LAUNCHES EDUCATION DRIVE, NEW PARTNERSHIP TO DRIVE INCLUSION
Globally respected leading peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, Paxful, is making inroads into Africa with its trusted platform for bitcoin trading which has achieved widespread acceptance in other parts of the world
Paxful, which has over 2 million users and facilitated the trading of almost 500,000 bitcoins in their platform since its inception, believes that the success of its business model and impressive track record provide a strong platform for achieving greater financial inclusion in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Paxful was launched in 2015 with the goal of bringing more financial inclusion to the unbanked andunderbanked populations through decentralized, peer–to–peer access of bitcoin.
Since then, the platform has gained popularity, particularly in African countries. Paxful connects bitcoin buyers and sellers on its platform, and users are able to buy and sell bitcoin using over 300 different payment methods ranging from bank transfers, debit and credit cards, and cash payments.
According to the World Bank, nearly two billion people in the world have little or no access to traditional financial services. In Africa, the statistics are ever grimmer: an overwhelming percentage of adults on the continent are underbanked.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, reflects this trend. The World Bank has estimated the number of unbanked Nigerian adults at about 100 million. According to The Global Findex Database 2017, only 40% of Nigerian adults have an account with a financial institution or a mobile money provider.
Paxful sees this as an opportunity to grow its business and reduce this huge gap which has very negative implications for the development of African nations.
The marketplace has seen significant growth in digital currency transactions on the African continent in recent years, with the surge largely spearheaded by students and graduates under 25. “Africa leap-frogged to the forefront of peer-to-peer finance adaptation. In 2018, our user base in Africa doubled, with most customers being between 18 and 24,” said Artur Schaback, COO and co-founder of Paxful.
To increase access to the bitcoin economy for many more youths on the African continent, Paxful is launching a series of educational workshops across Africa in 2019. This education initiative kicked off in South Africa and Kenya in May, with Nigeria and Ghana in the cards for later in the year. The workshops will cover the very basics about bitcoin for novices and also further expand on innovative use cases and business applications observed around the world for more experienced attendees.
“As a values-driven company, we want to make the bitcoin economy accessible for everyone, especially the underbanked. To this end, we would like to reach as many young people as possible to help them understand the digital currency market and transact safely and with confidence. Our aim is to continue to partner with customers and other key stakeholders to ensure they are well informed about the opportunities presented by peer-to-peer finance,” stated Ray Youssef, CEO, and co-founder of Paxful.
This latest initiative forms part of Paxful’s proven commitment to education, which includes building two schools in East Africa under their #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative, as well as providing scholarships to young women in the Middle East and gave donations to the GROW with Educare Centres project in South Africa. The company aims to build 100 schools across developing countries and expand its scholarship programs.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday issued regulatory guidelines for the operation of Indirect Participants in the Payments System, with effect from Nov. 11.
The apex bank made this known in a circular issued by CBN’s Director, Payments System Management Department, Mr Sam Okojere, to banks.
The Indirect Participants are payments service providers who are non-clearing financial institutions but settle their payments obligations through clearing banks.
According to the guideline, to qualify as an indirect participant, an institution shall: have a satisfactory risk-based rating from the CBN and secure a letter of recommendation from its direct participating bank, signed by the Chief Risk Officer and an Executive Director of the direct participating bank.
The bank also directed that an indirect participant expected to settle all its payments obligations through only one direct participating bank per payment scheme at any given time.
“The relationship between a direct participating bank and an indirect participant shall be governed by a Settlement Agreement.
“Where the account of an indirect participant with a direct participating bank is not adequately funded, the direct participating bank may decline further settlement services to the indirect participant and inform the payment processor accordingly.
“Except as otherwise agreed, a direct participating bank or an indirect participant shall give at least thirty 30 days’ notice to the other party before terminating the Settlement
Agreement for any other reason apart from the circumstances in 3.4.
“The terminating party shall notify the Payments Service Provider (PSP) of its intention to terminate.
“A direct participating bank and an indirect participating bank shall enter into a bilateral agreement to guide the relationship.
“Where an indirect participant connects directly to a PSP for transaction processing, the indirect participant, direct participating bank, and the PSP shall enter into a tripartite agreement”, the bank directed.
It also directed that indirect participants must process their e-reference instruments through the direct participating bank or directly, through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
“In the latter option, NIBSS shall indicate the source, (bank, indirect participant)
of the e-reference requests.
“The receiving bank shall not discriminate between e-references originating from banks and indirect participants.
“An indirect participant shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Nigeria Bankers’ Clearing System Rules (NBCS)”.
The Foursquare Gospel Church has asked Dr Boniface Igbeneghu, a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, Akoka, to step down from all ministerial assignments.
This was released in a statement on Monday by the National Secretary of the church, Ikechukwu Ugbaja, the church dissociated itself from Igbeneghu, saying appropriate measures would be taken against him. The associate professor had been filmed making amorous advances at a ‘prospective student’ of the University of Lagos.
The ‘student’ who was actually an undercover reporter, had introduced herself to Igbeneghu as an admission seeker. She had also claimed to be 17 years old. The senior lecturer had shut the door against her and demanded a kiss, as he drew her closer to himself.
The video had attracted criticisms from Nigerians, who demanded that the lecturer be punished. The church’s national secretary said action was being taken on the matter.
He said, “The attention of the leadership of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria has been drawn to a video clip trending on social media platforms titled, ‘Sex for grades: Undercover in West Africa Universities – BBC News’ wherein a lecturer at the University of Lagos named Boniface Igbeneghu, also described as a pastor in Foursquare Gospel Church, was allegedly involved in sexual misconduct with some female students of the university.
“The general public is hereby informed that as holiness and Bible-believing church, we do not condone such heinous and unscriptural acts among our ministers. We totally dissociate ourselves from the purported conduct of Dr Igbeneghu and promise to take appropriate measures as soon as the ongoing investigation is concluded.
“Meanwhile, the pastor in question has been asked to step down from all ministerial assignments.”
The University of Lagos has suspended its lecturer who was involved in a sex-for-marks scandal. The lecturer was exposed in a video by BBC Africa where an undercover journalist, Kiki Mordi, disguised as a 17-year-old admission seeker.
The vice-chancellor of the institution, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES in an interview Monday afternoon.
Mr Ogundipe said the lecturer has been suspended indefinitely. “A panel will be set up to investigate the issue,” he said.
The investigation is part of a broader one that uncovers the sex for grade crises in universities in Nigeria and Ghana.
The UNILAG lecturer, Boniface Igbeneghu, is a former sub-dean of Faculty of Art and head pastor of local Foursquare Gospel Church.
Mr Igbeneghu invited the ‘admission seeker’ to his office for ‘tutorials’ and at their first meeting asked: “how old are you?”.
After responding, the lecturer commented on her appearance.
“Don’t you know you are a beautiful girl? Do you know I am a pastor and I am in my 50s but if I want a girl of 17 years, all I need is a sweet tongue and put some money,” he said.
He later continued with the harassment of the undercover reporter oblivious that he was being filmed.
Many Nigerians have called for the suspension and investigation of the lecturer.