The Nigerian Communications Commission has said Nigerians will have to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity of their phones to it from July.
The regulatory body said this in the commission’s Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
The NCC’s move to start the implementation of the Device Management System (a Centralised Equipment Identity Register) is backed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
A portion of the policy said, “Accordingly, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months.”
The NCC said, “With the aim to curtail the counterfeit mobile phone market, discourage mobile phone theft, enhance National Security, protect consumer interest, increase revenue generation for the government, reduce the rate of kidnapping, mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime, and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices, one of the means to achieve this is through the deployment of Device Management System.
“The implementation of a Centralised Equipment Identity Register otherwise known as Device Management System will serve as a repository for keeping records of all registered mobile phones’ International Mobile Equipment Identity and owners of such devices.
“IMEIs that have been reported as either stolen or illegal will be shared through the DMS to all the operators and service providers.”
The IMEI number is the mobile phone’s fingerprint. It is a 15-digit number unique to each phone. With the IMEI number, a phone can be tracked and located irrespective of the cellular number in it.
According to an expert that helps the Nigerian Police track stolen phones, who asked for anonymity, said, “The IMEI of a phone allows us to track the phone.
“It allows us to track the phone’s information, people the phone calls each day and the house address of the people that call on the phone.”
The expert added, “I can’t disclose how the IMEI of a phone works. It is sensitive information. Leaking the secret helps the people stealing the phone bypass the information.
“Some people already try to change the IMEI of stolen phones, but we know what to do to get the original one.”
With this move, the NCC will have the IMEI numbers, NIN, and mobile numbers of every Nigerian.
MTN Shares Fall by 10% After IPO Pricing
MTN Nigeria (MTNN), Nigeria’s second-biggest listed company saw its shares fall by 10% on Wednesday to see a five-week low after it had set a retail public offer price which was lower than its share price on the stock market.
MTN shares had closed at N190 a unit on Tuesday, but lost N19 to close at N171 per share on Wednesday despite the expected renewed interest in the company following its ongoing share sale.
The South African telecommunications company MTN (MTNJ.J) opened its offer for sale to retail investors at N169 for each share on Wednesday, in order to sell about 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria.
The public offer closes on December 14 and signifies the first stage of a share sale to retail investors where the South African-owned company will look to scale down all its holdings in MTN Nigeria to 65% from its present 87%, over a period of time.
This was said by the Chief Executive Officer of the MTN Group, Ralph Mupita at a roadshow that was held in Abuja.
The Chairman of the MTN Group, Mcebisi Jonas was also in attendance of the show, which was held alongside a state visit made by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.
The fall in the MTN Nigeria shares moved the main share index (.NGSEINDEX) down by 1.8% to observe its lowest point in three weeks.
Two years ago, MTN listed its Nigerian company in Lagos, and at N90 for a share. This made it the second-largest stock when considering market capitalisation.
In March 2020, shares of MTN Nigeria fell back to the listing price due to lockdowns enacted to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
There have been a few IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) in Nigeria since the global financial crisis of 2008, which was responsible for clearing out over 60% of the stock market’s capitalisation.
MTN’s offer includes a bonus share for every 20 shares bought, with an incentive open for retail investors who hold their shares for at least a year after allotment.
Airtel Africa Completes Minority Shareholding Buyback of Airtel Nigeria
Airtel Africa Plc. has announced the completion of the minority shareholding buyback of its biggest subsidiary in Africa, Airtel Nigeria.
This announcement was disclosed in a corporate filing posted on the website of the Nigerian Exchange Limited and signed by the group’s Company Secretary, Simon O’Hara.
“Further to the buyout offer announcement of 4 October 2021, Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, today announces the completion of the minority shareholding buyback of Airtel Networks Limited (‘Airtel Nigeria’), a subsidiary of Airtel Africa plc. and a leading provider of telecommunication services in Nigeria. The total consideration for the 8.22% minority shareholdings acquired under the buyback is NGN 61bn, equivalent to $147m using an exchange rate of 415.07 NGN/USD,” the statement signed by the Company’s Secretary read.
The company had in October disclosed its plan of buying back 8.27 percent minority shareholdings at an offer price of N55.81 per share to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, NGX. The recent development is just the actualisation of the initial disclosure.
Vanguard had similarly, in October, reported that the NGX formally Nigerian Stock Exchange, announced the cross border secondary listing of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. This, Vanguard reported, added N1.36 trillion to the market capitalization of the Exchange, and further deepened the Nigerian capital market. It had also increased the visibility of Airtel Africa to investors on the continent and across the globe.
This latest development is on the other hand coming a month after Nigeria’s third most capitalised company with mobile money valued at $2.65 billion on the Africa continent got approvals-in-principle from the central bank to run a payment service bank and also operate as a super-agent in the country’s growing banking space.
Thus, with this recent buyback, Airtel Africa now holds 99.96 percent ownership of its largest subsidiary.
Orange CEO Convicted for Misuse of Funds, Puts Fate in Hands of Board
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of France’s largest telecommunication company Orange, Stephane Richard has been handed a one-year suspended sentence after an appeal court in Paris convicted him of complicity of the misuse of funds.
In a statement, Richard said that he would appeal the verdict of the court, saying that the one-year suspended sentence given to him was very unfair.
Stephane Richard, who was acquitted in an initial trial said that he had placed his company authority in the hands of Orange’s board of directors.
The French Minister of Finance, Bruno Le Maire has frequently said that the position of the government concerning matters like this is that the bosses of companies owned by the state must quit their positions if ever convicted of a crime. A statement made by the finance ministry acknowledged the verdict, saying that the ministry was paying close attention to the appropriate operation of the company.
Orange is due to hold a board meeting where the matter will undoubtedly be discussed, according to a company spokesman. Two different sources who are particularly close to the situation said that Richard – who has denied any offences – will find it difficult to keep his job as the Chairman and CEO of Orange.
Richard also had a 50,000 euro fine slapped on him, but was cleared of the charge of complicity of fraud. He however refused to make any comment when reporters asked whether he would resign as CEO after the verdict was given. He hurriedly left the court, followed by the head of communications at Orange, Béatrice Mandine.
Richard, who is a former civil servant, had previously told French media that he would not be looking to stay as CEO at the end of his third term (each one lasting four years) in May 2022. He however said that he would love to remain as the Chairman.
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