NO MORE DOLLAR SPENDING ON NAIRA CARDS FOR FBN CUSTOMERS
We are back to square one zero.
Around March, several Nigerian banks reduced the monthly card international spending limit from ₦42,900 ($100) to ₦8,580 ($20).
Now, the First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) has announced that its naira cards will not be able to make any international transactions by September 30. Its naira cards—naira credit card, virtual card, and visa prepaid naira card—will now be restricted to transactions in the local currency.
If you are a First Bank customer, you must get a USD card from your bank to make international payments.
Why is this happening?
The bank has told its customers that this change is due to the current market realities on foreign exchange. The country is seeing a major plummet in its forex revenue, and it is trying to fix that. This move from First Bank seems to be another response to the measure that the Central Bank of Nigeria is taking to turn the tides.
First Bank is not the first to do this. In August, Standard Chartered Bank suspended international transactions on its naira card. Other banks may make similar announcements in the near future.
ZERO TRANSFER FEES FOR TANZANIANS
Money is moving around freely in Tanzania.
By October 1, 2022, Tanzanians will wave goodbye to transfer fees on withdrawal of cash through bank agents and ATMs for Tsh30,000 ($12.81) and below. This is thanks to its government.
Why is the government doing this?
The government is waiving transfer fees to encourage more people to use mobile money services. This is not to say that Tanzanians were never interested in mobile transactions—they were. The Tanzania MOMO market reached a value of $54.5 billion in 2021. They began to shun the technology after the government introduced transaction levies to provide basic services for its citizens in the financial year 2021/2022.
More and more Tanzanians stopped using mobile money services after the government introduced taxes on mobile money transfer and withdrawal transactions on July 15, 2021. People even took a step further and withdrew their assets from their mobile money accounts, and began paying directly with cash instead. The plummet continued until September 2021 when the government slashed the taxes it introduced by 30%. Seeing that the reduction of charges improved the situation in the mobile money scene, the government took off another 43% from its mobile money (MOMO) transaction levy three months ago. Now it has scraped the whole thing off.
How will the government meet its needs now?
To get the money it is now foregoing in the annulment of bank charges, the government plans to reduce the expenses it makes on things like conferences, training, refreshments, and trips. Hopefully, its citizens go back to using mobile money services again and the country can grow its mobile money market to $120.4 billion by 2027, as experts predict.
Mobile money taxes such as the one being scrapped in Tanzania have been implemented in countries like Uganda, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe. They have particularly been met with public criticism by the Cameroonian people.
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AWIF LAUNCHES WITH $60 MILLION FOR FEMALE FUND MANAGERS
Earlier this week, as world leaders gathered in New York to discuss collective global growth, the UN’s Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, joined other stakeholders to launch the inaugural Global Africa Business Initiative.
The impact of this event was a $60 million fund dubbed the African Women Impact Fund (AWIF), which will be deployed into various sectors in Africa, and more importantly, will be managed by women.
Much ado about gender?
No. At least not in this case. Records show that of the $69.1 trillion of financial assets under management globally, less than 1.3% are managed by women. Also, only 7% of private equity and venture capital funding is allocated to women-led businesses in emerging markets like Africa.
The consequences of this gap in today’s world are many, leading to prejudices that trickle down to affect funding for women-led businesses and appointments of women into key leadership roles.
AWIF is a breath of fresh air in the world of investments, a step in the inclusivity direction.
How will AWIF benefit Africa?
AWIF will place more African women in control of mega funds, setting the ball rolling for a balanced investment ecosystem on the continent. Also, it will follow a profit-led approach and invest in businesses that can generate returns.
AWIF will also be deployed to score some of the goals outlined by the UN. The SDGs 5 and 8, which target gender equality, decent work, and economic growth are central to the fund’s thesis.
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