MTN Nigeria Communications Plc on Monday announced it has issued N127 billion series 1 &2 commercial paper under its registered N150 billion commercial paper programme.
The telecommunications giant announced in a statement signed by Uto Ukpanah, Company Secretary, MTN Nigeria.
According to the statement obtained by Investors King, the issuance comprises two tenors. A 184-day Series priced at a 7.50% yield and a 254-day Series 2 priced at 8.50% yield.
MTN Nigeria said the issuance is in line with its strategy to diversify financing options. The company further stated that the proceeds will be deployed towards its working capital and for general corporate purposes.
The lead arranger and dealer was Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited while Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited, Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited, FSDH Capital Limited, Standard Chartered Capital & Advisory Nigeria Limited and UCML Capital Limited acted as Joint Dealers.
TELCOS Decry Government’s Decision on Telephone Tax
The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has said the recent move by the Federal Government to add a one kobo per second tax on phone calls is a misplaced priority.
Investors King recalls that the Federal Government of Nigeria had, on Monday, said it will implement a one kobo per second tax on phone calls in the nation to fund free healthcare for the vulnerable.
ALTON said it is a “bad fate” on the part of the Government and it is badly intended. “This is because when we came out that the government should look at our cost of operations and give us room to review tariffs, everybody treated us like an outcast.
“The same government is now coming in a matter of days to say they are introducing new taxes. So, when they were saying to us that we cannot increase tariff because it is insensitive to the plight of the people and now, they brought another tax thing through the back door, we think it is bad fate and badly intended. So if we cannot review based on the impact it will have on subscribers, why are they bringing in another tax, still on subscribers.
“Government cannot act in one way and say another thing”, ALTON said.
According to ALTON, this will affect subscribers because they get less value for what they pay for.
“It means now that when you buy a 100 recharge card, the percentage will be deducted from it and paid to the government. So it is shortchanging the people. What will happen is that operators will be mandated to collect this tax on their behalf and remit it to the government”, the association noted.
ALTON suggested that although the motive for the tax rate is understandable, the government should have looked elsewhere to source it.
It said: “Not telecoms subscribers whom the government has said its suffering because of living lately
“We will not complain as operators because we will definitely remit, it is the subscribers that will bear the brunt”.
A Lagos State resident, Taiwo Popoola, in a conversation with Investors King, said the decision to increase the tax rate will be too hard for an average Nigerian to bear if implemented. According to him, only the upper class of the society will conveniently afford it.
“On the part of the users, buying airtime will drastically reduce. People would resolve to use social media channels to reach each other and may, in turn, reduce the income of these telecommunication companies,” Taiwo said.
Airtel Commences Financial Operations, Activates Smartcash Payment Service Bank in Nigeria
Airtel has announced that it has officially commenced the operation of its Financial Technology (Fintech) subsidiary, Smartcash Payment Service Bank in Nigeria.
While reassuring its commitment to providing financial solutions to Nigerians, Airtel Africa said the new payment solution will start gradually and subsequently expand to other parts of the country.
Investors King recalls that in November last year, Airtel received approval in principle from the Central bank of Nigeria to operate the subsidiary payment service in Nigeria.
In an official statement made available to Investors King and signed by the Airtel Group Secretary, Simon O’Hara, the company noted that SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (‘SmartCash PSB’) Services will initially be available at selected retail touchpoints, and operations will be expanded gradually across the country over the next few months.
“I am very excited to announce our commencement of operations for financial services in Nigeria through SmartCash PSB. This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country.
“To help further digitise the economy, and most importantly to help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services”, Airtel Group Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya said.
Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, in 14 countries across Africa, today announces that its subsidiary has commenced operations in Nigeria.
Canadian Government to Restrict Chinese Huawei, ZTE from its 5G Networks
Canada has said it will ban two of China’s biggest telecom equipment makers from working on its 5G mobile-phone networks.
The Canadian Industry Minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne disclosed the restriction against Huawei and ZTE on Thursday. He said the move will improve Canada’s mobile internet services and “protect the safety and security of Canadians.”
“This is about providing a framework to protect our infrastructure. In a 5G world, at a time where we rely more and more in our daily lives [on] our network, this is the right decision,” Mr Champagne said while speaking to reporters in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
Investors King has it that this decision by Canada has been widely expected, as its allies had already barred Huawei and ZTE from their own high-speed networks.
This means that telecoms firms in the country will no longer be allowed to use equipment made by Huawei and ZTE.
“Companies that have already installed the equipment made by the Chinese manufacturers must now remove it,” Mr. Champagne added.
Four nations had already placed the same restriction on the companies. They include the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Canada with these other five countries make up an intelligence-sharing arrangement named ‘Five Eyes’ which evolved during the Cold War as a tool for monitoring the Soviet Union and sharing classified information
The Fifth Generation network is the next upgrade to mobile internet networks, offering much faster data download and upload speeds.
It also allows more devices to simultaneously access the internet. It comes as data usage is soaring, as the popularity of video and music streaming grows. This is pushing governments and mobile phone network operators to improve their telecommunications infrastructures.
Canada first announced a review of Huawei equipment in September 2018. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa, Huawei and ZTE did not immediately respond at the time of publication.
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