Welcome to the most-read stories on Stears Business in Q1 2021!
Of the numerous stories and changes that affect our lives in Nigeria, we have researched, reported, deeply analysed and published 61 stories for every working day in the first quarter of this year.
Topics have ranged from cryptocurrencies to national identity registration. We’ve also covered exciting events like Spotify’s re-entry into the country and the prospects of Eko Atlantic city.
But if you’ve missed anything, our most-read articles are where to start. Our readers consumed titles from the unending ASUU strikes to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s daily tasks.
Here is a recap:
1. How the CBN knocked Rubies digital bank offline
People love inside scoops, and this story confirms it. Rubies Bank’s customers had no access to their savings and could not provide services for their customers. Why? The CBN had placed a ban on their activities for over a month, yet it barely made the news. We broke the story and, as usual, did an insightful analysis of the company’s operations.
We hope you have as much fun reading or recapping as we enjoyed creating it.
Read the full article here: How the CBN knocked Rubies digital bank offline
2. Analysing the CBN's cryptocurrency exchange restriction
This article was a famous one. As you might recall, the CBN had just restricted banks from withdrawing funds from their banks to make crypto transactions. If you followed our #CryptoWeek stories, you would know this was a huge shock. The CBN’s policy was impromptu and inconsistent with the discussions that crypto stakeholders had with regulators. Naturally, people wanted to understand the reason behind CBN’s sudden u-turn.
Read the full article here: Analysing the CBN's cryptocurrency exchange restriction
3. From the eyes of a traveller: The viability of Lagos-Ibadan railway
Another confirmation of scoop-loving Nigerians. This story was also an exclusive piece created by one of our analysts who decided to experience one of Nigeria’s few infrastructural changes that can significantly impact our economy. The government had just completed a long-awaited Lagos-Ibadan rail line, and we had to see how viable and successful it was. If, like us, you wondered, read the full article here: From the eyes of a traveller: The viability of Lagos-Ibadan railway
4. Nigeria's reduced import levy: More cars, more problems
Nigerians have a deep fixation on vehicle imports for a country with massive potentials to build its car manufacturing plants. So when the government reduced the levy on imports to ease the country’s transportation challenges, we had to break down the rationale. From the title, you already know that more cars = more problems, but what problems exactly?
Read the full article to find out: Nigeria's reduced import levy: More cars, more problems
5. ASUU strikes in universities: Any end in sight?
By all means, one of the most annoying occurrences in Nigeria. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has spent 35% of their existence since 1978 in one strike or the other. If they aren’t fighting the government for salary payment, they’re fighting for a better learning environment or the welfare of students. Strike actions are almost inevitable in public universities, but they don’t have to be. This story shows how.
Read the full article here: ASUU strikes in universities: Any end in sight?
6. What is going on with USSD charges in Nigeria?
When the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that the cost of using USSD will now be different, we decided to dig a little deeper. The charges became per transaction instead of per session, and the new cost is ₦6.98 compared to the previous ₦4.89 charge. Why the change? What’s the difference between charges per session and per transaction? Would the new charges slow down the fast-paced growth of mobile money? And can these changes have any effect on financial inclusion?
The answers are in the full article here: What is going on with USSD charges in Nigeria?
7. Is bitcoin a threat to the naira?
Bitcoin, the world’s first digital currency, has been touted by some groups as the future of money. The currency’s surging value and market cap over the last few years is proof that it will change how we think about money. But despite its advantages, digital currency has scary weaknesses. Volatility is its Achilles heel. So would a government in their right mind give up their need for stability in favour of a currency whose value surged 15.7% because Elon Musk posted “Bitcoin” on his Twitter bio?
Read the full article here: Is bitcoin a threat to the naira?
8. Cryptocurrency regulation and participation from the Central Bank of Nigeria
It’s safe to say readers love our crypto content, and this article is no exception. With the wide adoption of cryptocurrencies, central banks worldwide are thinking of ways to play in the space. Although central banks can't control crypto because of its decentralised financial system, they can create digital currencies using blockchain technology. This piece compares both the centralised and decentralised financial system and what it means for the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Read the full article here: Cryptocurrency regulation and participation from the Central Bank of Nigeria
9. Cryptocurrency: How the CBN restriction cuts off exchanges
Here is a quick read analysing the CBN’s restriction on cryptocurrency transactions. After watching how Nigerians flocked to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the CBN stepped in. The regulator reminded banks that trading in cryptocurrency is prohibited in Nigeria, so the banks should shut down all accounts that did. It is one of our free to read pieces too.
Read the full article here: Cryptocurrency: How the CBN restriction cuts off exchanges
10. The power of communication and the CBN’s Naira 4 Dollar policy
This story showed our readers the strength of effective communication. Last month, the CBN devised a plan to get Nigerians in the diaspora to send more money home. It launched “The Naira 4 Dollar Scheme”, which is nothing new as you would read in this article. Several countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh have similar schemes where recipients of remittances receive a cashback to reduce the cost of receiving money abroad.
However, the communication of this policy elicited significant jest from the Twitter community. So in this piece, we looked at the link between monetary policy and communication. The intentions behind policies might be great, but one piece of communication is so powerful that it can break or shape an entire continent.
Read the full article here: The power of communication and the CBN’s Naira 4 Dollar policy
And that is a wrap on our top stories, looking forward to creating equally exciting content this quarter!