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World Bank suspends Nigerian tech company, Softech IT Solutions, MD, for corrupt practice

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The World Bank has suspended a Nigerian information technology solution company, SoftTech IT Solutions and Services Ltd., and its Managing Director, Isah Kantigi, for alleged corrupt practices.

While the tech company was sanctioned for 50 months, its MD was sanctioned for 60 months.

In a statement published on the bank’s website on Wednesday announcing the debarring of the tech company and its MD, titled “World Bank Group debars SoftTech IT Solutions and Services Ltd. and its managing director,” the bank disclosed that the firm and its MD were being sanctioned for improper payments made to certain officials of the National Social Safety Nets Project, which the bank saw as bribery.

“The World Bank Group today announced the 50-month debarment of SoftTech IT Solutions and Services Ltd., an information technology solutions company based in Nigeria, and the 60-month debarment of its managing director, in connection with corrupt practices as part of the National Social Safety Nets Project in Nigeria,” the statement reads.

Part of the sanctions also stipulates that for the period the suspension will last, neither the company nor Katingi will be able to engage in any project funded by the World Bank.

“SoftTech and Mr. Isah Salihu Kantigi, are now ineligible to engage in World Bank Group-funded projects and operations,” the statement added.

The IT firm which specializes in Big Data and Cloud Solutions, Geographic Information Systems and Mapping, Information Retrieval and Search Engines, according to the bank, had breached the “Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions,” which was signed on April 9, 2010, and as a result, both “are eligible for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs).”

It added that Kantigi also worked out a deal with other individual consultants, allowing them to make similar payments to project officials, an act the Bank frowns at and sees as
a corrupt practice.

“This constitutes a corrupt practice under the World Bank’s Anti-Corruption Guidelines. The settlement agreements provide for reduced periods of debarment in light of Mr. Kantigi’s and SoftTech’s cooperation and acknowledgement of the misconduct.

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Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, secures more funding from Cairo Angels syndicate

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A Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, has raised funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), a micro-venture capital fund, to expand its “buy now, pay later” incentive to customers.

Launched in 2018 by the duo of Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorunfemi Jegede, CredPal has placed itself as one of Nigeria’s most preferred consumer credit platform that gives buyers the freedom to “buy now and pay later” and helps merchants acquire more customers to increase their sales.

According to Disrupt Africa, the Google-backed CredPal has over 85,000 active customers and over 4,000 onboarded merchants, with the company announcing in March it had raised US$15 million in funding to expand its consumer credit offerings in Nigeria and to scale across Africa.

While speaking on the new funding, Olaogun said:

“This support from Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund reinforces our mission to improve the quality of life of Africans through easy access to consumer credit.

“My co-founder and I are very pleased to have them as investment partners and can’t wait for how much we’ll achieve together.”

The Cairo Angels is Egypt’s first formal network of angel investors, and since its formation has been one of the most active early-stage investors in startups and high-growth businesses in the Middle East and Africa, with 31 investee companies across 18 different sectors.

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Nigerian auto tech startup, Autochek, partners with Kenya’s Pezesha to provide asset financing to African SMEs

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Nigerian auto-tech digital solution startup, Autochek, has entered into a partnership with Kenyan fintech, Pezesha, to provide asset financing to Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

According to Autochek Kenyan Country Manager, Bilhah Muriithi, the company aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, with the hub starting with Nigeria and Ghana.

“Autochek has been focused on financing retail customers, we are excited to partner with Pezesha whose key focus is on enabling SME lending.

“Autochek will continue to invest in the market while exploring new partnership opportunities to deliver solutions for driving positive change in the automotive industry in Kenya and beyond,” said Muriithi.

Autochek, Muriithi said, plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after sales support and warranties.

Having expanded to Kenya late last year, the partnership between Autochek and Pezesha will enable SMEs to acquire auto assets for ease of business operations and growth.

Pezesha was founded in 2016 and has created a holistic digital financial infrastructure that connects small and medium-sized businesses to working capital offered by banks, MFIs, and other financial institutions or networks.

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