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Trains Running Late, IPO SZN and Democracy!

Welcome to this week’s episode of The Brief where we bring you news from across Nigeria and Africa! Q
Trains Running Late, IPO SZN and Democracy!
By TheBrief • Issue #47 • View online
Welcome to this week’s episode of The Brief where we bring you news from across Nigeria and Africa!
Quote of the Week:
Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.
- William Shakespeare
I don’t want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.
— Samuel Goldwyn.

What's The Palava? (What's Going On In Nigeria?)
What’s A Little Debt Between Friends
The Nigerian Senate has approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari for a $22.7 billion loan package from external creditors to finance infrastructure projects. That billion again for those who missed it.
The government is expected to seek the funding from the Islamic Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the World Bank and creditors like China, Japan and Germany.

Another One (DJ Khaled Would Be Proud)
VFD Group, a Nigerian financial services-focused investment firm has launched a digital banking platform called V. The platform will operate using its microfinance bank license. TThe VFD Groups joins Kuda and Rubies, two digital banks that are currently on the market. There’s been a rise in digital banks in Nigeria within the last year.
Lagos Ain’t All That
SafeBoda, a Ugandan bike-hailing company, began operating in Nigeria this week. The company already has a strong customer base in Uganda and Kenya, and has eyed a move into the Nigerian market for almost a year now. This was after they observed the thriving competition amongst ORide, Max.ng, and Gokada in that space. However, as a result of the recent okada ban in Lagos, SafeBoda decided to launch in the relatively more business-friendly environment of Ibadan. SafeBoda’s decision sees Lagos lose out on the innovation and dynamic competition that the bike-hailing sector continues to offer. Not to mention the lost opportunity to reduce the unemployment rate.
This article from TechCabal further explains why Ibadan is the new frontier for Nigeria’s bike hailing startups.
Trains Running Late
The construction of the much-needed train line between Lagon and Ibadan has been delayed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation was contracted to build the 157km long rail line which will cost over a billion dollars. However, the delay has been caused by workers who went home for the Chinese New Year who are yet. Jerry Oche, the Lagos railway District Manager, argued that it was better to delay construction as opposed to risking the spread of the coronavirus. This is only the beginning of the many ways in which the coronavirus is bound to affect the Nigerian economy. In the meantime, health authorities have intensified efforts to limit the spread of the outbreak.
Demutualising
The Nigerian Stock Exchange has converted from mutual company to a limited liability company. Read more here to understand what that means and why they’ve done it!
What's Going On Across Africa?
Democracy!
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Thursday he would not stand for re-election in October, ending months of rampant speculation about his political future ahead of a what should be a keenly contested election.
Mr Outtara had previously said he would run if two of his longtime political rivals were candidates, leading to rumors that Mr Ouattara would attempt to amend the constitution of the country to give himself a third term in office.
IPO SZN!
Story courtesy of TechCabal:
IHS Towers is preparing for what could be the biggest Initial Public Offering on an American stock exchange by an African company. The wireless towers operator is said to have selected Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as global coordinators for a listing that could value the company at $7 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Why this matters: In the two decades since its founding, IHS has become Africa’s largest tower business, with over 23,000 towers in four countries. An IPO will invite broad international scrutiny into the strength of the business. For example, potential off-takers will want to know why MTN has considered selling its 29% stake in the tower company. IHS Netherlands, part of IHS Holdings, was carrying loans of $2.7bn as at September 2019.
What in the world??
(our segment where we highlight the most outrageous story we have come across while scraping the web for news articles for you)
We have taken to using what we call the Ehn scale. The longer the Ehn the more incredulous. For example, President Buhari is not Nigeria’s most prolific travel bloggerEhnnnnn? Got it?

Not Africa related but we found this one hilarious!!
Mike Bird
In locked down Wuhan, teachers use an app called DingTalk to set homework. Kids realised if it got enough one-star reviews it would be removed from App Store. Thousands of reviews flooded in, and DingTalk’s rating fell from 4.9 to 1.4 overnight. Legends. https://t.co/HGjZhVfgUa
6:17 PM - 7 Mar 2020
Editor's Corner
  1. Waiting until you are ready is the fear talking.
  2. Invert. Always invert. Knowing what you definitely do not want out of life is just as important as knowing what you do want. Via negativa.
  3. They say Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S) because when you try to be too clever, you add complexity to the system. Complexity is where errors and mistakes thrive.
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