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Telecommunications Staff To Embark On 3 Days Warning Strike

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Data and call services may face disruption from Wednesday as the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria on Monday insisted on a three-day warning strike.

The General Secretary of the association, Okonu Abdullahi, told the media in an interview on Monday that its members were embarking on the strike to protest the arbitrary sack of workers and casualization.

He said subcontracting or outsourcing which had bedeviled the industry could no longer be allowed to continue as it had shortchanged workers.

He said, “As we speak, all indications are that we should be going on a three-day warning of industrial action on Wednesday, 16th June 2021, as none of our demands have been met.

“We have tried speaking to the telecommunications companies at different times, but we met with a brick wall.”

The union had in a statement issued on Sunday said that it would mobilise its members for a three-day warning industrial action beginning midnight on Tuesday (today).

PTECSSAN in the statement had alleged breach of freedom of association, right of workers to organise, victimization of union members, poor and discriminatory remuneration, abuse of expatriate quota, intimidation, harassment, and verbal assaults of employees among other anti-labor practices.

Justifying the strike threat, human rights activist and legal practitioner, Ayo Ademiluyi, said, “This would be the first nationwide strike of the only union in the telecommunications industry.

“The industry is performing on the back of pains and anguish of many telecoms workers. Most of the workers are contract staff. The big telecom companies put their workers on temporary pay. Casualisation in the industry must stop.

“Less than five percent of the telecoms workers are permanent workers in the industry. The big telcos don’t have permanent staff; they only have managerial staff who are being laid off on the excuse of COVID-19.”

He said that most big telcos did not allow trade unionism, adding that there were many cases in the industrial court seeking to enforce workers’ rights to collective bargaining as enshrined in International Labour Conventions.

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Telecommunications

Airtel Africa Announces Interim Dividend Amidst Robust Half-Year Performance

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

Airtel Africa Plc has declared its intention to pay an interim dividend for the half-year period ending September 2023.

The telecommunication giant, listed on both the NGX and the London Stock Exchange, shared this development in a corporate notice titled ‘Announcement of Interim Dividend Currency Exchange Rates’ filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Tuesday.

Airtel Africa disclosed that the interim dividend, amounting to 2.38 US cents per ordinary share, would be disbursed on December 15, 2023, to qualified shareholders.

Notably, shareholders have the option to receive the dividend in US dollars, GB pounds, or Nigerian naira, based on their preference.

The adopted exchange rates for currency conversion were set at 1 USD = 858.24 Nigerian naira and 1 USD = 0.8190 GB pounds.

Airtel Africa emphasized that these rates were determined by the exchange rates applicable to the US dollar as of Friday.

Despite recording a loss after tax of $13 million, primarily attributed to a foreign exchange loss of $471 million in finance costs, Airtel Africa showcased robust performance in its half-year report.

The company reported a 19.7% growth in revenue currency to $2.62 billion, with double-digit revenue growth across all segments.

Mobile services revenue increased by 18.3%, driven by growth in voice and data revenue, while mobile money revenue saw a significant surge of 30.9%.

The company’s EBITDA also exhibited a commendable increase of 21.2%, reflecting a 70 basis points margin improvement over the prior period.

Airtel Africa remains resilient in the face of inflationary cost pressures and foreign exchange headwinds, showcasing a promising outlook for investors.

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MTN Evaluates Exit from Three African Markets Amid Regional Challenges

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MTN Nigeria - Investors King

African telecommunications giant MTN is reportedly contemplating an “orderly exit” from its operations in Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, and Liberia, according to a report by Business Insider Africa.

The company, which currently operates in 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East, aims to streamline its portfolio and address challenges in the West and Central Africa (Weca) region.

While the exact reasons for the potential exit remain undisclosed, MTN’s financial reports indicate broader challenges in the Weca segment.

CEO Ralph Mupita highlighted concerns over inflation and currency devaluation in multiple markets.

The company’s 2022 financials revealed a 1.7% decline in EBITDA margin due to pricing pressures, fintech channel subsidies, and macroeconomic hurdles.

Although Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, and Liberia contribute only 1.6% to MTN’s total revenue, the move aligns with the company’s strategic focus on optimizing its market presence.

MTN holds a significant market share, approximately 30%, in Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry, while Lonestar MTN is the second-largest telecom operator in Liberia.

The potential exit reflects MTN’s commitment to adapting its business strategy to navigate the evolving economic landscape and optimize its portfolio for sustained growth.

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Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications Secures N1 Billion for Three Million Technical Talent Program

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Telecommunications - Investors King

Dr. Bosun Tijani, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, has announced the acquisition of N1 billion in funding for the implementation of the Three Million Technical Talent program.

During a council meeting with directors of the Information Communication and Technology department in all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in Abuja, Dr. Tijani emphasized the ministry’s commitment to building Nigeria’s technical talent base, strengthening the nation’s digital economy.

The minister highlighted the critical role of technology in the country’s economic growth and development.

He emphasized that effective collaboration, the creation of an enabling environment, and a workforce of public servants prepared to embrace change are essential to achieving the best results.

Dr. Tijani stated, “The best way to address societal problems is to bring people together to discuss and find solutions. Our meeting must be critical and effective in resolving issues to produce tangible outcomes. This will attract stakeholders and private investors who will provide the necessary resources.”

He emphasized the ministry’s commitment to its mission of training three million individuals, even in the absence of a dedicated budget.

The support of various organizations and companies has made it possible to secure N1 billion for the project, demonstrating the increasing interest and investment in Nigeria’s digital talent and technology initiatives.

Dr. Tijani urged the council to play its part in realizing the administration’s digitization objectives.

He called for the transformation of the civil service to maximize the utilization of limited resources, eliminating outdated practices, such as paper-based documentation, to usher in a new era of efficiency and digital innovation.

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