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INTELS Acquires Largest Crane in Africa

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  • INTELS Acquires Largest Crane in Africa

INTELS Nigeria Limited has acquired a 600 tonnes Liebherr crane worth USD6 million (N1.83 billion).

The acquisition of the crane, the largest at any port facility in Africa was in line with the company’s commitment to making Nigeria the hub of Oil and Gas logistics services in Africa.

The crane has since been deployed at the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone.

Conducting journalists round the sprawling Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone on Thursday, Head, Administration and General Services at INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Chibuisi Onyebueke, said the crane, which is sitting on 104 tyres is capable of lifting heavy cargoes of about 208 tonnes with a 17-metre boom outreach.

“The crane is characterised by rapid and efficient handling of loads up to 208 tonnes. With its extensive boom outreach, the LHM 600 is the ideal cargo handling solution for the type of very large and ultra large ships operating across the world today,” he said.

According to him, the huge crane, fondly called ‘Big Mama’ at the port, was acquired in addition to several other existing cargo handling equipment at the Onne Federal Lighter Terminal and Federal Ocean Terminal. He said the crane is being operated by Nigerians who had been trained abroad on its handling and maintenance.

Onyebueke said INTELS, working with relevant agencies of the federal government, has established an Oil and Gas Service Centre at the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone to serve as a single loading location for the Oil and Gas industry in sub-Sahara Africa.

The Oil and Gas Service Centre, he noted, has improved the efficiency of personnel in the industry while saving downtime on offshore rigs 
and providing quick response in case of emergency.

He explained further: “It also provides the opportunity for better physical monitoring and follow up of equipment in stock, modularisation of areas and better control of supply vessels for the Oil and Gas industry,” even as he said INTELS tailored its services, facilities and operations to support activities in the Oil and Gas industry.

“The highly technical facilities required to support Oil and Gas related operations also require special equipment and highly skilled manpower to manage such operations which therefore led to higher level of investments by INTELS relative to competitors,” he said.

Furthermore, he said that INTELS Nigeria Limited remains fully committed to maximising, in a sustainable manner, the use of Nigerian human resources, materials, equipment and services in its operations without compromising the company’s values, quality, health, safety and environment standards.

“As a Nigerian company, INTELS is committed to maximising the participation of Nigerian businesses and local contractors in its operations in compliance with the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010,” he said.

The signing into law of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development Act otherwise referred to as the “Local Content Act” in 2010, he said, was in line with the expectations of INTELS, “as the issue of Nigerian content has been central to the company’s development strategy.”

He said the company has actively supported its host communities through supporting sustainable projects and comprehensive corporate social responsibility programmes.

INTELS, he added, has committed billions of naira to road construction, provision of street lights, ultra-modern markets/lock-up shops and ICT centres in various parts of the Niger Delta. Other projects undertaken by INTELS include school renovation; provision of civic centres, youth secretariats, jetty restoration, women empowerment projects and medical outreach.

INTELS Nigeria Limited provides comprehensive integrated logistics services to the Oil and Gas Industry. It operates in major government-owned port facilities and Free Zones in Nigeria, among others.

At present, INTELS is leading the Nigerian Oil and Gas logistics support industry as a core logistics service provider through its skill, efficiency, integrity and quality of service.

The organisation has 30 years of experience in ports management and terminal logistics support services in shore bases across Nigeria, applying the “One Stop Shop” solution under its Oil Service Centre Concept.

In 2006, INTELS was awarded concession by the Federal Government to operate Terminal A (Federal Ocean Terminal) and Terminal B (Federal Lighter Terminal) at the Onne Port Complex, which houses the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone. It also operates terminals in Warri, Calabar and Apapa ports.

INTELS has received several local and international awards and commendation. Recently, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) – which is a government agency under the Federal Ministry of Transportation – commended INTELS Nigeria Limited for its huge investment and commitment to the development of port operations in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello, said INTELS deserved the recognition because of its defining role in the provision of integrated logistics services in the Nigerian maritime, oil and gas industries.

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.

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Starlink Pulls Plug on Ghana, South Africa, and Others

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Starlink, the satellite internet service operated by SpaceX, has announced the cessation of services in countries including Ghana and South Africa.

This decision comes as a significant blow to users who have come to rely on Starlink for their internet connectivity needs.

The decision, set to take effect by the end of April 2024, will disconnect all individuals and businesses in unauthorized locations across Africa, including Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

While subscribers in authorized countries such as Nigeria, Mozambique, Mauritius, and others can continue to use their kits without interruption, those in affected regions face imminent loss of access.

One of the reasons cited by Starlink for the discontinuation is the violation of its terms and conditions.

The company explained that its regional and global roaming plans were intended for temporary use by travelers and those in transit, not for permanent use in unauthorized areas. Users found in breach of these conditions face the termination of their service.

Furthermore, Starlink’s recent email to subscribers outlined stringent measures to enforce compliance.

Subscribers who use the roaming plan for more than two months outside authorized locations must either return home or update their account country to the current one. Failure to do so will result in limited service access.

The decision to discontinue services in certain countries raises questions about the future of internet connectivity in these regions.

Also, concerns have been raised about Starlink’s ability to enforce the new rules effectively. Reports indicate that the company has previously failed to enforce similar conditions for over a year, raising doubts about the efficacy of the current measures.

Starlink’s decision to pull the plug on Ghana, South Africa, and other nations underscores the complexities of providing satellite internet services in diverse regulatory environments.

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Nigeria’s Broadband Penetration Stalls at 42.53% Amid Connectivity Challenges

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Nigeria’s broadband penetration has stalled at 42.53% as of January, according to the latest report.

Subscriptions currently stand at 92.19 million, indicating a significant gap in connectivity, particularly in rural areas.

The Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 aims to increase broadband penetration to 70% by 2025, with the ultimate goal of achieving 96% mobile broadband coverage by 2030.

However, this ambitious target requires substantial investment—approximately $461 million, according to a recent report by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).

While the country’s major telecommunications companies, such as MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa, have invested heavily in expanding their network infrastructure, much of this development has been concentrated in urban areas. Rural and underserved regions face a significant coverage gap, exacerbating the digital divide.

Despite these challenges, Nigeria has made progress in improving its broadband infrastructure. Since 2012, the mobile broadband coverage gap across Africa has decreased from 56% to 13% in 2022, due to significant investments in network capacity and new technologies.

Nonetheless, millions of Nigerians, particularly those in rural regions, remain without access to essential telecom services.

To address this issue, Nigeria’s government established the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) in 2006, aimed at bridging the connectivity gap and expanding broadband access to unserved and underserved areas.

The fund provides resources for deploying telecommunications infrastructure in economically unviable regions.

The success of these initiatives, along with increased investments in broadband infrastructure and policies to incentivize internet expansion in remote areas, will be crucial in closing the connectivity gap and improving digital access for all Nigerians.

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iPhone Shipments Drop Amid Resurgence of Android Rivals

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Apple Inc. reported a significant drop in iPhone shipments during the March quarter, reflecting a downturn in sales across China amid the resurgence of competition from Android-powered rivals.

According to market tracker IDC, the tech giant shipped 50.1 million iPhones in the first three months of the year, a 9.6% year-on-year decline that fell short of the average analyst estimate of 51.7 million.

The steep decrease in iPhone sales marks Apple’s most significant quarterly dip since 2022, when Covid-19 lockdowns disrupted supply chains.

This time, the Cupertino-based company faces challenges from resurgent competitors such as Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp.

These firms have rebounded strongly in recent quarters, and their innovative product lines have begun to reclaim market share from Apple in China.

Samsung Electronics Co. regained its position as the top smartphone supplier globally, while Apple ranked second. Xiaomi closed the gap on Apple, shipping 40.8 million units, an impressive 33.8% increase year-on-year.

Transsion Holdings, another key player in the budget smartphone segment, nearly doubled its shipments, showcasing the competitive environment Apple faces.

Nabila Popal, research director at IDC, highlighted the broader shift in the smartphone market, which has recovered from the supply chain disruptions and challenges of recent years.

“While Apple has demonstrated resilience and growth in recent years, maintaining its pace and share in the market may prove challenging as Android manufacturers make strides,” Popal commented.

Apple has a strong brand and loyal customer base, yet its market position may be tested further by the aggressive pricing and innovative products offered by Chinese rivals.

The company’s efforts to sustain its premium pricing strategy may also be challenged as more customers consider switching to Android alternatives.

As the tech industry looks ahead to the rest of the year, Apple’s upcoming earnings report and strategic moves to address this competitive pressure will be closely watched by investors and industry observers alike.

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