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MTN Withdraws Case Against NCC, Pays N50bn Fine

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MTN on Wednesday withdrew its lawsuit against the Nigerian Communications Commission over N1.04tn ($5.2bn) fine and paid N50bn ($250m) towards a probable settlement.

But the Federal Government said the next line of action would be determined after verifying the MTN’s payment claim.

The telecommunications company said its decision was based on renewed steps towards a negotiated settlement and to create a good atmosphere for further negotiations.

Speaking on the issue, the MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman, said, “This is a most encouraging development. It demonstrates a willingness and sincerity by both parties to work together towards a positive outcome.”

He said the company had paid N50bn to the Federal Government, “as a gesture of good faith and commitment to continued efforts towards an amicable resolution.”

This came about two weeks after the Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, had told journalists that the Federal Government could consider reducing the fine a second time should MTN show its readiness for amicable settlement by paying a substantial amount of the fine.

“We shall also be open to talks with them (MTN) if it also withdraws its case from court because you cannot say you are seeking for negotiation with the government when you still have a case in court against it,” the minister had said.

According to Punch, a judge in Lagos had in January given both parties up until March 18 to reach a resolution, after MTN had asked the court to arbitrate in the dispute, saying the NCC had no legal grounds to order the fine.

Speaking to our correspondent, the Managing Director of Africa Analysis at MTN, Dobek Pater, said the firm’s withdrawal of the case with a “good faith payment” of $250m (N50bn) was based on renewed steps towards an amicable settlement and to create a conducive atmosphere for further negotiations.

“This is a sign that the fine could be reduced much further. There is some sort of negotiation taking place and the parties are migrating towards a common ground.”

MTN makes 37 per cent of its sales in Nigeria.

Moolman also said, “Our industry in Nigeria is an incredibly important example of the remarkable progress in the Information and Communications Technology sector, particularly as a much-needed catalyst for socio-economic growth and development at this time.”

But the Special Assistant to the Minister of Communications, Mr. Victor Oluwadamidare, said in Abuja on Wednesday that the government had to verify the claim that the company had paid some money.

He said, “Let me say that I am not competent to speak for the Federal Government. You know the people that can speak for the Federal Government and for the Presidency. I can only speak for the minister and for the Ministry of Communications.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

E-commerce

Amazon Generates over $800,000 in Revenue per Minute, a 44% Increase in a Year

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Online retail giant Amazon is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic due to the high demand for online shopping. Consequently, the company has registered a staggering amount in revenue per minute.

Data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that the eCommerce firm generated $837,350 in revenue per minute for Q1 2021, representing a growth of 44.04% from the $582,200 recorded during the same period in 2020.

Among seven selected top tech companies, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) recorded the second-highest revenue per minute at $691,200, a drop of 1.96% from Q1 2020s $708,300. Google’s parent company Alphabet revenue per minute stands at $351,850, a 10.86% growth from last year’s $317,600.

As of Q1 2021, Microsoft revenue per minute was $321,840 an increase of 24.32% from $255,400 recorded during a similar period in 2020. Social media platform Facebook revenue per minute grew by 44.99% from Q1 2020s $20,193 to $136,900 for this year’s first quarter.

Elsewhere, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) revenue was $80,170 as of Q1 2021, to represent a growth of 71.42% from Q1 2020s $46,200. Lastly, streaming giant Netflix’s Q1 2021 revenue per minute was $55,250 a growth of 33.33% from last year’s $44,500.

Digital shift spurs growth in revenue per minutes

The report explains how the seven selected companies benefited from the coronavirus pandemic to record the high revenue per minute. According to the research report:

“The revenue for the companies shows the gains made during the coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis pushed more activities online and these companies were well-positioned to benefit as they sold services people needed. Big tech firms have earned a reputation of being in the right place at the right time. Notably, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in education, health care, remote work, and e-commerce, boosting the companies profitability.”

With the tech companies dominating, questions on the market monopoly are still lingering.

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Amazon Web Services Quarterly Revenue Jumped by 32% YoY to $13.5B

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As one of Amazon’s strongest-growing business segments, Amazon Web Services witnessed a surge in revenue in the last year.

According to data presented by BuyShares, AWS generated cloud computing and hosting revenues of around $13.5bn in the first quarter of 2021, a 32% jump year-on-year.

AWS Annual Revenue Rose by 30% YoY Amid Pandemic

One of the most used ways for companies to utilize cloud computing is to take advantage of the various “as-a-service” options. These services provide business organizations with access to computing power, software, and other cloud-related functions without the need for in-house hardware.

Although cloud computing revenues had been increasing significantly even before the pandemic, the COVID-19 accelerated the growth of the entire sector as companies across the globe started searching for a way to secure business continuity amid the lockdown.

As the market leader, AWS had a tremendous role in that growth. In the first quarter of 2019, AWS quarterly revenue amounted to nearly $7.7bn, revealed the Amazon financial report. Over the next twelve months, this figure jumped by 33% YoY to $10.2bn in Q1 2020. Statistics show that AWS quarterly revenue continued growing throughout 2020 and hit $12.7bn in the last quarter of the year.

This figure increased by another $758 million in the next three months, with quarterly revenue rising to $13.5bn in the first quarter of 2021.

Statistics also show that AWS annual revenue jumped by 30% amid the pandemic, rising from $35bn in 2019 to $45.3bn in 2020.

80% of Business Organizations Use Amazon Web Services in 2021

According to the 2021 Flexera State of the Cloud Report, 50% of technical professionals from industries worldwide stated their organization was running a significant workload on Amazon Web Service. Another 30% said they were using AWS apps to some extent, while 13% were either experimenting or planning to utilize them in 2021.

Microsoft’s Azure ranked as the second most popular cloud platform service, with 76% of respondents running its applications. Google Cloud and Oracle Infrastructure Cloud followed, with 49% and 32% share of respondents, respectively.

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Mauritanian Bank for International Trade Launches Digital Bank, Masrvi, Powered by TagPay

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The Mauritanian Bank for International Trade (BMCI) has partnered with TagPay to roll out its digital bank Masrvi, aimed at providing digital, value-added financial services to its customers.

Powered by TagPay, Masrvi was launched at the end of April and responds to Mauritanians’ banking needs by providing secure and accessible banking services, across the country through mobile networks, whilst offering convenience. Masrvi enables BMCI to provide its customers with secure, simple, fast, and easy-to-access banking products and services that can be tailored to their needs, all with a convenience that traditional banks cannot match.

Moulay Abbas, President of BMCI says: “By leveraging TagPay’s next-generation Core Banking System and their teams’ project expertise, we were able to launch our digital bank, Masrvi, in record time. Within a month of launching, we have a network of 52 branches and more than 200 partner-businesses that accept Masrvi and the numbers continue to grow. Thanks to the proven robustness, agility, and short time-to-market of this solution, we will be able to rapidly grow our customers. This will help strengthen Masrvi’s product line and enable us to offer a full range of banking and financial products in the very short term.”

Commenting on the successful launch of Masrvi, Yves Eonnet, CEO of TagPay said: “By using TagPay’s next-generation Core Banking System, the Masrvi solution is leveraging an innovative and intuitive technology platform that offers a full range of banking functions. Thanks to its open architecture, flexibility, and scalability, the solution will allow the rollout or update of features the digital bank wishes to market. Certainly, Masrvi will promote financial inclusion and integration in Mauritania.”

Anyone with a cell phone, regardless of their wireless carrier, can download the Masrvi application. This enables them to open a digital bank account and conduct several types of transactions such as withdrawing, depositing, and transferring money, paying bills and retailers, and recharging phone credit.

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