$3 million cloud credit to women founders 

As part of initiatives to commemorate this year’s 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD), UK- Nigeria Tech Hub and Google are collaborating to empower women founders. Through the collaboration, $ 3 million will be in Google Cloud credits to women founders in Nigeria. 

These cloud credits are often expensive for startups and can be used to access cloud computing resources and help women founders build and scale their businesses. The partnership exemplifies how technology companies and organisations can work together to support diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. By providing access to resources and support, women founders in Nigeria can be empowered to build successful tech startups and contribute to the growth of the tech ecosystem in the region.

It’s also noteworthy that the initiative aligns with Google’s broader efforts to support diversity and inclusion in tech, including programs like Google for Startups, which provides mentorship, resources, and support to underrepresented founders. Earlier this month, Google announced 15 startups for the inaugural Google for startups Accelerator Africa.

FG exempts telecom from 5% excise duty

After intense deliberations with the telecommunications industry stakeholders last week, the federal government exempted the telecom sector from the five per cent excise duty approved in 2020 to be paid by all sectors of the economy.

Some justifications for the move is that the telecoms industry is overburdened with 41 different taxes; it has continued to be a major contributor to the Nigerian economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product Contribution, and despite the increase in the cost of all factors of production across the other sectors, leading to increase in the cost of products and services, the telecom sector is the only sector where the cost of services has been stable and in many cases continued to decline over the past years. 

As a significant contributor to the economy, the tax exemption would reduce their tax burden in the telecoms sector and may help to stimulate growth and investment.

Lagos government targets 1GW solar energy by 2030

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to 16 constitution alteration bills. The signed bills include devolving more power to Nigerian states, empowering and granting them autonomy in major areas like electricity, railways, and the judiciary.

Nigeria is a heavily power-deficient country, yet it is endowed with large oil, gas, hydro and solar resources, and has the potential to generate 12,522 MW of electric power from existing plants. Despite this potential, the sector has continued to languish in the pool of underperformance. 

Now that states have been granted autonomy for power generation, there are high hopes that the power sector, which has suffered long-standing problems related to inadequate infrastructure, unreliable electricity supply, and a lack of investment, would be revived.

A state like Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, said it is committed to achieving 1GW of solar energy by 2030 with an engagement with the World Bank for suitable funding. In a few years, if maximised, Nigeria’s power generation must have improved commendably, leading to robust economic growth.

ICYMI: Market roundup

  • The NGX All-Share Index depreciated by 0.04% to close the week at 54,892.53 points. The top gainers were Sunu Assurances Nigeria PLC (+9.09%), Lasaco Assurance PLC (+7.14%), NPF Microfinance Bank (+6.94%), Geregu Power PLC (+6.25%), Transcorp Hotels PLC (+6.15%). Top decliners were, NCR Nigeria PLC (-18.69%), Ikeja Hotel PLC (-18.25%), International Breweries Plc (-6.45%), Cadbury Nigeria PLC (-5.83%), Multiverse Mining and Exploration Plc (-5.80%).
  • The naira edged higher to close the week at ₦459.00 /$1 on Friday compared to the ₦461.75/1$ recorded the previous week. 
  • Brent crude closed the week at $74.61, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $69.26.
  • The global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $1.16 trillion, as of 7:24 pm Sunday, the 26th of March 2023. Bitcoin stood at $27,882.13, a 0.56% decrease in 7 days, Ethereum stood at $1,769.04, a 2.71% decrease in 7 days, and Binance coin stood at $328.01, a 3.26% decrease in 7 days.
  • Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) has raised $43 million for its pan-African venture fund, which invests in scalable, tech-enabled, post-revenue startups addressing difficult challenges on the continent.
  • Credable, a fintech company that provides its clients with technology stack, scoring capabilities and banking partners, has raised a $2.5 million seed round.
  • Moroccan supplier spending management startup Konta has secured $1.15 million from the Azur Innovation Fund.

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