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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says six startups owned by young Nigerians have grown to billion dollar businesses in recent years. This, he said, was a product of providence and good government policies.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Osinbajo was the Special Guest of Honour at the graduation of Senior Executive Course 43, 2021 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.

He said as of 2021, more than six of such companies had been named unicorns – companies worth over a billion dollars each.

He said, “Six of those companies started between 2016 in the middle of two recessions and a global health crisis. The companies are Opay, Paystack, Flutterwave, Andela, PiggyVest and Jumia.

“Paystack, a payment processing company, was co-founded in 2016 by two graduates of Babcock University, in their 20’s. I am sure many have heard that it was eventually bought over by Stripe, the American multinational; it is now estimated to be worth a billion dollars.

“Flutterwave is also a payment processing company founded in 2016. It is now worth nearly $3bn and both companies employ hundreds of young men and women.”

He said PiggyVest was co-founded in 2016 by ex-students of Covenant University led by a 21-year-old lady, noting that the wealth management platform at the end of 2019 had helped one million users save about $80m.

He added, “What is responsible for some of these successes? Providence and good policies. Providence because COVID-19 was a boom period for online payment systems.

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“Policy because the President approved the establishment of a technology and creativity advisory group that helped to formulate new banking policies to accommodate new tech-enabled payment systems, such that these tech companies could process payments without being full-scale banks.”

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