OTHER - 19 OCT 2021

Q3 2021: Top most-read Stears Business stories

Q3 2021: Top most-read Stears Business stories
SB's top ten. Source Stears Business

Last quarter our readers showed that their interest in Nigeria’s apex banking regulator is far from dwindling. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intensified its bans, dominating the news agenda and our list of most-read articles.

Analysis of Godwin Emefiele’s reactions to innovation and information dissemination tops our most-read list. But, readers were also keen to know about decisions that affected their finances, from the launch of the Abeg app, a wealth dissemination platform, to the cement industry’s oligopoly that keeps prices of the limestone product high. 

Fleeing foreign investors was also a theme high on readers' minds, with the general exodus on the Nigerian exchange and big oil players such as Shell declaring divestment interests. With the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) becoming law, we saw readers take a keen interest in how the new Act will affect investment in the energy sector. Our company stories are increasingly popular as we saw users eager to read how startups are faring.

The complete list appears below. Click on the titles or the hyperlinked text to read the articles in full.

1. Unpacking the CBN’s decision to freeze out wealth management apps

Stears Business' most-read piece last quarter was on the CBN governor’s decision to freeze the bank accounts of major wealth technology companies in the country for 180 days.

In this story, we learn the reason behind the CBN directive, why the CBN is worried about the solutions that wealthtechs provide and how their business models threaten the CBN’s foreign exchange management mandate. 

Read the full article here


2. Why the CBN banned FX sales to BDCs again

If there is a thing Nigerians have gotten used to, it would be “bans”. Keeping to the theme of the CBN’s autocratic nature, our second most-read story revealed why the apex bank ended its forex sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the last week of July. 

So again, we analysed what prompted the CBN to take this step, explained the implications and highlighted steps to take going forward. 

Read the full article here

3. Beyond giveaways: Abeg taps into a gap in access to finance

In an economy where people would rather borrow from the bank of friends and family instead of actual finance institutions, Abeg, a wealth transfer application, has opened up new ways to access finance.

It doesn’t stop there, though. This story looks into how the company is building a business on the growing culture of “giveaways” and how it monetises this solution for the untapped market.

Read the full article here


4. Dangote vs others: Tackling competition in Nigeria’s cement industry

From what we know of economics, competition = lower prices. But in this story, we learn that this isn’t always the case.

This article breaks down the oligopolistic market structure in Nigeria’s cement industry. It shows how even without collusion or price wars, market participants can still control the market price and what this control implies for consumers of cement.

Read the full article here


5. Foreign investors are leaving Nigeria

Does Nigeria need foreign investment to grow, or does it not? This debate is becoming increasingly important, with early estimates suggesting that 2021 will be Nigeria’s worst foreign investment year on record.

But what is the current state of investment in Africa’s most populous country? This story provides a clear picture of Nigeria’s foreign investment position, how we got here, and what it means for the future.

Read the full article here


6. Federal vs State: Who should collect VAT from Nigerians?

With investment drying up, a country can ramp up its infrastructure or accumulate revenue through taxes. 

In Nigeria, the federal government collects Value Added Tax (VAT), which is a charge on the goods and services we consume across the country. It then shares it across the different state governments. But sometimes, a state’s share ends up being less than what it contributes. State governments think this is unfair, and this story unpacks why with a succinct analysis on both the legal and economic sides.

Read the full article here


7. What does Shell’s latest Nigerian divestment mean for the economy?

Our readers persisted on the theme of fleeing foreign investment as we zoned in on one example with this article.

We looked at why Shell, a dominant oil and gas player, is selling its most central unit. This article also unpacks how the world transitions towards more renewable energy sources and what this development means for the oil and gas sector, Nigeria’s piggy bank. 

Read the full article here


8. What the Petroleum Industry Bill means for foreign investors

The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) becoming the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is arguably one of the biggest energy news in Nigeria this year. 

Readers flocked to it as we focused on specific details about the bill that provides a great start to introducing structure and fiscal incentives to the oil sector. But despite taking more than two decades to finalise, this story shows how the Act still harbours regulatory inconsistency and “unfavourable” laws that investors might find unattractive. 

Read the full article here


9. The startup pivot: Payporte's story

Analysis on startups and tech stories are increasingly becoming popular in the Stears Business Premium community. One thing our readers will find familiar is the pivoting theme among these startup businesses.

As you’ll also see in this story that zoned in on Payporte, growth for a startup is synonymous with change. We took our readers through what the company learnt about Nigerian shopping habits that forced them to pivot, and if pivot for PayPorte will solve its problems.

Read the full article here


10. Why Nigeria remains in a poverty trap

Finally, the last article on this list took a more reflective view of the “poverty” topic. It breaks down the “poverty trap” concept and assesses situations that could help citizens of the world’s poverty capital know when they are in a poverty trap and possible solutions to such a dilemma.

Read the full article here

Stears Insights Team

Stears Insights Team

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