- MTN Needs to list on Nigerian Bourse
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has urged MTN Nigeria to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, describing it as important for the company.
MTN, which is Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, had said it aimed to list its Nigerian unit on the local bourse but has given no date.
“I want to appeal to you that you do the utmost and do the needful to ensure that you get onto the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” Shittu told MTN executives at a company event.
Recently, there were indications that the MTN Group Limited might put off plans to list its Nigerian operation until 2018 as the telco was working to resolve a regulatory dispute.
“It’s a work in progress and hopefully within the 12 to 18 month period, we will be able to do it,’’ MTN Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Officer, Phuthuma Nhleko, had said at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He was quoted as saying, “Regulatory issues need to be resolved, and the macro conditions need to have improved.”
MTN agreed to list the unit in Nigeria as part of the settlement of a N330bn ($1bn) fine imposed by the government for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers. It said in July that the listing would take place in 2017, subject to market conditions. Since then, a senator’s allegations that it moved $14bn out of the country had threatened to delay the process.
“We’ve always intended to list – we have reaffirmed that with the government,” said Nhleko, who will revert to his previous role as non-executive chairman when the new Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, arrives in March. “Clearly, we can only list when the conditions are conducive,” he added.
MTN shares have lost more than a third of their value since the fine was handed down in October 2015, and the company has overhauled its management and toughened up its approach to regulators as a result.
The wireless operator had about 235 million customers across 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East as of end September.
In July, MTN appointed units of Citigroup and Standard Bank to advise it on the Nigeria listing.
MTN Group had said it expected to report a full-year loss due to a $1bn regulatory fine in Nigeria and for under-performance both in Nigeria and South Africa.
It said the net effect of the Nigerian fine for the year ended December was a negative impact of 474 cents per share.
MTN is expected to issue a further trading statement on the likely range within which its headline loss is expected.
Underlying operational results for full-year 2016 were also affected by fees incurred for a planned listing in Nigeria.
The result also showed MTN under-performance of its units, both in Nigeria and South Africa in the first half of 2016.
Federal Government Clears $120m Debt to Gas Companies Amid Nigeria’s Power Crisis
Amidst Nigeria’s persistent power crisis, the Federal Government has taken a pivotal step forward by clearing a significant portion of its debt to gas companies.
A sum of $120 million has been paid out of the country’s $1.3 billion indebtedness to gas suppliers, offering a glimmer of hope for improved energy stability across the nation.
The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, underscored the critical role of gas in power generation and highlighted how the mounting debts had severely hampered gas supply to electricity-generating companies, exacerbating the country’s electricity shortfall.
Nigeria heavily relies on thermal power plants fueled by gas for over 70% of its electricity needs, making the timely settlement of gas debts paramount for enhancing power generation capacity and addressing the nation’s energy deficit.
Addressing delegates at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, the Director of the Decade of Gas Secretariat, Ed Ubong, expressed optimism about the government’s progress in offsetting its financial obligations to gas producers.
He emphasized the importance of aligning gas and power sectors to foster sustainable energy solutions.
As Nigeria grapples with the multifaceted challenges plaguing its energy landscape, the government’s commitment to settling outstanding gas debts marks a pivotal stride towards revitalizing the country’s power infrastructure and ensuring reliable electricity access for its citizens.
Nigeria Insurance Corporation Reimburses Depositors of 179 Closed Microfinance and Four Mortgage Banks
The Nigeria Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has announced the successful reimbursement of depositors affected by the closure of 179 microfinance banks and four mortgage banks across the country.
The reassuring news came during the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair, where NDIC’s Managing Director, Dr. Bello Hassan, explained the corporation’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding depositors’ funds amidst financial uncertainties.
Dr. Hassan, represented by Hauwa Gambo, the NDIC’s Deputy Director of Communication, highlighted the corporation’s proactive measures in protecting the interests of depositors.
The introduction of the Single Customer View framework has expedited the process of reimbursing depositors of liquidated banks, ensuring swift and transparent transactions.
The corporation’s collaboration with the judiciary has yielded positive results, facilitating the speedy prosecution of failed insured banks and resolving long-standing cases of bank liquidations like Fortune and Triumph Banks.
This concerted effort has significantly enhanced the debt recovery rate, enabling NDIC to declare full liquidation dividends to uninsured depositors of over 20 deposit money banks.
Furthermore, NDIC has embraced digital remote payment strategies, streamlining electronic funds transfers to verified depositors’ alternate bank accounts.
The introduction of the ‘Deposit Tracer’ initiative in partnership with mobile operators aims to address apathy among depositors with small balances, providing accessible avenues for claiming funds trapped in closed banks.
The initiatives underscore NDIC’s proactive stance in safeguarding depositors’ interests and ensuring financial stability in Nigeria’s banking sector.
85.51 Million Nigerian Bank Customers Face Withdrawal Freeze Over NIN, BVN Deadline
As the March 1 deadline looms, an estimated 85.51 million Nigerian bank customers are facing the possibility of frozen accounts due to their failure to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) and/or Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) to their accounts.
Recent findings reveal the potential scale of the impending banking crisis.
Data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) indicates that Nigeria had approximately 146 million active individual bank customers as of December 2022.
However, by January 26, 2024, only 60.49 million BVNs were recorded on the NIBSS portal, leaving a significant portion unlinked.
Meanwhile, about 104 million NINs had been issued by December 2023, highlighting the disparity between NIN issuance and BVN linkage.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier issued directives to banks, mandating them to restrict transactions on accounts lacking linked NINs and BVNs, with effect from March 1, 2024.
Any accounts found non-compliant risk being designated as ‘Post no Debit,’ rendering them unable to process further transactions.
Responding to the impending crisis, the Director-General of the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), Abisoye Coker-Odusote, emphasized the need for the revalidation of Front-End Partners (FEPs) to ensure the integrity of the identity database.
She underscored the importance of NIN registration and urged collaboration with various stakeholders to expedite the process.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, reiterated the significance of linking NINs to SIM cards to enhance national security.
Telecom subscribers were urged to comply with the NIN-SIM linkage directive to avoid service disruptions.
Meanwhile, financial service providers like Opay have issued reminders of the impending restrictions, urging customers to comply with the linkage requirements.
Amidst concerns, some customers contemplate transferring funds to compliant accounts to avoid potential financial setbacks.
As the deadline approaches, stakeholders are intensifying efforts to mitigate the impact of the impending banking crisis on millions of Nigerians.
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