Connect with us

Economy

NCC Writes AGF, Demands N50bn Paid by MTN

Published

on

umar-danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission has written the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, demanding the transfer of the initial N50bn paid by MTN Nigeria Communications to the regulator’s account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday while answering questions from journalists at a press conference to mark the one year anniversary of his coming on board.

The NCC boss, who said the money had been lodged in a recovery account opened by the OAGF with the CBN, added that it needed to be transferred to the NCC account before it could be moved to the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Government.

The commission had imposed a fine of N1.04tn on MTN Nigeria Communications Limited in October 2015 for failing to disconnect 5.2 million improperly registered subscribers from its network. After initial negotiations, MTN went to court.

However, in a twist, it withdrew the case out of the court and paid N50bn through the OAGF to show the government that it was ready to embark on full negotiation in a bid to settle the matter out of court.

There appeared to be crack in the government’s handling of the matter when the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, denied that his ministry and its agencies took part in the negotiation and subsequent receipt of the money.

When the government and the NCC eventually entered into fresh negotiations with MTN, the fine was reduced to N330bn spread over a period of three years. The initial N50bn paid by the company was regarded as the first instalment.

Danbatta said MTN had since paid another N30bn, which means that the company has so far paid N80bn, with an outstanding balance of N250bn.

The NCC helmsman also said that the regulator declined a request by MTN to acquire the spectrum being used by Visafone even though it approved the acquisition of 100 per cent shareholding in the company by MTN.

The nation’s chief telecom regulatory officer argued that the acquisition of Visafone’s frequency could perpetuate MTN’s dominant position in the Nigerian telecommunications market, adding that the NCC would subject the request to a public inquest.

Danbatta also said that MTN would roll out services on the 2.6MHz spectrum acquired through a bidding process.

He said, “In the recent wireless broadband frequency bidding process for the 2.6MHz spectrum by the commission, MTN Nigeria Limited emerged the winner of six slots. The licensing of frequency in this slot has suffered several setbacks until recently when six slots out of 14 made available by the commission were allocated for immediate deployment of 4G-LTE services.

“By the rollout plans for this service as provided by the winner, broadband services on this frequency spectrum will be available in the last quarter of 2016.”

He added, “We have initiated processes for licensing of more broadband services on the 5.4GHz spectrum band. We have opened the process for the allocation of frequencies in the 70/80GHz band (e-band).

“Approval has been given for the deployment of 4G Long Term Evolution Technology by NATCOM Development and Investment Limited, which has launched the first Voice over LTE call on February 25.”

Danbatta also announced that the country’s broadband penetration had reached 20.95 per cent.

“Equally, on the percentage of Internet penetration, the country has reached a milestone of 47.44 per cent, second to South Africa on the continent,” he said.

On unsolicited text messages, Danbatta said the NCC had constituted a task force to verify the compliance of telecoms operators with the directives issued to them.

He said the regulatory agency would not shy away from sanctioning operators found wanting.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Comments

Economy

Minister of Power Pledges 6,000 Megawatts Electricity Generation in Six Months

Published

on

power project

Adebayo Adelabu has made a bold pledge to ramp up electricity generation to 6,000 megawatts (MW) within the next six months.

This announcement comes amidst ongoing efforts to tackle the longstanding issue of inadequate power supply that has plagued the country for years.

During an appearance on Channel Television’s Politics Today program, Adelabu said the government is committed to resolving the issues hindering the power sector’s efficiency.

He expressed confidence in the administration’s ability to overcome the challenges and deliver tangible results to the Nigerian populace.

Currently, Nigeria generates and transmits over 4,000MW of electricity with distribution bottlenecks being identified as a major obstacle.

Adelabu assured that steps are being taken to address these distribution challenges and ensure that the generated power reaches consumers across the country effectively.

The minister highlighted that the government has been proactive in seeking the expertise of professionals and engaging stakeholders to identify the root causes of the power sector’s problems and devise appropriate solutions.

Adelabu acknowledged the existing gap between Nigeria’s installed capacity of 13,000MW and the actual generation output, attributing it to various factors that have impeded optimal performance.

Despite these challenges, he expressed optimism that the government’s initiatives would lead to a substantial increase in electricity generation, marking a significant milestone in Nigeria’s energy sector.

Addressing concerns about the recent decline in power generation due to low gas supply, Adelabu assured Nigerians that measures are being taken to rectify the situation.

He acknowledged the impact of power outages on citizens’ daily lives and reiterated the government’s commitment to providing stable electricity supply within the stipulated timeframe.

The Minister’s assurance of achieving 6,000MW of electricity generation in the next six months comes as a ray of hope for millions of Nigerians who have long endured the consequences of inadequate power supply.

With ongoing reforms and targeted interventions, there is optimism that Nigeria’s power sector will witness a transformative change, ushering in an era of improved access to electricity for all citizens.

Continue Reading

Economy

Nigeria’s Economic Woes to Drag Down Sub-Saharan Growth, World Bank Forecasts

Published

on

world bank - Investors King

The World Bank’s latest report on the economic outlook for Western and Central Africa has highlighted Nigeria’s sluggish economic growth as a significant factor impeding the sub-region’s overall performance.

According to the report, while economic activities in the region are expected to increase, Nigeria’s lower-than-average growth trajectory will act as a hindrance to broader economic expansion.

The report indicates that economic activity in Western and Central Africa is set to rise from 3.2 percent in 2023 to 3.7 percent in 2024 and further accelerate to 4.2 percent in 2025–2026.

However, Nigeria’s growth, projected at 3.3 percent in 2024 and 3.6 percent in 2025–2026, falls below the sub-region’s average.

The World Bank underscores the importance of macroeconomic and fiscal reforms in Nigeria, which it anticipates will gradually yield results.

It expects the oil sector to stabilize with a recovery in production and slightly lower prices, contributing to a more stable macroeconomic environment.

Despite these measures, the report emphasizes the need for structural reforms to foster higher growth rates.

In contrast, economic activities in the West African Economic and Monetary Union are projected to increase significantly, with growth rates of 5.9 percent in 2024 and 6.2 percent in 2025.

Solid performances from countries like Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, and Senegal are cited as key drivers of growth in the region.

The report also highlights the importance of monetary policy adjustments and reforms in supporting economic growth.

For instance, a more accommodative monetary policy by the Central Bank of West African States is expected to bolster private consumption in Côte d’Ivoire.

Also, investments in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and telecommunications are anticipated to increase due to improvements in the business environment.

However, Nigeria continues to grapple with multidimensional poverty as highlighted by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Over half of Nigeria’s population is considered multidimensionally poor, with rural areas disproportionately affected. The World Bank underscores the need for concerted efforts to address poverty and inequality in the country.

Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole faces challenges in deepening and lengthening economic growth. Despite recent progress, growth remains volatile, and poverty rates remain high.

Continue Reading

Economy

Fitch Downgrades China’s Outlook to Negative Amid Real Estate Slump

Published

on

fitch Ratings - Investors King

Fitch Ratings has downgraded China’s economic outlook to negative, citing concerns over the country’s mounting debt and the ongoing slump in its real estate sector.

This decision casts a shadow over China’s economic recovery efforts and raises questions about the resilience of its financial system in the face of mounting challenges.

The downgrade comes at a critical juncture for China as the government grapples with the fallout from a prolonged downturn in the real estate market, which has long been a cornerstone of the country’s economic growth.

Fitch’s decision underscores the severity of the challenges facing China’s economy and the urgent need for policymakers to implement effective measures to address the underlying issues.

Amid growing uncertainty about the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy, Fitch warned that the Chinese government is likely to accumulate more debt as it seeks to stimulate economic growth and mitigate the impact of the real estate slowdown.

The agency’s negative outlook reflects concerns that China’s debt burden could continue to rise, posing risks to the stability of its financial system.

The real estate sector, which has been a key driver of China’s economic growth in recent decades, has been experiencing a pronounced slowdown in recent months.

This downturn has been exacerbated by government measures aimed at curbing speculative investment and addressing housing affordability concerns. As property prices continue to decline and housing sales stagnate, fears of a broader economic slowdown have intensified.

China’s government has sought to downplay concerns about the impact of the real estate slump on the broader economy, emphasizing its commitment to maintaining stability and pursuing sustainable growth.

However, Fitch’s downgrade suggests that the challenges facing China’s economy may be more significant than previously thought and require a more comprehensive and coordinated policy response.

The negative outlook from Fitch follows a similar move by Moody’s Investors Service in December, highlighting the growing consensus among rating agencies about the risks facing China’s economy.

While financial markets initially showed little reaction to Fitch’s announcement, analysts warn that the downgrade could weigh on market sentiment in the near term, especially as investors await key economic indicators due to be released in the coming weeks.

China’s public debt has surged in recent years, fueled by government stimulus measures aimed at supporting economic growth and offsetting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With public debt nearing 80% of gross domestic product (GDP) as of mid-last year, according to the Bank for International Settlements, concerns about the sustainability of China’s debt levels have been mounting.

Despite these challenges, China’s sovereign bond market remains relatively insulated from external pressures, with foreign ownership accounting for a small fraction of total holdings.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending