In brief: MTN shakes up board; NIRA breaks silence on ‘black market’ IDs, delays; new SafeBoda country director and more

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Good evening, SautiTech readers!

This is your Monday evening briefing through which you will learn about the latest developments in the tech world in and out of Uganda. The information presented below is gathered from different media outlets. We present it briefly so that you can get the full story from the original publisher by clicking on the blue links (this is so that the original publisher can also benefit from our audience).

SafeBoda Nigeria gets country director

We recently reported that SafeBoda Nigeria is launching soon and that it is hiring. Now, Babajide Duroshola, a former Andela manager, has been appointed the country director of SafeBoda Nigeria, Benjamin Dada reports.

He had worked for Andela for close to three years and in that short period, he participated in Andela’s expansion to Rwanda, talent training and development among other things that are driving the continental success of Andela.

SafeBoda CEO Alastair Sussock says Babajide Duroshola will lead “the efforts for SafeBoda in Nigeria”, according to Dada.

Duroshola told the publisher that he was excited to work with the company because of its mission.

“It’s more than a ride-hailing company to me, the brand has an aura of emotion which I felt when I had my onsite with them. They have changed how people perceive Boda (Okada) drivers in Uganda and how they perceive themselves. And I’m looking to help them replicate that in Nigeria, starting in Lagos”, he said, according to Benjamin Dada.

Click here for the full story.

Ugandan citizenship now costs Shs100,000

NIRA broke silence Monday, attempting to dismiss a report by the Sunday Vision claiming that the national ID registration process had been plagued by forgeries and bribery.

According to the report which was published on May 5, some unscrupulous officials from NIRA and impersonators are selling national IDs at Shs100,000.

According to NIRA, there’s no way their officials can charge for free services it offers yet it (NIRA) recently released a list showing free and paid-for services. (Not everyone could have seen the list.)

Secondly, the Authority argues that Registration Assistants handle “the basic enrolment of persons which is the first stage of the [registration] process thus they have no capacity to quicken the process of acquiring an ID.” (When desperate, people can easily be taken advantage of.)

NIRA also claims that it has “zero tolerance for corruption and has partnered with different law enforcement agencies including the Police, the Anti-Corruption Unit under the Office of the President and RDCs, to ensure that anyone identified is punished.” In a statement, NIRA says at least 13 arrests have been made of conmen posing as NIRA officials.

Delays in processing IDs

According to NIRA, it currently takes between one to two months for one to register and obtain his or her ID. That being said, NIRA advises that you “register in good time to avoid the last-minute panic that will often land [you] in the hands of conmen.”

MTN shakes up board

MTN Group has appointed new officials to its board ahead of the imminent departure of senior executives and scandals that have dogged the company recently, seeing it spend over US$1 billion in regulatory issues.

In Uganda, the company is yet to replace deported senior executives. With a presence in more than 20 countries, MTN Group has also established a 6-member international advisory board (IAB) that will be chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Even John Kufuor, a former Ghanaian President is on this board.

The primary purpose of the IAB will be to counsel, guide and support the MTN Group from time to time in fulfilling its vision and objective of being one of the premier African corporations with a global footprint in telecommunications, contributing to increased digital inclusion in Africa and the Middle East, a pivotal aspect of the fourth industrial revolution.

Read more here.

UPDF commences construction of Kiira car assembling plant

National Enterprise Corporation [NEC] and the UPDF engineering brigade have kicked off construction of the Kiira Vehicle Assembling plant at Kagogwa village, Kakira Town Council in Jinja District, Daily Monitor reported on Monday.

Expected to be completed on January 6, 2020, the construction of the facility will cost Shs63.7b, according to the report. The report adds that the project will take two and a half years and after completion it will be able to assemble 5,000 vehicles every year in its first phase, creating around 14,000 jobs.

Earlier this year we saw Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) unveil its latest automobile, the Kiira EVS and shortly after rich men in Uganda, including UCC executive director Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi placed orders for the sedan.

Read more here.


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