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Airtel Africa Acquires 60 MHz for $40 Million in Kenya

Africa’s leading telecommunications company Airtel Africa has acquired an additional 60 MHz spectrum in the 2600 MHz band from the Communications Authority of Kenya for $40 million.

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

Africa’s leading telecommunications company Airtel Africa has acquired an additional 60 MHz spectrum in the 2600 MHz band from the Communications Authority of Kenya for $40 million.

The company disclosed this in a statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King.

According to the company, the license is valid for the next 15 years and will support the 4G network capacity expansion.

It will also support the growth of fixed wireless home broadband capability, allow for future 5G rollout and provide significant capacity to accommodate the company’s continued strong data growth in Kenya.

The statement reads “Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, today announces that its Kenya subsidiary, Airtel Kenya Networks Limited (‘Airtel Kenya’), has purchased 60 MHz of additional spectrum in the 2600 MHz band from the Communications Authority of Kenya, for a gross consideration of $40m.

“The licence is valid from July 2022 for a period of 15 years.

“This additional spectrum will support our 4G network capacity expansion in the market for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, and will allow for future 5G rollout, providing significant capacity to accommodate our continued strong data growth in the country.

“Airtel Kenya is one of our largest markets by revenue. This investment reflects our continued confidence in the opportunity inherent in the Kenya market, supporting the local communities and economies through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Telecommunications

Call, Data Rate to Jump 100% as FG Imposes 5% Excise Duty on Telecoms

Call and Data rates could jump as much as 100% once the Federal Government implemented 5% excise duty on telecommunication services

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Services Tax

Call and Data rates could jump as much as 100% once the Federal Government implemented 5% excise duty on telecommunication services, a source from the sector stated.

According to industry experts, the increment will not only impact subscribers but also increase tax burden on telcos which would translate into rise in tariffs.

This, experts explained would increase the total consumption tax on the sector from just the 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) to 12.5%, a situation they said would worsen Nigerians’ economic status given the ongoing happenings in the country.

If implemented, Nigerians are now expected to be paying as much as N40 a minute, up from N20 and could be paying up to N2,500 per gigabyte.

Last week, Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, decried the new tax, threatening to take the Federal Government to court for overburden the industry with so much taxes at a time when the telecommunication sector and the entire Nigerian economy was not faring well.

He said: “The 5 percent excise duty will overburden the industry. As a Minister, I was neither consulted nor obtained a memo to that effect. Even the appropriate lawmakers that were supposed to be talked with have also told me they were not.

”Things are not done that way. Besides condemning the tax, we will take every lawful step to guarantee that the tax does not stand.”

However, Ahmed Zainab, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, had different excuse for going ahead with the new 5% excise duty. According to her, the new 5% excise duty was in line with 2020 Finance Act and was part of Federal Government efforts at augmenting the nation’s revenue, especially from the non-oil sector.

The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers and the Nigerian Telecommunication Consumer have joined Pantami and other Nigerians to kick against the decision they considered wicked and inconsiderate.

Chief Adeolu Ogunbajo, president National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) also added his voice. He said the sector is barely holding its ground with the existing 7.5 percent VAT, additional 5 percent will sum the total VAT in the sector to 12.5 percent. This is a killer move on the sector, he said.

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Telecommunications

Communication Minister Kicks Against FG’s Proposal to Impose 5% Tax on Calls, Text, Data

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has kicked against the Federal Government’s plans to impose a 5% excise duty on telecommunications services in the country.

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Ibrahim-Pantami-Isa- Investors King

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has kicked against the Federal Government’s plans to impose a 5% excise duty on telecommunications services in the country.

The minister, who spoke at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications indigenous Content Expo, NTICE, in Lagos, said the sector, which was already drawing in massive interest, creating jobs, and enlarging huge revenue to the GDP, should not be inconvenienced with such taxes.

He said: “The 5 percent excise duty will overburden the industry. As a Minister, I was neither consulted nor obtained a memo to that effect. Even the appropriate lawmakers that were supposed to be talked with have also told me they were not.

”Things are not done that way. Besides condemning the tax, we will take every lawful step to guarantee that the tax does not stand.”

The minister also argued about the large percentage of importation of ICT and telecoms equipment into the country, even when some of these equipment could be acquired in the country.

He gave a marching order to all stakeholders that henceforth, the Federal Government will not condone importation of anything into the country when it can be manufactured here in the country.

“The sector has to reasonably reduce importation. The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the National Office for the Promotion of Indigenous Content, NODIT, should carry out this policy.

“By 2025, we’ll be qualified to increase our indigenous content and decrease importation by about 20 percent.”

The Minister’s attack on the excise duty is coming after major stakeholders in the sector, including the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, and National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, NATCOMS, also kicked against the motion, interpreting it as anti-people, provocative, unusual, cold and unreliable.

At a stakeholders’ forum organized in Abuja by the NCC to shed light on its proposed commission, they also complained that such imposition would help aggravate the misery of the Nigerian masses who already had been pushed into suffering and severe poverty.

The new five percent Excise Duty is part of the new finance act signed into law by the President in 2020. It is meant to be received by the Nigerian Customs Service, and President Buhari gave a ruling that it should be carried out on all telecoms service providers in the country, also on all local and foreign goods and services.

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had also at that event, persuaded stakeholders to assist the commission, saying the decision was informed by the dwindling revenue of the federal government from oil and gas.

She said other countries in Africa, involving Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania, among others, have all keyed into the revenue generation structure.

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Telecommunications

MTN Nigeria Reports 4.2 Million PSB Customers in Two Months

MTN Nigeria has announced that a total of 4.2 million customers have subscribed for the services of its subsidiary, Mobile Money (MoMo).

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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, a leading telecommunications company in Nigeria, has announced that a total of 4.2 million customers have subscribed for the services of its subsidiary, Mobile Money (MoMo) business that was licensed under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Payment Service Bank (PSB) program in May 2022.

The telecom giant disclosed this in its unaudited report obtained by Investors King.

According to the report, only 2.4 million of the 4.2 million subscribers are presently active on MoMo Payment Service Bank. However, despite the large percentage of inactive customers, the telecoms company said it processed 7 million in transaction volume since it was launched on 16th of May 2022.

The CBN introduced the PSB license to increase financial inclusion and reduce the number of unbanked adults in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria.

This, the apex bank said would help increase the number of people in the tax net, and subsequently boost tax revenue.

While the CBN is looking to use PSB license to deepen the nation’s financial system, MTN Nigeria, Airtel Africa and other licensed companies are looking to expand their revenue generation via PSB business.

Speaking on the significance of the PSB license to MTN Nigeria’s long-term strategy, Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria CEO, said “This is an important milestone for MTN Nigeria in our mission to support the delivery of financial services to everyone in Nigeria. Not just those in urban centers and markets, but also people in the rural and remote areas of the country who remain excluded from the financial system.”

He added “We are grateful to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their support and guidance through the
process.”

Airtel Africa and MTN Nigeria are now expected to go head to head by leveraging on their broad network to seize a substantial market share of the new PSB space.

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