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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.


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.


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Airtel Africa Completes Minority Shareholding Buyback of Airtel Nigeria



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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.

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Orange CEO Convicted for Misuse of Funds, Puts Fate in Hands of Board



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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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