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TikTok, WeChat to be banned from U.S. app stores this Sunday

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The Department of Commerce has announced that TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the U.S. from Sunday, September 20, amid national security concerns.

In a press release on Friday September 18, the department stated: ‘In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.

The following transactions will be prohibited:

  1. Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the U.S.
  2. Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.

The statement further says that as of September 20 for WeChat and November 12 for TikTok, the following transactions will be prohibited:

  1. Any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
  2. Any provision of content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
  3. Any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimization of the mobile application within the U.S.;
  4. Any utilization of the mobile application’s constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the U.S.

These measures ensure TikTok and WeChat will be removed from iOS and Google Play starting Sunday, preventing users from downloading the apps or updating them in the future.

It was also stated that TikTok has until November 12 to resolve the national security concerns it poses. If this is done, the ban may be lifted.

President Trump has repeatedly said that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese internet company ByteDance, poses a national security threat because of its Chinese ties. He advised that TikTok’s US operations be sold to an American company.

The new development comes days after American computer technology giant, Oracle Corporation reportedly won the bidding for TikTok’s US operations after the Chinese app rejected Microsoft.

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BRT owners, Primero says they lost N100 million to #ENDSARS protest

Primero Transport Services (PTS) Ltd, the owners of BRT Busses have lost over N100 million in 6 days due to the #ENDSARS protest

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Primero Transport Services (PTS) Ltd, the owners of BRT Buses have lost over N100 million in 6 days due to the #ENDSARS protest which has ravaged Nigeria’s economic capital of Lagos in the last 10 days.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria, PTS Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Mutiu Yekeen, said that the company made a lot of losses between Oct. 16 and Oct. 21.

“We are hoping something better will come out of the situation because, presently, the situation has impacted negatively on our business in terms of revenue generation. We have lost over N100 million in the last six days but we decided to stop operations to avoid damage to our vehicles and also for the safety of commuters as an organization. We value our customers more importantly; that is why we stopped operation due to the volatility of the state especially in Ikorodu. If you listen to the news this morning, you will discover that people cannot travel from Ikorodu to any part of Lagos,” Yekeen said.

Things got worse for BRT on Wednesday after suspected hoodlums burnt several buses at the Oyingbo/Iddo terminal in Lagos. According to NAN, a large number of new BRT buses yet to be deployed to routes but parked in the terminus situated behind the railway line in Oyingbo, have all been consumed by the raging fire.

Several government-owned buildings and assets were torched by protesters across Lagos including Police Stations. The suspected hoodlums also set ablaze buildings belonging to private businesses while several shopping malls were looted.

What this means: Following the curfew imposed across the state and the subsequent arson of the company’s buses and terminals, it is unlikely that they will return to business anytime soon.  The losses will likely continue and could lead to a request for a bailout if the company is to sustain operations.

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FG launches application for N75 billion Youth Investment Fund at 5% interest, how to apply

FG has flagged off the application for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund.

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The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, on Thursday, October 15, 2020, flagged off the application for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) recently approved by the Federal Government.

During the launch of the application, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said that the NYIF underscored the importance placed on youths by the current administration.

The Minister said that the fund, which is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), would be spread over 3 years to cater to youth-owned businesses and investment needs.

Sunday Dare stated, “I must mention the support we enjoyed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which in line with the President’s directive, provided the initial N12.5 billion required for the Fund to operate in the remaining part of the year 2020.

“We are also grateful that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has on its part, committed to providing the next tranche of the fund in the 2021 budget.’

The Minister said that the loan, provided under the NYIF, has an interest rate of 5% per annum and a tenor of 5 years with a moratorium of up to 12 months.

He explained that any youth who wished to apply as an individual or a non-registered business could draw up to N250,000, while youth-owned registered businesses could apply for up to N3 million.

Going further, he said, “Our commitment to seeing the youth succeed is such that the loan is bundled with training that will ensure business sustainability for successful applicants.

“It is my belief that the fund will grow to become a permanent feature of our society, where beneficiaries run successful businesses and repay the loans.”

The Minister said that application is available on the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund Application Portal on NIRSAL Microfinance Bank’s site, www.nmfb.com.ng; and the ministry’s website, www.youthandsport.gov.ngor www.noya.ng.

Applicants are expected to provide their Names, Email address, and Website (if available).

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CBN says Nigerian Youth Investment Fund is coming soon

Youth Fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills, and enterprise of the Nigerian Youth.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that its Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) will soon be disbursed.

The apex bank made the announcement via its Twitter handle on Thursday while the nation marks its 60th Independence anniversary.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sport and Youth Development, Gabriel Aduda, explained that the Youth Fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills, talents and enterprise of the Nigerian Youth and aimed at turning them into Enterprenuers, Wealth Creators and Employers of labour contributing to national development.

According to him, the President Buhari-led Federal Government considers Nigerian youth as resources to be harnessed and not a problem, hence the initiation of this Fund.

He said, “The Fund will serve as a catalyst to unleash the potential of the youth and enable many of them build businesses that will employ and in turn empower others.

“A multiplier effect of economic expansion and growth required to thrive in an increasingly competitive and connected world where adding value is the only sustainable pathway to success is expected to be achieved.

How it works

* A minimum of N25 billion each year in the next 3 years, totaling N75 billion will be required to ring-fence the NYIF. For the remaining part of 2020 an initial sum of N12.5 billion will be needed to kick start the NYIF. It is expected that successive governments will keep the Fund, akin to a Youth Bank, alive.

*  The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) is a ringfenced Fund that will strictly cater to the investment needs of persons between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. It is a restricted Fund that can only be used for the set purpose of Youth Investment.

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