- Telecom Firms Lose N156.3bn Monthly to Dormant Lines
Telecommunications companies in the country are losing about N156.3bn in potential revenue every month due to the increasing number of inactive telephone lines on their networks, investigation has revealed.
The telecoms firms and the Nigerian Communications Commission came about the figure after a check on the average spending of subscribers monthly, with the number of inactive lines multiplied by the Average Revenue per User.
An analysis of the latest industry data released by the NCC shows that there are currently over 85.4 million inactive telephone lines on the various mobile networks in the country, while the industry ARPU is put at N1,830 ($6).
This figure represents 36 per cent of the total 239,586,312 connected telephone lines, as only 154,120,484 lines are said to be active by the regulator, making about 85.4 million lines inactive as of February 2017.
In January, the inactive telephone lines in the industry stood at 83.5 million. The February figure is the latest official data in the industry.
“This unprecedented rise in the number of redundant telephone lines in the country is threatening the growth of the telecoms companies and the sector,” a senior manager in one of the top four telcos, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk on the subject, said.
He added, “The rising profile of inactive telephone lines in the country constitutes heavy revenue loss for telecoms operators, especially at a time the economic recession is biting harder across sectors, and the revenue loss continues to rise monthly.
“Yet, we are faced with huge costs on wages and maintenance bills, which we may consider cutting, no matter the percentage.”
The Vice President, Medallion Communications, Mr. Ike Nnamani, said, “The N156.3bn loss is as a result of subscribers abandoning their registered lines instead of using same to access mobile services; and when this is the case, the affected operators are losing potential revenue.”
However, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, blamed the development on the current economic situation in the country, adding, “Nigerians are known for carrying multiple telephones, but the current economic situation may have forced them to drop some of their phones considering the falling purchasing power of an average telecoms consumer.”
A telephone line is deemed to be inactive once it is not used to make or receive calls for 90 days and when a subscriber gets connected on a line and subsequently fails to use it to access telecoms services on the network. This results in loss of potential revenue for the affected telecoms company.
Giving further reasons why there were increasing inactive lines among subscribers, the President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Olusola Teniola, said, “Competition in the telecoms sector is getting stiffer by the day and this makes subscribers to have the tendency to change their existing lines, since they now have multiple options.”
According to him, if subscribers find better tariff plans or a more quality service on a new network, “they can switch freely and then keep the old lines in inactive mode.”
Ogunbanjo also explained that once a telecoms operator sold a Subscriber Identity Module to a customer and got him connected on its network, “the intention is to start generating revenue from the subscriber anytime the subscriber loads their account with airtime to access services.”
Speaking on the issue, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said the Mobile Number Portability scheme was a need-based value added service for willing subscribers.
“The MNP is not a compulsory service that people must subscribe to. If subscribers see a need for it, they may switch from their current network to another; and if not, they remain on the current network,” he 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.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
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