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Fuelvoucher App Offers Convenience, Value For Money- Co-Founders

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Chimezie Emewuluis and Chibuzor Onwurahis are the managing director and the executive director (Technology) of Seamfix Nigeria Limited and co-founders, FuelVoucher

Chimezie Emewulu and Chibuzor Onwurah are the managing director and the executive director (Technology) of Seamfix Nigeria Limited respectively and also co-founders of FuelVoucher.com.ng.
Emewulu is a result-oriented leader, reformer and strategist with a comprehensive business and technical background. He is driven by a “hardwired” need to strategize, to innovate and to disprove the words “It cannot be done!” His work over the years has seen him negotiate and drive to business closure various mission- critical projects for brands such as IBM, First Bank, Airtel and Oando.
Onwura is a talented and versatile business and technology executive with over 7 years of sound IT industry experience in business strategy, product development, technology management as well as business process consulting. Like his business partner, Onwurah’s work over the years has seen him oversee the planning, development and execution of projects for brands such as IBM, First Bank, Airtel and Oando.
In line with the cashless initiative of the CBN they co-founded www.fuelvoucher.cm.ng.
In this Interview with peter ugwu, they expatiated on the new developments with the app to make it de-facto cashless method of purchasing petrol and fuel gifting service in Nigeria, with a vision to expand to the rest of Africa.

Defining the FuelVoucher App
FuelVoucher.com.ng was born out of the frustrations our company Seamfix Nig. Ltd faced in dealing with our fueling process as relating to managing drivers, reconciliation of fuel purchases and tracking fueling expenditures.
Prior to the onset of the service, we would have to give our drivers cash or in order to avoid this, depositsome money in a particular stationin order to purchase fuel.
Unfortunately, these options made it very difficult for our admin mangers and accountants to reconcile and monitor the fueling processes because we were limited to paper receipts that could either get missing or damaged.

Factors That Inspired FuelVoucher App
Due to the mentioned constraints, we decided to come up with a solution to help solve our problem; which we also found out was common with companies in Nigeria. We had found a gap in the market that we, as an IT company could solve.
Therefore we decided to create a solution that would efficiently manage our fueling process and save us the hassle of daily reconciliations.
We went on to build FuelVoucher.com.ng to be an efficient means of purchasing fuel on the go without having to deal with cash , cards or paper vouchers.
We built a system that anyone could easily access by signing into FuelVoucher online.
 
Purchasing Fuel Online: What the Public Needs to Know
Getting started with FuelVoucher is pretty easy. The process involves the potential user visiting www.fuelvoucher.com.ng and signing in with a number and email address or downloading the mobile app from the Google play store.
The application gives the customer access to a fuel wallet that can be toped up via a debit card or bank transfer.
Whenever the individual needs to purchase fuel all he/she needs to do is to input the voucher amount and indicate the beneficiary required that is, who he/she wants to purchase for.
An alpha numeric code will then be sent to the beneficiary as a text message and email which can then be taken to the station and presented to the attendant.
The attendant confirms the code on the FuelVoucher device and dispenses fuel to the customers.
 
Offline Users
It is common knowledge that internet connection in Nigeria is not alwaysavailable and due to this, we decided to include an option that would enable customers purchase fuel via the site without necessarily having to log into the internet.
We created a feature called FuelDirect that allows you purchase fuel at the station by inputting a four digit pin into the FuelVoucher device at the station without pre-generating a code on the site.
The pin provided is tied to the customers fuel wallet therefore whenever the customer wants to fuel his vehicles, he simply punches in his/her pin,phone number and voucher amount he wants to purchaseon the FuelVoucher device.
We also have what we call a Sub-account feature that helps companies with large fleetsof cars to allocate a certain amount to their driversinstead of generating codes for all the drivers. The drivers are given a certain allocation that they can fuel from per time.
 
FuelVoucher and Prudent Financial Management
Every transaction that occurs via the site is recorded per time and can be retrieved whenever the customer needs the information.
In order words, from the system you can view the history of all fuel purchases which includes information of who, when and where voucher codes were used, as well as the amount purchased.  When we were building the site, we decided to think about the sort of information an individual would need to be able to effectively manage his fueling both for himself and for a anorganization.

Security Check
FuelVoucher.com.ng is HTTPS secure and hence provides encrypted communication with our servers.
All data inputted by the customer is also encrypted and operations performed are audit trailed. Also, reports of transaction cannot be deleted off the system. Therefore it is impossible for an employee to delete any transaction history to hide fraudulent activities.

FuelVoucher Catchment Areas
For now we have petrol stations as partners who are based in Lagos and Port Harcourt that serve hundreds of our customers.
We are also working hard to expand partnership scope for easier access, availability and efficiency.
We just signed a partnership agreement with Interswitch that will help broaden our coverage to reach most stations across the nation. Every station that has an Interswitch POS would have FuelVoucher available. 

Cases & Causes of Reversal of E-Wallet Payments
Well, we reverse payments in some cases, depending on the genuineness of the complaints.
Nevertheless, we have not experienced a case where a fuel station refused to dispense fuel for a customer after the necessary verifications have been concluded.
However, in a situation whereby a customer miscalculates the voucher amount needed, such transaction can be reversed by the customer.

Developing Features on the App
There cannot be stagnancy in business and as such we are continuously changing and improving features on the site.
We often ask for customer feedback to help us know and understand customer needs in order to make the relevant changes.

Differentiating FuelVoucher from Regular eCommerce Platforms
What we do already sets us apart from others. FuelVoucher is not just an e-commerce platform,
but hopes to actually become a primary fulfillment channel for e-fuel.
We are building a phenomenal solution that will enable people to be able to send fuel around to each other and this will totally change the way people see fuel. During the fuel scarcity quagmire we
noticed that people were searching for alternate ways to make purchases like using the
e-commerce space.
In the light of this discovery, we are now considering delivering fuel to customers in the future. In the real sense, we are not competing with the likes of Jumia, Konga,
Kaymu, etc., rather we are partnering with oil marketers to push the business forward. 
 
How Pocket Friendly is the Service Charge?
Presently, the service is offered free of charge to all users. We are running a free-trial period and at the same time, conducting research on how the customers will prefer to be
charged for the service. Our current focus is on enlarging our current customer base.
 
Customer Satisfaction and Channels for Complaints
Any business that has a future must have listening ears, therefore we have put in place a proficient Customer Service system.As a startup, it is not just enough to have customer service in place, availability and accessibility make the circle complete. We have available contact lines, are active on social media and ensure to treat our customers with dignity.

Gifts and Incentives
We encourage our customers to send Fuel Vouchers as gifts to loved ones especially during festive seasons.
Studies have shown that in Nigeria, fuel is one of the most valued commodities and as such we also market FuelVoucher to companies to be given out as promo gifts to their customers or as incentives to staff that have distinguished themselves.

Impact of Internet Access and Broadband Availability
We are excited that internet penetration in the country continues on upward trends. The
Government is beginning to realize that broadband should be regarded as a social amenity.
Therefore, the best incentive government can offer SMEs, especially those in the e-commerce
Sub-sector is to provide infrastructure that will enable more broadband availability and access.  
 
 
 
 
       

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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 CSO Sends FoI Request To NCC

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Following the alleged plans to block online news sites, the Paradigm Initiative has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Nigerian Communications Commission asking the Commission to provide it with information on the matter.

The request was filed by the digital rights advocacy organisation on Friday at the Abuja headquarters of the Commission, giving the Commission seven (7) days as stipulated by the Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act 2011, to release information on the alleged attempts to block domain names of online newspapers.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Tribune exclusively reported on Sunday, October 5 2017 “that the government, through the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), has engaged the services of a firm in Lagos to block the domain names of “several identified websites threatening national security.”

The newspaper further alleged that Commission wrote a memo to the firm, directing it “to immediately take steps to restrict access within the Nigerian cyberspace in respect of 21 (twenty one) additional websites by blocking the domain names. (The list of websites is attached).”

According to Adeboye Adegoke, Paradigm Initiative’s Program Manager, “the phrase “additional websites” in the memo indicates that there are other websites already marked for illegal censorship through an equally illegal blockage of their domain names. If this is true, then this would be a clear indication of this government’s anti-free speech agenda”

“It has been six days since Tribune published its story and NCC has not come out to deny the story. This is why we have filed this FoI request. NCC cannot wish this report away; the commission has to come out and address Nigerians on the issue”

In the FoI request, Paradigm Initiative asks NCC to provide it with answers to the following questions: Is the Nigeria Communications Commission or at of its agents in the process of taking steps or block or restrict the domain names of certain websites? If yes, what websites would be affected? What criteria were employed in selecting these websites? Under what legal provision is this being carried out?

According to Tope Ogundipe, Paradigm Initiative’s Director of Programs, “it goes without saying that blocking the domain names of newspapers is a brazen violation of the right to Freedom of Expression as guaranteed not only by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also by international instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory.”

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Web4Africa Celebrating 15 Years of Operations In Africa

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By peter oluka

Web4Africa, the Pan African Web Hosting Company, has reached a milestone this October, celebrating 15 crystal years of business.

The company, offering web services physically from Nigeria, has grown from the dreams of the founders, serving 40,000+ clients across over 120 countries.

Today, the giant strides of Web4Africa is felt across the region with the peculiar nature of customer-centric services to hundreds of domain types as well as hosting solutions from four datacentres across Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Established in 2002, Web4Africa is one out of the only two ICANN Accredited Domain Name Registrars in Nigeria and boasts of young- professional team (average age of 28) who are skilled and motivated deliver a happy experience to the clients.

“It gives me great pleasure in joining Web4Africa employees, clients and host of business partners South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana; in fact, across the Continent, in celebrating the company’s 15th anniversary. We have come a long way since commencing operations in 2002 and are very excited about our future as the company continues to thrive in these difficult economic times,” said Oluniyi Ajao, the President and CEO, when discussing the celebration.

Web4Africa’s ability to engineer solutions based on customer’s specific needs has helped the company to continually grow over the past 15 years. For instance, the Company is among the few that accepts Bitcoin, Perfect Money, Skrill, Payza, and more for Domain Registration, Web Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers.

“Our strongest area has always been the mass market. It so happens that to cover that large number of people, our price has to be reasonable. We make our pricing to be within reasonable range to attract the right people”, Mr. Ajao said, while speaking on 25% discount offering to customers as part of packages to mark anniversary.

Clients’ fondness for Web4Africa’s is not far-fetched, but due to its affordability and cost-effective carrier-neutral environment; local cloud hosting (in Nigeria), offers promise for future growth and 100% uptime.

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Sunday Dare honored with Democracy Heroes Award

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Organisers of Face of Democracy Nigeria Award (FDN) on Sunday night honored Mr. Sunday Dare, Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), with Democracy Heroes Award for his decades of consistency in promoting democracy in Nigeria.

Face of Democracy Nigeria (FDN), now in its fifth year said Mr. Dare has acted in manners worthy of emulation by Nigerian youths.

Therefore, they urged young people to step out to participate in the democratic process by contesting elections in order to represent the people of Nigeria conscientiously.

The FDN team leaders, Olufunsho Ajagbonna and Vivian Lam were emphatic that all the awardees were honoured to enable young people to draw inspiration from their courage, consistency and selflessness.

The event, which was over-subscribed, held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel and ended past midnight, featured series of dances and other artistic displays representing the diversity of Nigeria.

Among those who received awards at the event last night were former Governor of Kano State and serving Senator, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; Senator Gbenga Ashafa, APC Lagos; Actor-turned-politician, Hon. Desmond Elliot; Chief Dele Momodu, Publisher of OVATION Magazine; and.Dr. Chimaobi Anyaso, an entrepreneur with investment in oil & gas and financing among others.

Prior to his appointment as an Executive Commissioner in NCC, Mr. Dare – a multimedia journalist, author, social entrepreneur and development enthusiast – was the Convener of the Social Media Clinic, a media/ICT initiative focused on educating the citizens about ICT utilisation.

Earlier, Dare had a beautiful career at the Independent Network Communications Limited, publishers of TheNEWS, Tempo, AM and PM News, one of the leading media outfits in Nigeria that deployed its professional resources to challenge the callous authoritarianism of the Military regimes of the 80s and early 90s in Nigeria.

For 8 years, he was the Chief, Hausa Service, African Division of VOICE OF AMERICA in Washington.

In 2010, Mr. Dare was listed as one of the 50 successful Nigeria professionals in America.

He had also recently combined the role of Special Media Adviser as well as Chief of Staff to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Emeritus Governor of Lagos State and APC National Leader.

In this regard, his work was central to the victory of the Party in the 2015 elections.

The FDN team is of the opinion that Mr. Dare’s almost three decades of journalism, advocacy, strategic political thinking and impeccable managerial skills has set him “apart as an emergent leader in Nigeria today”.

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