The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people around the world. Due to the restrictions brought upon because of the spread of the virus, many people globally had problems going on with their regular daily lives.
Among many regions and parts of the world that suffered due to the spread of the virus was Africa. Many of the countries in the region reported increasing unemployment numbers. In such an environment, many Africans found crypto investments and trading as a way out of the hardships.
Crypto allowed people in the region the opportunity to transact their money freely and within a few minutes without having to deal with huge transaction fees. While the regulatory framework around crypto in Africa is far from being established, people are still using cryptos very actively.
The interest of Africans in the crypto trading market is increasing every single day in the region and showing the highest adoption rate of cryptos around the world. In some countries of Africa, the regulatory agencies are very strict when it comes to crypto activities.
In fact, some of the governments have totally banned crypto activities, including trading and investing. But, such heavy regulations seem to not affect the popularity of cryptocurrencies in the region. In fact, the interest has increased even more after such strict regulations were adopted in some of the African countries.
Africa is using the cryptocurrency market for numerous different reasons, including for doing business, protecting their savings and funds, and also sending and receiving funds overseas.
Why is Crypto So Popular in Africa?
There are many reasons behind the huge popularity of the crypto trading market in Africa. One of the main reasons why so many people have decided to turn to cryptocurrencies in the region is that they have had enough bad experiences with fiat currencies and they want to protect their funds from the effects of inflation.
Another very important factor that supports the popularity of the crypto market is that it lets locals send and receive funds without having to pay a lot of commissions and fees. In the region, peer-to-peer transactions are especially popular.
People in Africa are using cryptocurrencies for all different reasons. There are some people who are using it as an asset to trade, while others use it for day-to-day activities, such as selling goods, saving up money, or sending money to others.
As the national currencies of numerous African countries continue to depreciate, the population of the region had to find a way out of the situation. For many, cryptocurrencies are one of the only opportunities to preserve their wealth, while also watching it grow.
Another reason why so many people are showing such interest in the crypto trading market in Africa is that the market has become very easy to access for people of all backgrounds. Today, thanks to the increasing number of crypto exchanges offered to African traders, getting started in the market is very simple.
All they need to do is to open an account with one of the available crypto exchanges in the region, deposit funds, and start buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
In fact, trading cryptos does not require as much attention from traders anymore. This lets traders in the region go on with their day while making profits. It is possible thanks to the crypto trading robots, which are able to analyze the market in a matter of minutes for traders and make profits for them.
For example, while using an automated bitcoin trading robot, you will be able to sit back and let the robot make profits for you. There are different types of robots available in the market, some of them are able to analyze the market and provide traders with trading signals.
On the other hand, there are trading bots that are able to actually trade cryptocurrencies for you and make profits. The majority of the crypto robots use API keys to connect with crypto exchanges, which is a safe way of automated trading.
Crypto Trading in Africa
The past few years have been very important for the further development of the crypto trading market in the region. Amid the worsening situation in terms of economy and local currencies, the popularity of cryptocurrencies further increased.
Another important factor for the increasing popularity of the crypto trading market in the region was the Covid-19 pandemic. The ongoing pandemic caused numerous jurisdictions in the region to adopt different types of restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
Due to the restrictions, many people were left without jobs and lost their income. In this situation, the demand for the cryptocurrency trading market has increased dramatically.
However, although crypto trading is very popular in the region, the local regulations are far from being in favour of the crypto trading market. Many of the countries in the region have restricted trading cryptocurrencies altogether, while others have issued warnings against crypto trading.
But, even this did not get in the way of the further development of the market. Cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more popular in Africa every single day and the easier access to the market makes it even more attractive for local traders.
However, due to the local restrictions, people are mostly using P2P trading platforms to participate in the market. This made Africa one of the most active regions in terms of P2P crypto transactions.
FBN Holdings to Take Over Access Bank’s Pension Fund Custodian Business
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A Nigerian financial group, FBN Holdings Plc, has taken another step to enhance its earnings by acquiring the pension fund custodian business of Access Bank Plc.
FBN Holdings is making this acquisition possible through one of its subsidiaries, First Pension Custodian, and it involves the total control of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited.
A notice from both organisations disclosed that the transaction involves the transfer of a 100 per cent stake of Access Bank in the pension fund business to FBN Pension.
At the moment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom), the two key regulators of the two transacting companies, have given a “no objection” to the deal.
However, the sale is yet to be finalised as approvals of other regulatory agencies are being awaited.
“FBN Holdings Plc wishes to notify the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the investing public that First Pension Custodian, a subsidiary of FBNH’s flagship subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has entered into a definitive agreement with Access Bank Plc for the planned acquisition by First Pension of 100 per cent share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction, with completion subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals,” a disclosure from FBN Holdings signed by Adewale Arogundade, the acting company secretary, said.
On its part, Access Holdings Plc said it “announces today that its subsidiary, Access Bank Plc, has entered into a definitive agreement with First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited regarding a proposed purchase by First Pension of the entire share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank.
“The National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction,” Mr Sunday Ekwochi, the company secretary, disclosed.
CBN Laments Failure of Oyo Farmers to Repay Agric Loans
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lamented that the majority of farmers who benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) in Oyo State have not repaid their loans.
This call was made by Mr Sadeeq Ajayi, a CBN Development Finance Office in Ibadan at the Agribusiness Innovation Clinic.
He appealed to farmers who defaulted in paying back the agric loans to pay back, saying that the inability of the apex bank to recover the loans from the defaulting farmers had threatened the scheme, adding that it has prevented other farmers from accessing the facility.
The CBN official made the call at a clinic entitled Fostering Innovation and Collaboration Across the Agricultural Value Chain organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).
ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the federal government, through CBN, to provide loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, reduce food import bills toward conservation of the foreign reserves.
“While the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has recorded some level of success, the failure of farmers to repay the loans has, however, been a major setback.
“Many of the farmers refused to pay back their loans due to the misconception that since CBN is the lender, the loan is a ‘national cake’ and they do not have to pay back what they consider theirs as citizens.
“This attitude has made it difficult for other farmers, who also want to access the loan, to benefit from the scheme,” he said.
Mr Ajayi said that stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, should appeal to the defaulting farmers to promptly repay the loans for the sake of others.
“Of course, we are engaging various stakeholders and we expect the narrative to change very soon so that more people can have access to the fund,” he said.
In his keynote address, Mr Olasukanmi Olaleye, the Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, lauded the initiative of GAIN to tackle malnutrition in the country.
Mr Olaleye, represented by Mr Mukaila Oladipo, a Deputy Director in the ministry, said that food fortification is one of the safest, most effective and affordable ways of addressing the micronutrient gaps in the country.
Also, Mr Godwin Ehiabhi, a Senior Project Manager, GAIN Nigeria, said that improved access to safe and nutritious food would reduce the country’s high rate of malnutrition.
Seplat Will Continue to Expand Under Guidance of Omiyi, Okeahalam—CEO
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The chief executive officer of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr Roger Brown, has expressed his desire to work with the company’s new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Mr Basil Omiyi, and the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, Mr Charles Okeahalam.
The appointment of Mr Omiyi followed the stepping down of the founders of Seplat Energy Mr ABC Orjiako and Mr Austin Avuru, from the board.
While commenting on the development, Mr Brown said he was excited with the appointments, especially with the transition into the next chapter of the firm.
“Mr Basil Omiyi has been a leading figure in the Nigerian oil and gas sector and also with Seplat Energy, having joined its Board in 2013 and helped it to achieve a dual listing in April 2014. The vast depth of experience and his detailed knowledge of Seplat Energy will be invaluable as we continue to evolve and mature the company.
“He has provided invaluable guidance as an Independent Director and I look forward to his continued leadership as our new Independent Non-Executive Chairman.
“We will also benefit from the considerable expertise of Dr Charles Okeahalam as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, especially his experience and knowledge of Africa’s economies and its financial markets.
“Under their guidance, we will continue to expand and consolidate our position as Nigeria’s leading energy company and the partner of choice to deliver energy transition for Africa’s largest economy and its rapidly growing population,” he said.
Mr Omiyi has been a member of Seplat Energy’s Board of Directors since March 2013 and as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director from February 1, 2021. During this period, he sat on the company’s Remuneration, Nominations & Governance, Energy Transition, and Risk Management & HSSE committees.
His experience in the energy industry is extensive, with more than 40 years at Royal Dutch Shell, during which time he held senior roles in Nigeria and Europe, including becoming Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in 2004 and in addition, Country Chairman of Shell Companies, Nigeria, until his retirement in 2009.
Mr Omiyi has held several leadership positions in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, including Chairman, Upstream Industry Group (Oil Producers Trade Section, Lagos Chambers of Commerce & Industry) from 2007-2010; Chairman of the Energy Sector of NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria, and Board Member NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria from 2005-2010; Chairman, of the Oil & Gas Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group from 2005-2010; and Board Member, Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2007-2010. Mr Omiyi is also the Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, a post he has held since 2015.
In 2011, he was awarded the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger for pioneering leadership in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
On his part, Mr Okeahalam joined the Board in March 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and is Chairman of Seplat Energy’s Finance Committee, and a member of the Energy Transition, Remuneration, and Nominations & Governance committees.
He has extensive corporate finance and capital markets expertise and in particular, detailed knowledge of African financial markets, economies and the investment industry. He was a co-founder of AGH Capital Group, a private equity and diversified investment holding company based in Johannesburg, with assets in several African countries.
Prior to co-founding AGH Capital Group in 2002, he was a Professor of Financial Economics and Banking at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. His other roles have included advising a number of African central banks and government ministries, the World Bank and the United Nations.
He has held several board positions and is a former non-executive chairman of Heritage Bank Limited, Nigeria. Since March 2016 he has served as the non-executive chairman of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company.
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