- Telcos Urged to Boost Broadband Capacity in Hinterlands
Worried about the limited broadband capacities in the hinterlands, which has been attributed to high cost of broadband services in cities that are located outside the shores of the country, the Chief Executive Officer of VDT Communications, Mr. Biodun Omoniyi has asked telecommunications operators (Telcos) to pull resources together to enhance the trunk capacities of broadband connectivity from the shores of the country to the hinterlands.
Omoniyi who spoke in one of the panel sessions during the launch of Insurance Market online platform, at the eInsurance Conference organised by Pinet Informatics in Lagos recently, decried paucity of broadband capacities in the cities, which he said, had led to high cost of broadband services rendered by telecommunications operators in the country, even though the country has excess broadband capacities at the shores.
He the excess capacities were provided through the landing of broadband submarine cables at the shores of the country from Europe by MainOne, Glo 1, MTN WACS, and SAT-3.
Omoniyi who blamed the paucity of broadband capacity in the hinterlands on lack of coordinated efforts by the telecommunications operators to build a national backbone of broadband capacity from the shores to the hinterlands, called on telecommunications operators to form a synergy that would enhance the trunk capacities of broadband connectivity to cities outside the shores of the county.
According to him, once this is achieved, it would not only reduce cost of broadband services in the country, but would also boost broadband connectivity for all players in the insurance industry, whom he said, were willing to embrace technology to further grow the insurance sector and the newly launched Insurance Market online platform.
“Insurance is a key sector to economic growth but it’s market penetration is still very low in Nigeria. The sector needs technology and broadband connectivity to deepen penetration and this can only be achieved if the telcos provide ubiquitous broadband and expand their 4G LTE technology for players in the insurance sector to key into,” Omoniyi said.
Speaking on how the insurance sector could access the Internet, Omoniyi said there must be sufficient and affordable wireless technology like the 4G LTE technology across the country.
He said VDT, one of the sponsors of the eInsurance Conference, has been servicing over 80 per cent of insurance companies in the area of broadband connectivity. He promised quality service, while insisting on sufficient and affordable broadband cost.
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who delivered a keynote address at the eInsurance forum, said there were policies offered by most insurance companies and the rising number of customers and policy holders makes it difficult for most insurance companies to operate effectively and efficiently without the adoption and use of information and communications technologies (ICTs).
Pantami who was represented by the Deputy Director, Corporate Strategy and Research at NITDA, Dr. Idris Mohammed Yeluwa, said; “There are number of ways that ICTs can be integrated into the insurance process, especially in the area of big data analytics, which is about analysing vast amounts of data in order to identify patterns, trends and other business information that can help decision makers to make informed decisions.”
The Managing Director, Pinet Informatics, Lanre Ajayi said the essence of the launch of Insurance Market place, was to provide an online platform, where insurance companies could set up micro websites on the online platform for enhanced transaction between vendors and buyers of insurance policies.
OPay Urges Customers to Complete BVN, NIN Verification Following CBN Directive
OPay, a prominent financial services firm, has called upon its customers to finalize the verification of their accounts by linking their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) or National Identity Numbers (NIN) in accordance with the recent directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN, in a circular dated December 1, mandated all deposit money banks to enforce a ‘Post no Debit’ restriction on accounts lacking BVN or NIN.
Accounts without BVN would be placed under a ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ status from March 1, as outlined in the circular jointly signed by Chibuzo Efobi and Haruna Mustapha, Directors at the Payments System Management Department and Financial Policy and Regulation Department, respectively.
OPay affirmed the CBN’s directive and emphasized the necessity for account holders to complete the verification process.
Dauda Gotring, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of OPay, emphasized the importance of a secure and seamless experience for customers.
He encouraged users to comply with the verification process, reassuring them of the company’s commitment to a smooth process and 24/7 customer support.
OPay provided multiple channels for customer assistance, including in-app self-service, WhatsApp, phone lines, and social media platforms.
The company’s commitment to inclusivity and technological advancement underscores its mission to enhance financial services accessibility across Nigeria.
MTN Group Ltd. Reports 90% Plunge in Profit Amid Nigeria’s Currency Woes
MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless service provider, has announced a 90% decline in its full-year profit following the plunge in Nigerian Naira.
The company revealed that its earnings per share for the year ending December fell to a range of 1.07 rand to 3.21 rand (approximately 6 to 17 US cents), a significant drop from 10.71 rand recorded in 2022.
The Nigerian naira, which experienced a 49% depreciation in 2023 and an additional 44% decline this year, has emerged as a significant factor impacting MTN’s financial performance.
As one of the world’s worst-performing currencies against the dollar, the naira’s instability has created a volatile economic environment, prompting concerns among international businesses operating in Nigeria.
The currency crisis, stemming from a shortage of dollars and exacerbated by policy missteps and corruption, has led to an exodus of multinational corporations seeking to repatriate earnings from Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria, with its burgeoning young population and growing tech sector, has struggled to address economic dysfunction despite its vast natural resources.
MTN Group Ltd., which boasts approximately 77 million customers in Nigeria, historically derives a substantial portion of its earnings from the country.
However, the company’s shares plummeted by as much as 7.2% in early trading following the profit announcement, reflecting investor concerns over the challenging operating environment.
Despite the bleak financial report, MTN highlighted positive metrics such as a 45% increase in data traffic and a 49% surge in mobile money transaction volumes.
However, the company refrained from providing guidance on its earnings margins, further adding to uncertainties surrounding its future financial performance.
Analysts underscored the importance of regulatory stability and economic reforms in Nigeria to restore investor confidence and mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations on companies like MTN.
As businesses navigate the economic landscape, the resilience of Nigeria’s currency and regulatory framework remains a critical concern for investors and industry stakeholders alike.
Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.
In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.
Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.
According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”
Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.
Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.
For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co
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