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AfDB loans $170m to boost Nigeria’s digital start-ups

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has offered a $170m loan to finance a digital and creative enterprises program in Nigeria.

This was contained in a press statement on Thursday titled ‘African Development Bank Board approves $170m for investment in Nigeria’s digital and creative start-ups’.

It read, “The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a loan of $170m to finance a digital and creative enterprises program in Nigeria.

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“The investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises Program is a Federal Government of Nigeria initiative promoting investment in digital and creative industries. It is part of Nigeria’s efforts to build back better, greener, and more inclusively, to create more sustainable jobs for the teeming youthful population.”

The program, which is co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement and the Islamic Development Bank, targets over 68 million Nigerians aged 15 to 35 years recognized as leaders of innovative, early-stage, technology-enabled start-ups or leaders of creative sector micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, was quoted as saying, “Governments have a much greater role than just policymaking. They need to be innovative and create an enabling environment that includes infrastructure and de-risking to harness private sector investments in key growth sectors.”

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Also quoted was the Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Beth Dunford, as saying, “This program is among the latest series of our operations meant to bolster the implementation of the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy. Given that tech-enabled enterprises cut across all the economic growth sectors, the program’s focus on the digital sector will deepen Nigeria’s job creation efforts.”

The statement also read in part, “The initiative will stimulate investments in 226 technology and creative start-ups and provide non-financial services to 451 digital technology and small and medium enterprises. The program is expected to create 6.1 million direct and indirect jobs, of which the Bank’s financing will support the creation of about 850,000 jobs. The value added to the Nigerian economy connected to the program is estimated at $6.4bn.

“The program will boost Nigeria’s venture capital market through independently managed funds focusing on digital and creative enterprise. These funds aim to attract an initial capitalization of $433m in private and public sector financing.”

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Nigeria Newspapers

Akeredolu appoints chairmen, members for Ondo parastatals

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The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has approved the appointment of some members of the state All Progressives Congress to the state boards and parastatals.

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Richard Olatunde, made this known in a statement on Thursday.

According to the statement, a former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Victor Olabimtan, was appointed the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board.

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The governor equally approved the appointment of Sam Erejuwa as the Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission .

Similarly, Olajide Akinroluyo has been appointed as the chairman of the Pool Betting and Lotteries Board.

“The appointments take immediate effect,” the statement read.

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The statement also noted that the governor has approved the appointment of Rafiu Akinkuolie as member of the Judicial Service Commission. His name has been forwarded to the Ondo State House of Assembly for screening.

Akeredolu congratulated the new appointees and charged them to justify the confidence reposed in them by performing excellently in their new offices.

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Nigeria Newspapers

Google appeals $2.8bn shopping fine at EU court

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Google on Thursday appealed an EU court decision to uphold the bloc’s 2.4-billion-euro ($2.8-billion) fine for abusing its search engine dominance.

The tech giant said it would go to the European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court, after the General Court confirmed in November a decision by the European Commission in 2017.

At the time, the fine was the European Union’s biggest ever. But it was later exceeded by a 4.3-billion-euro fine against Google over its Android smartphone operating system.

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“After careful consideration, we have decided to appeal the General Court’s decision because we feel there are areas that require legal clarification from the European Court of Justice,” a short statement by the company said.

The case centres on Google’s shopping service and is one of three against the search engine giant currently moving through the EU’s drawn-out appeals system.

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The new appeal could take up to two years to reach an outcome, stretching the case out to well more than a decade after the commission launched its investigation in 2010.

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The court confirmation on Google Shopping was a win for the EU’s anti-trust supremo Margrethe Vestager, who burst onto the scene in Brussels by scrapping her predecessor’s more conciliatory approach to the US internet giant.

Vestager had lost in the same court in a different major case, against Apple and Ireland, in which her teams had ordered the iPhone maker to repay 13 billion euros plus interest to the Irish taxpayer. The EU has appealed that ruling.

The fine for Google came after seven years of investigation launched by complaints from other price-comparison services that saw traffic plummet against Google Shopping.

AFP

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