- Visafone Complied with NCC’s Terms for Share Transfer to MTN
Fresh facts have emerged that Visafone Communications, winner of Unified Access Services Licence in 2007, complied with the terms and conditions given it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), regarding the sale of Visafone to MTN in 2015, before making a u-turn and a fresh demand for licence transfer, which the NCC has vehemently opposed.
Visafone had on July 13, 2015, before the company was eventually sold to MTN in December 2015, applied for the approval of NCC to enable MTN Nigeria acquire 100 per cent equity of Visafone, by virtue of share transfer agreement, without additional request for the unified spectrum licence transfer.
NCC, consistent with its due process and procedure, reviewed Visafone’s request for the 100 per cent transfer of its shares to MTN on October 5, 2015, and granted Approval-in-Principle to Visafone Communications for the proposed transaction, subject to meeting NCC’s conditions.
According to NCC’s source, Visafone complied with the conditions specified by NCC for the transfer of shares only. The source further said upon confirmation of compliance with the given conditions for only shares transfer, NCC granted final approval for the acquisition of 100 per cent equity in Visafone Communications by MTN Nigeria.
Following the final approval given to Visafone, NCC compelled Visafone to submit to the Commission, a certified true copy of statement of share capital and return of allotment of shares from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), duly filed at the CAC, or an extract from the register of members. In addition to that, NCC also asked Visafone to submit a certified true copy of particulars of directors or any change therein, duly filed at CAC for record purposes.
NCC also asked Visafone to formerly register the share sale and purchase agreement with the CAC, upon its execution.
The source said Visafone complied with all the conditions for just the transfer of shares and nothing more, and that it was based on the agreement reached between Visafone and NCC, that Visafone opened up and concluded talks with MTN in December 2015, to sell Visafone to MTN.
According to the source, it was after the deal between MTN and Visafone was concluded, that Visafone saw the need to transfer its unified spectrum licence to MTN, in addition to its 100 per cent shares, probably as a result of interest and pressure from MTN, who may have initially thought that the licence was part of the deal.
In order to legally transfer its licence to MTN, Visafone, it was gathered, made another request to NCC on June 9, 2016, six months after the sale of its shares to MTN, asking for approval to transfer Visafone licences to MTN, following the transfer of ownership to MTN Nigeria.
NCC responded to the fresh request of Visafone and informed Visafone that its request for transfer of licences was not yet considered, but under review.
Although NCC did not approve the request for licence transfer, NCC however approved that Visafone’s subscribers could be migrated to MTN’s network in the interim and that such subscribers need to be segregated until a final decision is taken on the application for licence transfer.
NCC also said that in the interim, MTN’s tariff shall apply to all MTN and Visafone subscribers that are migrated, and that separate accounts shall be maintained by MTN and Visafone.
NCC directed that MTN shall bear the cost of devices needed by Visafone subscribers accommodated on MTN network, and that Visafone subscribers who still have airtime on their devices should be duly credited.
NCC said where the subscriber previously owned an MTN SIM card and chooses to retain the said SIM card, the airtime subsisting on Visafone’s platform should be transferred and where new SIM has to be purchased, a refund of airtime has to be made.
NCC however said any Visafone subscriber that declines to the offer, shall wait until Visafone rolls out its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and be accommodated thereon.
MTN is however worried that its acquisition of Visafone in December 2015, did not come with the Visafone’s spectrum licence, a situation that NCC had since clarified that it never gave approval to Visafone to transfer its licence to MTN, following the acquisition of Visafone by MTN.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who made the clarification recently, said the NCC would hold a public forum to discuss the issue of licence transfer.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
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