total revenue generated from electronic transactions was N192.010 billion. These statistics show that there was an increase from the last record, which showed N159.577 billion generated in the first half of 2022.Despite the increase in e-business revenue, Nigerian banks also recorded an excellent margin in pre-tax earnings, which amounted to N1.665 trillion in the first half of 2023. This showed that pre-tax increased by 132% compared to the pre-tax earnings recorded in the same period last year.Nigerian banks' e-business revenue is obtained as a result of card products, electronic channels, and other services such as USSD channels, mobile apps, ATMs, internet banking, agency banking, and POS payments. This shows that Nigerian banks are making effective use of digitalization, thereby expanding their digital economy.A Look at How Top Nigerian Bank’s E-Business Performed in H1 2023In H1 2023, top-tier banks, FUGAZ, which comprises First Bank of Nigeria, United Bank of Africa, Guarantee Trust Bank, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank, contributed massively to the e-business revenue. In total, FUGAZ's revenue amounted to N172.524 billion, which accounts for 89.85% of the total revenue of N192.010 billion. Last year, around this time, e-business revenue was N143.931 in H1 2022.Also, FUGAZ recorded an astonishing N1.104 trillion in H1 2023, which shows a 78.64% increase from H1 2022, which was N618.557 billion. This shows that FUGAZ contributed 66% of the total pre-tax amongst Nigerian banks.Nigerian Banks’ E-Business Ranking From Low to HighGTCO Holdings – N21.216 billionGTCO Holdings recorded an e-business income of N21.216 billion in H1 2023, which showed an increase from H1 2022, which was N18.574 billion in total revenue. Also, the bank reported a profit before tax of N327.4 billion, which showed a 217.1% increase over the previous year. Zenith Bank – N22.270 billionZenith Bank Plc recorded an e-business income of N22.270 billion in H1 2023, which showed a slight decline of 9.6% compared to the N24.635 billion recorded in H1 2022. Also, the bank reported that pre-tax profits increased by 169% year-on-year (YoY) to N350.4 billion in H1 2023.FBNH– N34.014 billionFirst Bank of Nigeria recorded an e-business income of N34.014 billion, which shows a 33.19% increase in H1 2023 compared to N25.537 billion in 2022. Also, the bank recorded a profit after tax of N206.3 billion for H1 2023, which showed a 213.8% increase from H1 2022.Access Holdings – N43.948 billionAccess Holdings Plc recorded an e-business income of N43.948 billion in H1 2023, which showed a 13.09% increase from the earnings in 2022. Aside from that, Access Bank, which is considered the largest commercial bank in Nigeria, accounted for 22.88% of the total e-business revenue amongst the eleven banks.UBA – N51.076 billionUBA recorded an e-business income of N51.076 billion in H1 2023, which showed a 40.61% increase from the N36.326 billion recorded in H1 2022. UBA accounted for 26.60% of the total e-business income among the eleven banks. Also, the bank recorded a profit before tax of N404 billion, which showed an increase of 371% compared to H1 2022.Other Bank E-Business Income IncludesFCMB – N7.400 billionSterling Financial Holdings N4.485 billionWema Bank – N3.136 billionStanbic IBTC- N2.144 billionFidelity Bank- N1.853 billionJaiz Bank- N468 million]]> Fri, 29 Sep 2023 08:13:49 EST ChatGPT Expands Reach, Enhanced Access to Information Beyond 2021 OpenAI recently announced that ChatGPT can now surf information beyond September 2021, noting that its chatbot has been limited since its inception. The news has been trending as GPT lovers see this as a welcome development.On Wednesday, September 27, 2023, OpenAI posted on its X, formerly known as Twitter, the recent update that allows the chatbot to access information beyond 2021."Browsing is available to Plus and Enterprise users today, and we'll expand to all users soon. To enable it, choose Browse with Bing in the selector under GPT-4," the company said.Also, OpenAI said that "Browse with Bing" is now available to users who are using the ChatGPT Plus version, adding that "we'll expand to all users soon".Earlier on, OpenAI tested a feature that allows its users to access the latest information using the Bing search engine within its ChatGPT Plus. The feature was introduced in May but disabled in June due to fears that it could allow users to access paywalls. The new integration works exactly like Bard, which is owned by Microsoft.A few days back, OpenAI released an update that allows users to interact with the chatbot using the Image or Voice feature, We reported.This will help users express themselves with the AI assistant and get better replies on what they are asking.The company said that this feature will be accessible by only its Premium and Enterprise users for the next two weeks. Also, the company said It's making plans to make it available for both Android and iOS users to access through their app settings.The Company Statement on MondayWe are beginning to roll out new voice and image capabilities in ChatGPT. They offer a new, more intuitive type of interface by allowing you to have a voice conversation or show ChatGPT what you’re talking about. Voice and image give you more ways to use ChatGPT in your life. Snap a picture of a landmark while travelling and have a live conversation about what’s interesting about it. When you’re home, snap pictures of your fridge and pantry to figure out what’s for dinner (and ask follow-up questions for a step-by-step recipe). After dinner, help your child with a math problem by taking a photo, circling the problem set, and having it share hints with both of you.]]> Fri, 29 Sep 2023 05:06:02 EST 54Gene to Shut Down After Securing $45M in 2 Years: Deep Dive Into the Facts One of Africa's leading genomics startups, 54Gene, co-founded by Abasi Ene-Obong is wrapping up its operation. Before the firm started its full-time operation, it underwent three funding rounds in which it was able to secure $45 million in funding to finance its operation.The company was established in 2019 with the aim of supplying quality genomic data specific to Africa, and it was focused on enhancing drug discovery procedures of international firms.With less than 3% of genetic material used in global pharmaceutical research sourced from Africa, 54Gene aspired to bridge this significant gap in the global genomics market, TechCabal reported.However, things didn't go as planned as the firm experienced an internal crisis, which led to the replacement of Ene-Obong as CEO of 54Gene on the grounds of misappropriation of company funds. It wasn't until a year after Ene-Obong resigned as the CEO of 54Gene that he launched a new startup called Syndicate Bio, another genomics company focused on genetic analysis and precision medicine.This didn't stop there, as 54Gene had gotten three (3) CEOs in its four years of operation before it closed—Ron Chiarello, who took over Teresia Bost, was the last after assuming the office in March 2023 and stepping down in July 2023.It became clear to the public that the company would be winding down its operation, after Chiarello made this announcement, "Unfortunately, the company could not continue to operate financially, and it began to wind down in July."According to Business Insider, the company started the shutting down process in July 2023. Currently, the company website is inaccessible, and the public relations agency that worked with the company has disassociated itself from 54Gene.In line with its shutdown procedure, 54Gene is seeking buyers to acquire its assets, which include a biobank that contains biological samples for research. The process of selling its assets is not certain due to unresolved legal issues and unpaid creditors.ImplicationsThe closure of 54Gene might not be effective due to legal issues that have not been resolved, while on the other hand, the company has issues with unpaid creditors. Also, Teresia Bost, a former CEO of the company, is suing 54Gene for what he called "discriminatory behaviour and creating a hostile work environment".Industry experts are worried about the health sector following the downturn of 54Gene's role in the genomics and health tech sectors.While some experts said that the vision of the company attracted a lot of funding at the start, the sudden closure will discourage investors from funding startups in the future due to uncertainty.]]> Fri, 29 Sep 2023 04:55:00 EST Crude Oil Prices Reach 2023 All-Time High at $97 per Barrel On Thursday, September 28, Brent Crude oil rose to $97.2 per barrel making it to reach its highest level since it climbed in November last year.The surge in oil prices was driven by the rise in demand and a marked decrease in crude oil supplies.On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and Russia one of the biggest oil-producing countries recently announced an oil production cut which would continue till the end of 2023, with monthly reviews to analyse the situation.It was in the first week of September that the benchmark surpassed $90 per barrel for the first time in 10 months on the back of the voluntary cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.However as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) schedules a meeting on October 4, market analysts expect that a thorough investigation will be conducted on market dynamics and a look at the supply levels and prices put out by producers.Last week, Goldman Sachs raised its 12-month ahead forecast for Brent Crude oil prices to $100 per barrel from $93 previously expected on more robust inventory draws with the extended OPEC+ cuts and global demand growth—the report shows.“We have nudged up our 12-month Brent forecast from $93 a barrel to $100 a barrel as we now expect modestly sharper inventory draws,” analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote in a note on Wednesday, as seen by Reuters.The main reason for the rise in Brent crude oil prices is that as the lower OPEC oil supply continues, the higher demand will more than offset the rise in US oil production.The reduction by the OPEC+ group led by Saudi Arabia and increased demand would allow the cartel and its partners to preserve Brent prices between $80 and $105 per barrel in 2024, according to the Wall Street Bank—the report shows.]]> Thu, 28 Sep 2023 09:36:51 EST