By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The British High Commission and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday resolved to work together to improve port development in Nigeria.
The resolution was made during a courtesy visit to NPA’s head office in Marina, Lagos by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, who was jointly received by the Managing Director of the authority, Mrs Hadiza Usman, Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mohammed Belo-Koko and Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr Seconte Davies and other management staff of the authority.
In a statement by the authority’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Michael Ajayi, while the High Commissioner promised to assist the authority to address the challenges facing Nigerian port industry, Mrs Usman also pledged stronger relationship with the United Kingdom’s companies operating in the Nigerian maritime sector.
Mr Arkwright, who identified piracy as one of the major challenges in the country’s maritime industry, said that Britain would make significant contribution to enhance operational efficiency in the port.
He stressed the need to support NPA towards find a lasting solution to the issue of piracy in the country’s waters.
Also, the managing director said that NPA would welcome any assistance that would boost port efficiency from Britain in order to move the port forward.
Quickteller Paypoint Rewards Over 1,000 Agents
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Over 1,000 agents of Quickteller Paypoint have been rewarded with exciting prizes from the company’s ongoing Double Up Promo.
Five of the winners, Bamidele Aminat, Ishaya Galion, Ayinla Habeeb of Achiever’s world, Edozie Joy, and Ilonwa Peter of Oxford Logistics, visited the Quickteller Paypoint premises to receive their prizes and celebrate their win.
The campaign was introduced by the financial inclusion services vehicle of Interswitch as part of its effort to reward agents’ loyalty.
The promo, which began in September, has seen participation from over 2,000 individuals/businesses within the Quickteller Paypoint agency network.
After a series of raffle draws monitored closely by relevant regulatory bodies like the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the Lagos State Lottery Board (LSLB), and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NCLRC), more winners emerged from another raffle draw concluded recently.
Speaking on the Double Up Promo, the Marketing Manager of Quickteller Paypoint, Bunmilofe Akingbola, stated that the prize presentation ceremony was done to reward the effort and dedication of its agents across the country towards driving the goal of the consumer digital payments platform.
“Our major focus at Quickteller Paypoint is to deepen financial inclusion by bringing financial services closer to Nigerians, especially those who are in financially excluded regions, and we are really excited about the capable partners we have found in our agents across the country.
“Today, we are rewarding these reliable agents through our Double Up Promo, thereby enhancing their lives. While we impact the lives of these agents, we are also enthusiastic about being able to reach more financially excluded Nigerians and touch more lives through avenues like this.”
Winners who emerged from the draws showed excitement and gratitude to Quickteller Paypoint for recognising their role in driving the growth of financial inclusion across the country and rewarding them for playing such a noble role.
They also opined about the financial freedom they have enjoyed since becoming Quickteller Paypoint agents, explaining that it is very lucrative and the Quickteller Paypoint team is very supportive.
At the heart of Quickteller Paypoint is the urge to deploy technological solutions to help drive the growth of financial inclusion in Nigeria and Africa at large. Through this promo, the company reaffirms its vision to onboard more potential agents who can also create income for themselves while making Nigeria a more financially included economy.
Uncover Skincare Raises $1m to Expand into Nigeria
By Adedapo Adesanya
Kenya-based Uncover Skincare, which is seeking to revolutionise the beauty and personal care sector through data-led manufacturing, has raised a $1 million seed fund to expand into the Nigerian market.
The funding round saw the participation of FirstCheck Africa, Samata Capital, Future Africa, IgniteXL, in addition to angel investors, ex-SokoWatch COO, Kwenhui Tawah, and ex-L’Oreal executive and current WPP Scangroup CEO, Patricia Ithau. The new funding brings the total amount raised by Uncover, since its launch in 2020, to $1.225 million.
The company recently introduced a new range of skin products in the market, with plans to launch more next year. Its products are sold through its online platform, on marketplaces, and in the stores of partner brands.
Uncover was launched after incubation at Antler. It uses African botanicals and outsources its manufacturing to Korean original design manufacturers, who they say ensure its products are healthy, safe, affordable, and effective.
Speaking with Tech Crunch, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the company, Sneha Mehta, said, “We are using the funding to launch more products, go into additional markets, and also double down on our tech and data to effectively produce, reach and market to our audience.
“Our production happens in Korea (one of the world’s biggest beauty markets), where we are leveraging the best technology, labs, and scientists in the world who understand stability testing, safe ingredients, and formulations. We are able to deliver because women in our community have graciously provided information and tried our products to help us formulate specifically for this market,” said Mehta.
The startup also offers virtual consultations through an in-house esthetician, and produces skin-tertainment content to reach more users, and recently introduced a skin quiz for personalized recommendations.
The CEO said since launching, the startup’s revenue has grown 20-fold, buoyed by the growing demand for its products and the community it continues to build.
“We have had incredible traction since, and our community has grown from zero to about 60,000 women in Kenya in two years… we have built brand awareness, loyalty, and our values of education and, knowledge and empowerment have been established at the market,” she said.
Uncover hopes to continue building and strengthening this community, starting with Kenya and Nigeria, which are the next major beauty and personal-brand markets in the continent after South Africa.
Interswitch Showcases Innovative Products to Sierra Leone
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Stakeholders in the financial ecosystem in Sierra Leone have been introduced to a variety of innovative products and solutions from Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company.
These products are targeted at commercial banks, microfinance banks, fintechs, other financial institutions, and the general public.
The initiative is part of the company’s determination to further deepen its expansion beyond the shores of Nigeria.
Interswitch executed this task by organising its first breakfast session in the West African nation tagged Accelerating Growth and Profitability – Leveraging Technology to Win.
The event provided key insights and explored robust opportunities for businesses in Sierra Leone to continue to evolve.
Speaking at the session, the Group Head of Sales, Payment Processing and Switching at Interswitch Purepay, Mr Olubunmi Aina, stated that businesses in Sierra Leone are set to enjoy seamless operations, especially as pertaining to payments.
“At Interswitch, our core objective is to deliver an Africa where payments are a seamless and invisible part of everyday life, and we have carried this vision with us for the past 20 years.
“Interswitch is committed to the advancement and penetration of digital payments in Africa as a whole. We continue to create innovative solutions that enable individuals and communities to prosper across the continent.
“Today, we are in the Sierra Leone market to provide customers and businesses with secure and convenient digital payments products and to enhance customer experience,” he said.
At the event, participants were onboarded onto the company’s products, including Postilion Retail Payment, Interswitch Banking-as-a-Service, Interswitch Payment-as-a-Service, agency banking and card fusion.
The company stated that these products and solutions would allow customers such as financial institutions, banks, fintechs and microfinance banks to offer topnotch digital payment solutions to their customers. Also, with these products, businesses will enjoy enhancement opportunities and better customer experiences. Likewise, financial institutions will be able to rapidly integrate with newer payment channels with intuitive technologies.
“It is no longer news that the deepened penetration of digital payments is helping to boost Africa’s economy. We are not resting on our oars but will continue to innovate solutions to further elevate Africa’s payments landscape as a whole,” Mr Aina stated.
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