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Hello <<First Name>>,


This intro was written by 2:50 am right after watching A fall from Grace by Tyler Perry. A brilliant movie, Tyler Perry’s movies just keep getting better! ❤️

Maybe we should start reviewing movies?... Ahem...Alright, just had to get that out first.

Now, The Stories for the Week.


Airtel TV and Chill?



Airtel Nigeria, a leading mobile telecommunications company in Nigeria recently launched a mobile application called Airtel TV to provide digital content in the form of music videos, movies, live TV and sports news. The app is subscription-free and is accessible exclusively to registered users of the Airtel network(obviously). This is a shift from the previously launched 3flix Mobile TV, which also delivered digital content but used a paid subscription service.


Not the first time

In the bid to gain market share amongst Nigerian mobile users and the ever-growing digital space, other telecommunications providers have also launched similar services in the past. Just last year, 9mobile introduced SuperTV for streaming movies and shows while MTN Nigeria launched MusicTime!, a music streaming platform. 


Zoom out: While telecom providers in Nigeria battle ferociously for market share, it’s standards for services have still been relatively poor. Although Airtel Nigeria has made this service free, download speed in Nigeria is still one of the slowest in the world and the cost of Internet subscription is also extremely high.

Question: If these standards are improved, can Airtel TV (or other Nigerian Teleco providers) compete with a local competitor like Iroko TV and global players like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+  because of the niche African content it provides and the huge market it can serve?

Bearing in mind that just a week after this launch,  Airtel TV App has over 100k downloads (Although an unfair comparison, Disney+ had 3.2 million app download within its first 24 hours).  Airtel Nigeria is the second-largest telecommunications company in Nigeria by its number of customers, behind MTN Nigeria with an estimated 49.65 million subscribers.


Finance Law: All about it 

Earlier this week, the finance bill was signed into law by Nigeria’s president. Although most of the conversation was around Value-added Tax (VAT), there are other important changes we’d like to tell you about as continue from where we stopped last week.

Why it matters: New Tax laws affect everyone living and doing business in or with Nigeria.

Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) 

PIT is a compulsory tax charged on the income earned by an individual.

Gratuities are now tax-exempt. A gratuity is a lump sum of money paid by an employer, usually when a person has retired. Think of it as a thank you gift for spending a long period of time with a company. It is however distinct from your pension.

Emails are now official: Emails are to be accepted by the tax authorities as a formal channel of correspondence with taxpayers as opposed to only physical letters before. Here's another reason to check your emails.

VAT: An indirect tax on goods on services

The definition of Good and services has been amended to remove any ambiguity. 

As proposed the VAT has been increased from 5% to 7.5%. This would increase government revenue generated from VAT while also increasing the financial burden on taxpayers. Notwithstanding, the Bill seeks to cushion the effect of the increase in the VAT rate by introducing more exemptions. 

Customs and exercise duties: Imported goods into Nigeria would be charged excise duties,  It’s to eliminate any unfair advantage imported products have over local products.
Question: Exercise duties taxes levied on the manufacture of goods within the country, so we’re not sure why imported goods that already face import tax, would also face exercise duties again.

Capital Gains Tax: The compensation received for loss of employment of up to ₦10million would be exempted from CGT. CGT is a tax on the profit obtained from disposal or exchange of certain kinds of assets.

Stamp Duties: Historically, Stamp duty is a  tax that is levied on documents. But in Nigeria, it’s more than as it covers electronic transactions.

Now, there’s a Stamp duty on receipts to ₦50 on every transaction from ₦10,000 and above, and definition of receipt has been expanded to cover electronic transactions. However, what’s not clear yet is who would administer stamp duties, FIRS or NIPOST -- used to be administered by NIPOST.

Dig Deeper: Read the Original Copy of The Finance Bill


Visa buys Plaid 

In what can be termed as the first acquisition in 2020, Visa, a leading global payment company is buying Plaid in a deal worth $5.3 billion — roughly double the start-up’s last private valuation.

Let's look at the deal through the lens of the parties affected:

Visa: From Visa’s perspective, this move is a step to expand its reach and stay innovative. The credit card business is not going anywhere — if anything, it’s getting stronger. With more tech giants like Apple, Stripe and Coinbase creating their own credit cards.

Plaid: For Plaid which enables applications to connect with users’ bank accounts. Plaid makes money every time a user accesses their account for a transaction. At the moment revenue from these recurring transactions now exceeds revenue earned from bank verification.

For employees and Investors of Plaid, this is a huge reward for them and it gives them access to Visa’s vast resources.

Banks: Banks intentionally choose to not upgrade their system. According to Ben Thompson "Many banks’ technical infrastructure is ancient and built around assumptions that did not include APIs for 3rd-parties. More importantly, though, is the power of inertia: as long as it is hard to move money around, the more likely it is that that money will stay in the bank, collecting minuscule interest; or, if customers need value-added services, the path of lowest resistance will be simply getting them from their bank."

Now that Plaid has solved this issue, it appears any hitch not solved by banks would be solved by outsiders, notably fintech companies. Could banks be giving up opportunities to make more money or are they more focused on where the money's really at?



The FBI vs Apple again

The US Attorney General recently demanded that Apple unlock 2 iPhones that belonged to the Saudi Air Force cadet who killed 3 people at a Florida naval station last month. But Apple has said it’d help out as much as it can but won’t build a back door into its devices -- which is ultimately what the US government wants. According to Apple “We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers.”

This is not the first time the FBI is making this kind of request but this time it's a bit different

Who is not happy about this?

The US Department of Justice, The FBI and of Course...




Trump’s not happy because last year, Apple was spared from a 15% tariff increase that could have weakened supplies for its products.  

Note: Much of Apple's supply chain is located in China, including its main iPhone assembly plant in Zhengzhou, which assembles up to half the world's iPhones.

Bottom line: The role of the government should be to help create a better environment for businesses. But clearly, Pres. Trump views his relationship with Apple as an extremely transactional one: I help you, you help me. 

This is how politics affects business.

Worth Reading 📚


Cognitive Bias of the week💡 


Information bias: The tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.

*A cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that affects the decisions and judgments that people make.

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