As the year rounds up, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that 2020 has been one heck of a year! To you, our esteemed readers who have come through the thick and thin with us, we say Cheers! From Femi Otedola gifting his three daughters brand new Ferraris to Laycon winning this year’s Big Brother Naija, ASUU strike and Rema’s Dumebi, a lot happened this year.
Here are the top 10 words that Nigerians googled this year.
Before the virus spread to Nigeria in February, Nigerians had heard of the deadly illness that was killing droves of people in other countries. The first record of the virus in Nigeria was in Lagos. The Federal Ministry of Health confirmed that an Italian man who worked in Nigeria had tested positive for the virus after returning from Milan.
Since the first confirmed case, 70,195 people have tested positive for the virus while 65,110 of them have recovered and there have been 1,182 deaths.
Vaccines have been in the development stage since the outbreak, however, Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine has been administered to some people in a mass rollout in the UK. Some healthcare workers responded adversely after being given a shot the day before.
As a result, health authorities directed that the vaccine should not be administered to people with a significant history of allergies. Nigeria and other countries eagerly await a vaccine rollout to stop the pandemic in its tracks.
US election, Joe Biden
After coronavirus, the next most-googled words are the US election and Joe Biden. A number of controversial events happened before during and after the elections. But the most important event is that Republican candidate and incumbent president, Donald Trump lost the election to the Democrat candidate, Joe Biden.
President Trump polled 74,223,030 popular votes and 232 electoral votes while Joe Biden amassed 81,282,903 popular and 306 electoral votes. Trump has since filed a number of lawsuits to challenge the electoral results. Most of the lawsuits have been dismissed at state and federal levels while the State of Georgia affirmed Biden’s victory in the state after a recount.
The past months have forced schools and educators to adapt to edtech platforms like Google Classroom. Schools temporarily shut down in March and remained so for 6 months. To keep students learning, teachers taught classes, conducted assessments and assigned homework virtually.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended academic activities in March and has not called off the strike since then. Despite several negotiations between ASUU delegates and the Federal Government, a resolution still seems far away.
Part of ASUU’s demands has been for payment of Earned Academic Allowances, provision of revitalisation fund, the shortfall in salaries, visitation panels for universities and use of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
After the last meeting between the two parties, PremiumTimes reports that the FG has pledged to make available N40 billion for the Earned Allowance and N30 billion for the revitalisation of the university system. Anticipating positive news about when academic activities can commence again in the universities, Nigerians have continued to search for ASUU on Google.
Hopefully, the strike will end with the year 2020.
While many businesses have suffered because of the COVID-19, Zoom is one company that has repeatedly smiled to the bank and watched its reach grow. The virtual conferencing platform became a massive hit globally as people looked for ways to connect without having to see physically. Businesses have organized seminars and pitched products and hubs have organized ideathons and hosted events using the platform.
In its Q1 report this year, Zoom recorded 354% year-on-year growth in its customer base while it raked in $328.2 million in revenue. This is way above the $202.48 million envisaged by Yahoo Finance.
The news about Zoom was not all nice, however, as reports of Zoombombing spread like wildfire after hackers took over several zoom meetings and proceeded to share pornographic and other inappropriate content. 530,000 Zoom accounts were reportedly sold, according to a statement by Cyble. The hacked accounts are used to spy in on meetings and disrupt conversations.
In spite of its troubles this year, 2020 has been good for business for Zoom
Nigerian artist, Rema, is one of the names that attracted conversation both locally and internationally this year. This was after Drake gave a shoutout to the artist during an Instagram live session with his fans while also playing Rema’s Dumebi. Perhaps what got fans most excited the most was Drake’s announcement that he and the Nigerian act are working on a song together.
Rema has released a couple of songs including Ginger Me, Dumebi and Woman. After losing his father and brother, Rema signed with Jonzing World, a subsidiary of Mavin records and caught people’s attention with ‘Iron Man‘. His eponymous debut EP Rema, peaked at number 1 on Apple Music Nigeria.
Singer and songwriter, Azeez Adeshina Fashola known by his stage name Naira Marley, was another highly-googled personality this year. In June, he travelled by air to Abuja for a concert despite COVID-19 travel restrictions put in place by the federal government. He was later arrested with his manager, Seyi Awouga, and both were fined N100,000 each.
2020 has seen songs from the controversial artist including his single with Young John which is titled Mafo.
Hushpuppi’s arrest by Dubai authorities in 2020 rocked Nigeria, especially its Twitter community. Hushpuppi, whose real name is Raymond Olorunwa Abass, was arrested on money laundering charges, cyber fraud, hacking and scam. Authorities claimed he perpetrated an internet crime worth N160 billion and was nabbed just as he was about to carry out another scam worth $435 million.
Several personal effects seized during the raid include more than $40.9 million in cash, 21 computer devices, 47 smartphones, five hard disks containing 119,580 fraud files and addresses of 1,926,400 victims. A spokesperson for the US Department of Justice said Hushpuppi was extradited from Dubai. Hushpuppi’s arrest this year has set him up for what is bound to be a long trial in American courts.
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