Category Archives: Nigeria

Worldremit generates over $200bn in revenue and manages more than $700bn of remittance FLOWS. Nigeria received 24B

As a youth, Ismail Ahmed was forced by the outbreak of civil war to escape his homeland – Somaliland – and take refuge in the UK. Today, the company he founded is one of the most successful money transfer companies in the world. Profile

At the end of August this year, WorldRemit, one of the leading players in the world of international money transfers, put in a reported $500m bid for the takeover of the US app-based remittance company Sendwave. Not bad going for a company that was founded only 10 years ago by a Somali entrepreneur, Ismail Ahmed.

Remittances today account for more than FDI or overseas development aid. The global market is estimated at $700bn a year. Nigeria alone received an estimated $24bn in remittances in 2018, up from $4bn in 2013.

Photo: The founder of worldremit ismail ahmed

Many economists predicted that the economic meltdown caused by Covid-19 would lead to a massive drop in remittances and as a result, adversely impact emerging markets. The World Bank, at the start of the pandemic in April, estimated a 20% fall in remittances, anticipating catastrophic consequences.

However, these predictions were confounded when some countries, such as Kenya, posted growing year-on-year remittance numbers as at August. Ahmed is not surprised by this. He says he couldn’t fathom the World Bank estimates as experience had shown him that remittances were generally countercyclical.

The rise in remittances, for example in countries like Kenya, has been attributed to a number of factors. One is that many of the people sending money back home are actually those ‘essential workers’ who have kept health facilities going, and provided the services that have kept the economies of the West afloat.

In addition, government stimuli had cushioned the economic blow and the different economic mitigation schemes have meant that in some countries, such as the US, disposable income at the end of the month has at times actually been higher than what many workers were earning before the pandemic.

Ahmed says that the figures for WorldRemit, as at October, were quite strong for the year. “The only region where there was a noticeable fall are the Gulf countries, especially with Indian workers sending money back home.”

Recalling his life story, he says it seems that he was destined to work in money transfer services. He was born and raised in what is now Somaliland and he reflects that his family often received monies from a relative working in the Gulf.

With an excellent head for figures, he was awarded a World Bank scholarship to study economics at the University of London in the UK. But before he could take up the offer, the Somali Civil War intervened.

In the chaos that followed, he managed to escape and thanks to the money sent to him by his brother working in Saudi Arabia, he was able to purchase an air ticket out of Djibouti to the UK.

Expertise in the world of remittances

Fascinated by the world of remittances, he wrote a research paper on the subject at Sussex University; and whilst at the London Business School, as part of a case study project, he put together a model of a remittance business. This was to become the blueprint for what is today WorldRemit.

Before setting up WorldRemit, Ismail worked at the UN to advise on the system of remittances after 9/11.

While working on a UN Development Programme for Somalia, out of Nairobi, he noticed fraud involving senior colleagues. He blew the whistle and, for this, was dismissed.

He fought his corner, alleging unfair dismissal. He won his case and substantial compensation. This was the seed money he used to launch WorldRemit together with Catherine Wines, who also had extensive experience in money transfers, having herself restructured a remittance business that was subsequently sold to Travelex.

He says the scope of their ambition right from the get-go was big – hence the name of the company. As a student, he had experienced the frustrations and high charges involved in sending money back home. Working at the UN, he had realised that the process could be expensive as well as far from frictionless.

Right from the outset, he says, he knew that using rapidly improving IT technology was going to be the ace in their pack. Properly deployed, it could challenge the two giants in the field – Western Union and Moneygram.

He sees WorldRemit as an aspect of the increasingly important fintech sphere. The runaway success of M-Pesa and mobile money in Kenya underscored to him, in the early 2000s, the enormous potential of digital.

However, breaking into the market wasn’t plain sailing. The dominant players had, in many cases, struck exclusivity deals with banks or agents and seemed unassailable.

Given the very tight space left in the market, WorldRemit started with a single agent in both Uganda and Kenya. But the company still managed to get considerable business. This proved to them that their business was viable and also that the market was growing apace.

It was not long before WorldRemit became a substantial global player. Today the company operates in over 6,500 money transfer corridors worldwide and sends money from 50 countries to more than 150 nations.

The acquisition of Sendwave will make it a company that generates over $200m in revenue and manages more than $7.5bn of remittance flows.

The deal will strengthen the company’s position in the US, the world’s biggest source of outward remittances. “You can’t be big in money transfers if you’re not big in the US,” says Ahmed.

Industry more streamlined

The remittance industry has definitely benefited from having more players in the market: costs have been drastically reduced and the spread on exchange rates has also fallen considerably. However, some analysts warn that it is becoming an increasingly difficult area in which to make money as competition is eroding margins and the marketing costs to acquire new customers are greater than the gains.

Ahmed doesn’t agree; he counters that the industry will not only grow but will evolve. One factor behind the resilience of remittances has been the digitisation of payments. “Somaliland is pretty much a cashless society today. In Kenya, 90% of remittances are non-cash based, with the majority going to mobile money. In Nigeria 90% of international money transfers will end up in a bank account. So even during lockdowns, remittance flows still take place.”

He believes that the digitisation of remittances will also enable countries and analysts to better understand and make use of data that is now more readily available.

He also anticipates that the infrastructure backbone of remittances, which is ultimately about matching and settling trades, can help play a greater role in business transactions such as purchasing machinery or goods from abroad, as well as in intra-African trade, where too often buyers need to access dollars or euros to settle a payment within Africa.

Remittances have often been overlooked as a development tool, he says, but today they are a key indicator from a macro-economic perspective. Nonetheless they have been criticised for being ‘unproductive’ capital in that they are used in the ‘receiving’ country to make basic purchases.

Ahmed refutes this and says that as well as covering expenses such as school fees, food or medical bills, a big chunk of remittance payments goes to starting new businesses, investing in land and property.

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U.S. Warns Nigeria of Al-Qaeda’s Reach As Buhari Advises Forces FacebookTwitterWhatsAppFlipboardLinkedIn

Daily Trust (Abuja)
By Latifat Opoola
The United States has raised the alarm that the Al-Qaeda insurgent group has started penetrating the northwestern part of Nigeria.
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US warned that violent extremist organization were seizing on Africa’s ineffective maintenance of the coronavirus pandemic to advance their goals in vulnerable societies in Nigeria and other African countries.
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The Head of US Special Operations Command Africa, Maj.-Gen. Dagvin Anderson, stated this Wednesday during a zoom video conference with reporters.

He said Al-Qaeda was also expanding to other parts of West Africa.

He said Al-Qaeda had had a deliberate campaign to expand their reach, especially into the west.

“We’ve seen that they have taken advantage of this also by closing schools, so they – they take away the future. They eliminate that future by shutting down these schools: over 9,000 schools across Africa shut down; 3,000 in Mali and Burkina Faso. That is very concerning to us” he said.

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“We have engaged with Nigeria and continued to engage with them in intelligence sharing and in understanding what these violent extremists are doing, and that has been absolutely critical to their engagements up in the Borno State and into an emerging area of northwest Nigeria that we’re seeing al-Qaida starting to make some inroads in.

“So this intelligence sharing is absolutely vital and we stay fully engaged with the Government of Nigeria to provide them an understanding of what these terrorists are doing, what Boko Haram is doing, what ISIS-West Africa is doing, and how ISIS and al-Qaida are looking to expand further south into the littoral areas” he stated.

He noted that it is disturbing that despite all the multiple level of assistance the United States is supporting Nigeria with, the VEOs are continuing to make progress and continuing to be a threat.

“I think there’s two factors in that. One, it goes to that each government has to focus on this and provide that focus for international partners to engage with. The other partner – the other part of this is we can’t underestimate the threat these violent extremist organizations pose” he said .

“We, as a community of international nations, keep thinking we have defeated them or we have put them on their back foot and that they’re just moments from disintegration. I think after 20 years we have seen they are very resilient organizations that, although small, they’re able to leverage social media and other forms of media to have an outsized voice and that they continue to recruit and they continue to find opportunities” he added.

Read the original article on Daily Trust.

Instagram star flaunted lavish lifestyle but was actually conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars, US prosecutors say

Director of Dubai CID say from di raid, dem gbab’ document of one planned fraud wey dey worth $435 million.

Dubai police say dem also seize:

  • More dan $40.9 million cash moni
  • 13 expensive cars wey worth $6.8 million moni wey dem get from mago-mago activities
  • 21 computer device
  • 47 smartphones
  • 15 memory stick
  • Five hard disk wey contain 119,580 fraud files
  • Address of 1,926,400 victims.
Nigerian internet scammer Instagram star flaunted lavish lifestyle but was actually conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars, US prosecutors say

Hushpupi was arrested Instagram star flaunted lavish lifestyle but was actually conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars, US prosecutors say
Hushpupi and his expensive Lamborghini in Dubai

A Nigerian man nicknamed “Ray Hushpuppi” who flaunted his Rolls Royces, fancy watches and designer clothing on Instagram faces money laundering conspiracy charges in the United States, according to the Department of Justice.

Ramon Olorunwa Abbas appeared in a federal court in Chicago on Friday. He is accused of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through cybercrime schemes.

According to a federal affidavit, one of the alleged victims was the client of a New York-based law firm that lost nearly a million dollars in 2019.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

Abbas was arrested last month by law enforcement officials in the United Arab Emirates and transferred to the US this week by the FBI.

Prosecutors allege Abbas is one of the leaders of a global network that uses computer intrusions, business email compromise (BEC) schemes and money laundering capers to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.US authorities say this man is Ramon Abbas and he conspired to launder millions of dollars.US authorities say this man is Ramon Abbas and he conspired to launder millions of dollars.

A BEC scheme often involves a hacker who redirects communications of a business email account to others in an attempt to lure them into making a wire transfer.

“This case targets a key player in a large, transnational conspiracy who was living an opulent lifestyle in another country while allegedly providing safe havens for stolen money around the world. As this case demonstrates, my office will continue to hold such criminals accountable, no matter where they live,” US Attorney Nick Hanna said in a statement.

It is unclear whether Abbas has an attorney.

The Department of Justice says the Hushpuppi Instagram account, which boasts 2.4 million followers, shows Abbas inside or in front of jets, shopping luxury brands, posing in front of Rolls Royces, a Ferrari and other expensive cars.

In the bio, Hushpuppi says he is a real estate developer.

According to the Dubai Police Facebook page, Abbas and 11 other people were arrested during raids in which authorities seized nearly $41 million, 13 luxury cars worth $6.8 million and phone and computer evidence containing more than 100,000 fraud files and the addresses of nearly 2 million possible victims

https://d-19089519563005070114.ampproject.net/2006180239003/frame.html

Conspirators went after English soccer team, feds say

A criminal complaint filed last month alleges that Abbas and an unnamed person conspired to launder funds from a $14.7 million heist of a foreign financial institution in 2019.

Abbas also is accused of conspiring to be part of an attempt to steal $124 million from an English Premier League soccer club. The complaint does not say which team was targeted or if the attempt was successful.The man known as Hushpuppi told his 2.4 million Instagram followers that he is in real estate.The man known as Hushpuppi told his 2.4 million Instagram followers that he is in real estate.

Authorities said he was part of a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of about $922,857 in October 2019.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

The FBI says in the criminal complaint that Abbas and others tricked a paralegal at the law firm into wiring the money meant for a real estate refinance into an account that Abbas and his co-conspirators were using.

Abbas, 37, is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago, the Federal Bureau of Prisons website says. He will be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks, according the Justice Department.

If convicted of money laundering, he would face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Di Director of Dubai CID say from di raid, dem gbab document of one planned fraud wey dey worth $435 million.

Dubai police say dem also seize:

  • More dan $40.9 million cash moni
  • 13 expensive cars wey worth $6.8 million moni wey dem get from mago-mago activities
  • 21 computer device
  • 47 smartphones
  • 15 memory stick
  • Five hard disk wey contain 119,580 fraud files
  • Address of 1,926,400 victims.

Analysis across Africa shows how social media is changing politics

  • Kenyan government official’s attempts to block a local art collective’s music video that had been uploaded to YouTube
  • Social media’s complex symbiotic relationship with mainstream media is still evident in powerful ways.
  • Somalia specialist Peter Chonka, for example, argues that the blurring of public and private boundaries inherent in the country’s social media environment can be disruptive. It has resulted in a lack of coherence in political communication by state actors

Not only have digital media and mobile phones created pathways for African entrepreneurs and consumers to access local and global networks with greater ease and speed, but the technological sector that supports digital media – from mobile phones to laptops and internet connections – has come to require a digital entrepreneurship that benefits from the creativity of African citizens.

Young Somali women look at a smartphone at Dadaab refugee complex, in northeast Kenya, on April 16

Traditional and new media

Social media’s complex symbiotic relationship with mainstream media is still evident in powerful ways.

Somalia specialist Peter Chonka, for example, argues that the blurring of public and private boundaries inherent in the country’s social media environment can be disruptive. It has resulted in a lack of coherence in political communication by state actors. This further challenges their legitimacy. Tensions between traditional and modern forms of communication are reflected in the online clash of views over “appropriate” online content, moral values and perceived threats to national security.

Media scholar Brian Ekdale highlights the debates around “morality” in social media content. He researched a Kenyan government official’s attempts to block a local art collective’s music video that had been uploaded to YouTube. Ekdale then considers what this shows about the ongoing tensions between global media technology giants and local users and regulators on the continent

What is especially interesting is the way in which African users have found ways to adapt and appropriate digital and mobile media, for example, developing codes to communicate via mobile phone without using airtime – so-called ‘flashing’ or ‘beeping’ (calling and hanging up before the receiver can answer so as to avoid incurring a call cost).

While this creativity can be celebrated as an ingenious way for African users to adapt digital and mobile media to their own circumstances, it also points to the often exorbitant costs of airtime and data which are obstacles to the use of new media technologies in African countries. Airtime comes at such a high cost in South Africa, for example, that it is often offered as a prize in consumer competitions, or airtime vouchers are given as gifts or freebies.

The advent of digital media has turned the media landscape upside down. The news cycle moves at lightning speed, thanks to live tweeting, blogging and citizen journalism, all unknown just a few years ago.  

To remain accessible, conventional media practitioners in Africa are adapting to a new media world that is time-sensitive and more interactive. Advocacy journalism, in particular, is growing exponentially—bloggers and citizen journalists are mobilizing for various causes, including good governance.  

Although a lot has changed in media technology and operations over the last 15 years, society still looks to the media to play its traditional role—to inform, educate and entertain. 

In Africa the media plays an even more critical role, that of deepening and institutionalizing democracy.

Citizens need to be informed as nations take on new responsibilities in a globalized world.

“Media plays an important role in buildding an informed society. Said shakir essa somali digital media and journalist news publisher at allafrica

Citizens need credible information from a media that can skillfully moderate debate and provoke meaningful conversations that can lead to transforming africa

the media must see itself as instrumental to ensuring and improving the quality of life in society. 

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">“Journalists see themselves as watchhdogs. Instead, I see the media as a leader. Watchdogs just sit down and watch, but a leader stands up and leads. You have to walk and work,” Mr. Chinje said in an interview with <em>Africa Renewal.</em> “Journalists see themselves as watchhdogs. Instead, I see the media as a leader. Watchdogs just sit down and watch, but a leader stands up and leads. You have to walk and work,” Mr. Chinje said in an interview with Africa Renewal. 

Africa needs journalism that innovates and supports innovation in a modernizing continent, he says, one that not only grows, but promotes growth and the development of society. It needs journalism that not only generates the ideas that are the engine of social transformation, but also moderates the debates that emerge from these societal changes.

Digital media and journalism as a sector is evolving, and there are plenty of job opportunities in the field. However, Aspiring journalists have to build their experience and gather certain skill sets to thrive in the industry, said: shakir essa ( shakir is a somali digital media and journalist news publisher at allafrica

If you’re interested in starting (or growing) a career as a media in east africa, then you have a lot to learn from shakir essa

Shakir started his career in journalism as an intern at the allAfrica news website and quickly scaled through his career as a journalist, amplifying African voices and stories.

Shakir Essa on, July 6th,2016 for a 30-minute Facebook Live session where he’ll be discussing journalism ans digital media as a profitable career choice, and the skills aspiring journalists need to acquire.

Register for this Facebook Live below and ask shakir all your pressing questions.

shakir essa facebook live

Some of the topics we’ll cover:

How to make it as a digital and journalist

Media career choices for young people in East Africa specialy somalia

Moving from employment to entrepreneurship

Personal PR: Social media etiquette and how it impacts your professionalism

Why young Africans should demand quality content from media outlets (African advocates of public interest journalism)

Facebook Live Details: shakir essa

2018  facebook live 

About shakir essa

Shakir essa is digital media publisher and PR consultant who is currently consulting at Media allAfrica news, as a radio producer, media relations trainer and digital journalism trainer. He also works as a volunteer youth mentor and freelance journalist.

Latest years shakir had a successful career at one of the africa leading international news sites and radio, the ALLAFRICA.

While working for AllAfrica,  he works as trucking industries on Amazon prime in USA

Also he led several productions including creating digital content for younger audiences and news coverage of somali politics

In June 2016, he took one of the lead roles in setting up somalia and the breakaway region somaliland 

For live broadcasting on social media His work helped direct the day to day running of the live broadcasting and training journalists on storytelling and social media skills.

Shakir Essa served as editor at allafrica news media and somali news tvs

Shakir Essa served as an Editor at allafrica news media and somali news tvs

The Shakir Essa Report, first aired January 2012, is a thirty-minutes, weekly report at allafrica on storytelling for African immigrant stories in northern Africa, Libya and Tunisia.

Shakir essa served as editor at allafrica news site’s,

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