- Ghana Connects to Nigeria’s Internet Exchange Point
Ghana Internet Exchange Point has connected to Nigerian’s Internet Exchange Point (IXPN) to route traffic locally within the region. While this process is on a vice-versa and partnership basis, checks revealed that the move is expected to enhance the chances of Nigeria becoming the regional hub for Internet content in the region and the continent; it will also serve as an opportunity for both countries to reduce cost and improve latency on the route.
Further analysis showed that the Internet traffic destined for the two countries will now remain local, meaning that instead of the traffic coming from Ghana to Nigeria, which first goes to Europe or the Americas before returning to Africa, will come straight to the region.This way, there will be some cost saving, improvement service delivery, and making services safer.
Besides, should Nigeria become the Internet hub for Africa, it will help the country to create contents, especially local that can serve the international market, and enable it attract foreign investors. The Guardian gathered at the weekend that the IXPN is now the second largest in Africa, and the regional IXP for the West African region, a status allocated to it by the African Union.
An IXP is a physical infrastructure through, which Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and other IP centric organisations exchange Internet traffic between their networks.The primary purpose of an IXP is to allow networks to interconnect with one another directly via the exchange rather than through one or more third-party networks.
The advantages of the direct interconnection are numerous, but the primary reasons are cost savings, reduce foreign exchange transaction, reduced latency, high bandwidth availability, security, improving routing efficiency and providing fault tolerance.
Already, it has been revealed that a leading service provider in Nigeria now saves over N20million by localising its traffic using the exchange point. These cost savings for the service providers will eventually translate to reduction cost of Internet access to Internet subscribers in the country.The Ghana-Nigeria deal is already confirmed in document presented by a former Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye, at an interaction programme on, “Improving Socioeconomic Development of a Nation Through Qualitative Telecommunications Services,” organised by the Senate Committee on Communications.
In the document, which was obtained by The Guardian, Angaye said the coming together of these two countries will attract other countries, which would enhance the chances of Nigeria being the regional HUB for Internet content in the region and the continent.
Angaye said during his tenure at NITDA, the agency supported the implementation of various IXPs in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Kano, to ensure even growth of Internet access across the country.“We need to do more to assist the IXPN especially in other regions of Nigeria so that all the benefits being enjoyed by service providers in Lagos can be extended to them,” he stated.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IXPN, Muhammed Rudman, who confirmed the connection with Ghana, told The Guardian that the exchange has connected about 45 top organizations in the country.
He said Ghana and Nigeria are working on collaborative efforts to exchange Internet traffic, saying it will give organisations in both countries easy access to each other’s content, while serving as a link to other parts of the world.Rudman said the move will attract foreign investors and content providers, saying that a major content provider would be coming to leverage the IXPN to expand its reach.
According to him, with traffic becoming local, there would be no need going to Europe first, before coming back to Nigeria, “such a move will help our data centres, business developers, content creators. This will ensure skills development, creation of more jobs, among others. Instead of first going to Google America to access traffic, it can now be done locally.”
He revealed that Nigeria being the largest country in Africa, has become a net importer of Internet content, “because there is more downloads than uploads, but with more exchange points and the country becoming a hub, there will be more uploads. So, other African countries can leverage the platform to expand.”
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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