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TechNigeria: A Weekly Digest Of What Went Down In Nigeria’s Tech Space

Another great week for Nigeria, particularly Lagos State as it displaced Nairobi to become Africa’s top startup city.
During the week, Nigeria also stunned the world by claiming 5 slots of 10 in the new Africa Startup Initiative Programme cohort.
Unfortunately, however, Nigeria wasn’t lucky enough on equity raiser points as most of the rounds we were able to track was dominated by startups from Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Egypt.

Let’s discuss.

Big win

During the week, Africa Startup Initiative Programme, ASIP, unveiled its new cohort, comprising of five Nigerian startup from a pack of a total of 10startups for its forthcoming cohort. This goes on to further attest to the dominating spirit of major Nigerian startups.
According to ASIP, the finalists, emerged from an intensive two-day selection process of 20 semi-finalists.
Making Nigeria proud, the five startups from Nigeria included Agrodata, AGS Tribe, NucleusIS, Ustacky, and Worldbay Technologies while other featuring startups include ventures from Cameroon, Gbana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Zambia.

A week with no equity raiser

In recent weeks, we recorded no raiser on the Nigerian slate. And, while there were news for other countries, Nigeria fell flat on the bottom line.
While Nigerian startups missed out during the week, HyperionDev, a Cape Town-headquartered ed-tech startup, raised ZAR50 million (US$3.5 million) in Series A funding.
Also, Apollo Agriculture, a Kenyan agri-tech startup, closed US$1 million in debt funding from the Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund).

Again, Nigeria missed out on another opportunity as Villgro Africa disbursed $170k funding to 4 health-focused startups.
While these startups are not anything different from most of the countries health tech firms, it remains a shock that Nigeria did not feature.
Going by the list published by the VC, two of the newly funded startups were Kenya-based while the two other startups were shared between Ethiopian and Ugandan.

Breaking new record
Lagos, 7th fastest growing city globally —NIPC
The highlight of the week was the new record set by Lagos State, taking over from Kenya’s Nairobi as Africa’s top startup city.
Now ranked 122nd globally, the city took over from Nairobi which now ranks 136 globally.

Is Nigeria not missing?

Amber Group, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency trading startup closed a $100 million Series B funding round, calling concerned crypto investors in Nigeria to again decry the current ban placed on the digital commodity by the country’s apex bank.
For the company, the new funding took its portfolio to a pre-money valuation of $1 billion.
This development stood out for the company to the admiration of international crypto players.

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2023: NBC Tasks Broadcasters On Professionalism

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has tasked broadcasters to handle political campaigns with professionalism.

The director-general of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah said this on Monday at a multi-stakeholders dialogue held in Abuja.

As campaigns for the 2023 elections are set to begin on September 28, Ilelah asked broadcasters to ensure not to allow hate speech or fake news on their platforms.

“This is in addition to ensuring equity in airtime allocation and coverage of political parties’ activities, particularly during prime times,” he said.

“It is also the time for you to make money from political adverts and campaigns, but ensure that this is done within the ambit of law.

“Broadcasters are also required to handle live political rallies with care and due professionalism. This is in addition to studio-based live political interviews/broadcasts. Because of the sensitivities of such programmes, broadcasters are advised to install delay mechanisms.

“Remember that broadcast stations are held responsible for any breach. The stations shall, therefore, assume and accept editorial responsibility”, he added.

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IPOB Accuses Police Of Blackmail

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reacted to a statement credited to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, linking ESN and IPOB to a planned attack on political campaigns and the forthcoming 2023 elections.

Director of Media and Public Relations of the group, Comrade Emma Powerful, in a statement on Monday, said the IG of Police should “leave IPOB volunteers and ESN Operatives alone to focus on things that matter instead of trying to get them involved in Nigeria Government and its fraudulent political processes.”

He also added that Nigeria’s security agencies were fond of blackmailing the organization with allegations of sundry crimes.

The statement read: “If Nigeria Police have concluded their plans to commit crimes during political campaigns and tag it on IPOB and ESN they will fail as usual.

“Any time Nigeria Security Agencies raise a false alarm, know that they have planned attacks to blackmail IPOB and ESN Operatives but we cannot allow them to continue their business of blackmail.

“These Security agencies have allegedly killed innocent people in an effort to blackmail IPOB but Chukwu Okike Abiama (God) has always vindicated us,” they said.

“We have always maintained that we are not interested in anything that has to do with Nigeria let alone taking any side in their fraudulent political process. IPOB are not Zoo politicians. The only political process that IPOB will participate in is an UN-supervised Biafra Referendum that will usher in Biafra Sovereignty and Independence”, he added.

 

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ASUU: F.G Makes U-turn, Withdraws Circular Ordering Resumption

The Federal Government on Monday withdrew its earlier circular which directed vice chancellors, pro-chancellors and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

This is coming hours after the government, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), directed the opening of varsities in compliance with National Industrial Court order.

A circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice chancellors, pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

Hours after, in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which was also signed by the Director, Finance and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022 on the above subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils, as well as vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards.”

The university teachers began a one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022, and extended it thrice after the Federal Government failed to meet up with its demands.

 

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