- Investors Stake $5bn on Telecoms Every Quarter – NCC
Investors in the Nigerian telecommunications sector have been adding $5bn investment every quarter, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said.
The Director of Consumer Affairs at the regulatory agency, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said this in a presentation at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Abuja on Wednesday.
Onwuegbuchulam, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr Ayanbanji Ojo, also disclosed that the sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product had risen from 9.1 per cent to 10.5 per cent as of June 2018.
She said, “The investment in the telecoms sector as of 2017 used to be $70bn and this has been growing at about $5bn every quarter. The sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP rose to 10.5 per cent as of the end of June 2018, up from the initial 9.1 per cent in 2016.
“At the end of August 2018, there were over 160.8 million active voice subscriptions, with over 104 million of this number being used to access the Internet services. These are phone numbers being used by businesses and individual subscribers across the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“Tele-density, which is the number of telephone lines per 100 persons in an area, has hit 115 per cent. Indeed, the growth in the telecoms industry, engendered by a sound regulatory regime, has remarkably redefined the way people live, work and play.”
Also, speaking at the forum, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, said the regulatory agency had directed telecom operators to roll over unused subscriber’s data within a window of 14 days after the period of validity must have elapsed.
Danbatta, who was represented by Head of Public Relations, Mr Reuben Muoka, said no subscriber should lose any unused data for Internet services at the end of the validity period without enjoying a grace period of 14 days.
The NCC boss stated, “On the quality of service issue, including poor reception, wrong billings and deductions, and automatic data rollover, among other issues, we have put the service providers on special notice about our current monitoring of user experience and will call them to account in due course.
“Where the service provider continues to fail to improve services to the detriment of the consumers, the commission will apply appropriate regulatory actions and sanctions against such service provider.”
“On this issue data rollover, the commission has directed all the service providers to give a 14-day window to the subscribers to enable them roll over their unused data, even if they do not renew on the expiration data. In other words, this will stop the current practice where subscribers lose their entire unused data if they fail to renew on the date of the expiration of the current subscription.”
He added that the commission was working to address the issue of call masking and SIM boxing, where international calls are made to bear local numbers, thereby bringing confusion to the subscribers.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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