President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the 3.4% growth witnessed in Nigeria’s economy in 2021 could be attributed to investments made in the infrastructure in the country.
The President disclosed this during his acceptance speech of the 2021 Trophee Babachar Ndiaye award reported in a statement by the State House.
According to him, it is evident that infrastructure investment is good for the economy and by building roads, we are building Economies.
What he said:
Buhari said “Our most recent GDP results of 3.40%, the biggest in the last 7 years clearly show that the construction sub-sectors and related sub-sectors of the economy were among the big performers of the growth surge.Very evidently, infrastructure investment is good for the economy. By building Roads, we are building Economies.”
He added that the founding vision of African Leaders is coming to fruition, Evidence of the African Renaissance is being showed today in Nigeria, citing that the Trophee Babacar Ndiaye 2022 at the 7th Edition of Africa Road Builders symbolizes this Renaissance.
“On behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I accept the Africa Road Builders Award for the Hope, Prosperity and Progress that it symbolizes.
“The East to West crossing of Nigeria across the Second River Niger Bridge which will be finished this year is a major investment by Nigeria on the Lagos-Mombasa Trans African Highway, as is the Enugu – Abakaliki to Mfum Highway.
“The 375Km Abuja to Kano that is now under construction is Nigeria’s major part of the Trans African Highway No. 2; Algiers to Lagos.
“Apart from these Trans African connections, we are rebuilding, expanding or replacing strategic Highways and Bridges across our country,” he added.
What you should know
Naijaonpoint reported that Nigeria’s real GDP increased from an estimate of N70.01 trillion recorded in 2020 to N72.39 trillion in 2021, representing a recovery from the recession recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.
Transportation and storage sector, electricity and other notable non-oil sectors of the economy drove the significant growth recorded in 2021. For example, the transportation and storage sector recorded a 16.25% GDP growth in the review year as against the 22.26% contraction recorded in the previous year.
Also, electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply recorded a 27.57% growth in real terms, overturning the 2.9% decline recorded in 2020, while the financial and insurance sector grew by 10.07% in 2021 as opposed to 9.37% growth printed in the previous year.
On the other hand, the information and communications sector, which was one of the best performing sectors during the pandemic, recorded a decline in its growth rate, as its GDP growth rate stood at 6.55% in 2021 compared to 13.18% recorded in the preceding year.
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Airtel’s SmartCash Payment Service Bank commences operations in Nigeria
Airtel Africa Plc has announced that its payment service bank subsidiary, SmartCash, has commenced operations in Nigeria.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the company’s secretary, Simon O’Hara and filed with the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX).
The statement read, “Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, today announces that its subsidiary SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (‘SmartCash PSB’), has commenced operations in Nigeria”.
According to the disclosure, services will be provided at select retail locations at first, with operations gradually expanding across the country over the coming months.
What the company is saying
Commenting on the commencement of the payment service bank’s operations in Nigeria, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, said, “I am very excited to announce our commencement of operations for financial services in Nigeria through SmartCash PSB. This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country. To help further digitise the economy, and most importantly to help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services.”
What you should know
- Recall that in April 2022, the apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted final approval for SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank limited (‘Smartcash’) to operate a Payment Service Bank (‘PSB’) in Nigeria.
- This came after the CBN had earlier granted Airtel’s subsidiary Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria Ltd a full “super agent” license, allowing it to serve customers of Nigerian banks, payment service banks, and licensed mobile money carriers.
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APPZONE acquires switching license from the CBN
AppZone, Sub-Saharan Africa’s payment infrastructure company, announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria has issued the organization an approval in principle to operate under the Switching and Processing license category. This will enable AppZone further expand its transaction switching and processing services currently offered to banks and fintech’s through its blockchain-based payment network, ZONE, launched in December 2021.
ZONE is the first private blockchain payment network that enables the direct flow of payments from bank to bank while empowering previously excluded financial institutions to participate. It has been adopted by over 16 commercial banks and payment service banks in Nigeria and will further expand to other financial institutions, Fintechs and commercial banks across Africa.
Speaking about the license issuance, Co-Founder and CEO of AppZone, Obi Emetarom, said, “We are excited about the issuance of the Switching license. We look forward to the progress it will enable for the payment and finance ecosystem.
As a payment infrastructure company, we believe that this milestone will enable us to connect every financial store of value within Nigeria and link them to the rest of the world.”
With this new milestone, AppZone can now operate on the same level as other tier-one financial technology and private switching companies. The Switching license will enable the company directly to engage and collaborate with crucial payment system stakeholders such as the Nigeria Central Switch hosted by NIBSS and the various Card Payment Schemes.
Founded in 2008, Appzone Africa’s no.1 Fintech Software Engineering firm has evolved into a payment infrastructure company. Our Layer-1 Blockchain network digitizes Fiat payments and enables the transition to digital currencies while connecting previously excluded financial institutions into an all-inclusive payment ecosystem. In December of 2021, Appzone launched ZONE, Africa’s first decentralized payment network. ZONE allows participating institutions to connect directly with each other and perform payment transactions without an intermediary while completely automating settlement, reconciliation, and dispute management. We are working with the brightest minds on the continent to digitize and completely automate financial services. Our Vision is for digital payments and Decentralized Finance to replace cash and traditional Banking in Africa.
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