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Improvement in Broadband Penetration – Coronation Merchant

internet subscriptions stood at 151 million in June ‘22. This represents a y/y increase of 7.7% and a m/m increase of 0.4%




The latest data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, show that internet subscriptions stood at 151 million in June ‘22. This represents a y/y increase of 7.7% and a m/m increase of 0.4% (or c.650,000 new subscriptions).

The figure implies a density of 76% in a population estimated at 200 million, placing Nigeria well above the African average of c.37% according to Statista. Telecom operators have ramped up SIM registration and NIN enrolment capacity after the partial deactivation of the lines of users yet to link Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards with unique National Identification Number (NIN) in April ’22.

MTN Nigeria (MTNN) accounted for the largest share (42.3%) of total internet subscriptions among the mobile network operators. Based on MTNN’s Q1 ’22 results, service revenue grew by 22% y/y. This was due to significant growth in data (+54.5% y/y), value added service (+46.5% y/y) and voice (+6.5% y/y).

Among the mobile network operators MTNN recorded the highest m/m increase in subscriptions of (+1.1%), this was followed by Airtel (+0.9%). Glo remained unchanged (+0.0%), while 9mobile recorded a decline of -2.6% in subscriptions. Furthermore, the commission’s data show that as at end-June ’22, outgoing porting requests were highest for 9mobile (1,661) while MTNN was the chief recipient of incoming porting requests (1,770).

According to the latest national accounts, the telecommunications segment grew by 14.5% y/y in Q1 ’22, compared with 5.3% y/y recorded in Q4 ‘21. The segment continues to benefit from growth in subscriptions and increased usage from existing subscribers. This is partly driven by adjustments to hybrid work structures.

Furthermore, the latest inflation report shows that the communications segment increased by 11.2% y/y in June ‘22 compared with 11.0% y/y recorded in the previous month. This can be partly attributed to growth in operating expenses.

The commission has hinted that an increase in the price of telecommunication services such as calls, and data is unlikely in the near-term. This is despite the push by telecom operators under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) to increase the cost of these services.

In June, broadband penetration increased to 44.3%, compared with 40% recorded in June’21. The FGN had through the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 set a target of 90% penetration by 2025.

The steady growth in broadband penetration will have a positive impact across other sectors such as healthcare, education, agriculture, finance, transportation, and commerce. However, existing challenges such as epileptic power supply, poor infrastructure, and right of way (RoW) fees continue to hinder expansion in broadband penetration.

We recall that in 2020, the Nigerian governors’ forum resolved that telecom operators should pay a RoW fee of N145 per linear meter of fibre. However, based on local newswires, only Kaduna, Ekiti, Katsina, Plateau, Ekiti, Kwara, and Imo are implementing the new fees.

However, we understand that Anambra waived RoW fees for telecom operators in an attempt to boost broadband penetration in the state.

Many states continue to charge relatively high RoW fees. Industry sources suggest that, in states like Benue, Ogun and Lagos, it costs operators N2,500, N4,000 and N1,500 per linear metre of fibre respectively in RoW charges. The absence of a unified RoW fee across the country continuously stalls the advancement of broadband fibre networks.

The NCC has disclosed that the rollout of fifth generation (5G) spectrum services is expected to commence in August ‘22. The commission has also confirmed the issuance of the final letters of award of the 5G spectrum licenses to MTN and Mafab Communications, winners of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction conducted in December ‘21. The two licensees are now expected to accelerate the deployment of 5G network that will deliver higher data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, increased network capacity, availability, and uniform user experience.

Regarding mobile money, prior to 2020, the CBN had excluded mobile network operators from offering mobile money services. However, in August‘20 as part of the CBN’s financial and digital inclusion strategy, the regulator granted final approval to Glo’s Money Master Payment Service Bank (PSB) and 9Mobile’s 9PSB to begin operations.

In May’22, final approval was granted to MTNN’s MOMO PSB and Airtel Africa’s SMARTCASH PSB to begin operations. The PSB licenses should enable telecom operators to engage in financial services which include receiving cash deposits, processing payments and remittances, issuing debit and prepaid cards, operating electronic wallets, among others.

The sector still requires significant investment in telecommunications infrastructure to drive broadband (and internet) penetration as well as affordability for data packages.

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

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Flutterwave Teams Up with EFCC to Launch Cybercrime Research Hub in Nigeria



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Flutterwave has partnered with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to establish a cutting-edge cybercrime research center in Nigeria.

This initiative comes in response to recent significant financial losses suffered by the payment technology company due to fraud.

Flutterwave, a leading payment technology company in Africa, has faced substantial financial setbacks due to cybercrime.

Recently, the company obtained a court order to recover $24 million lost to unauthorized Point of Sale (POS) transactions.

Also, Flutterwave reportedly lost N11 billion ($7 million) to fraudulent accounts in April 2024. These incidents have underscored the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures.

The partnership was formalized through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on June 14 in Abuja by Flutterwave’s CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, and EFCC Secretary, Mohammadu Hammajoda.

The signing ceremony also saw the presence of EFCC Chair, Ola Olukoyede, and Christopher Gray representing the FBI, among other notable figures.

Agboola emphasized Flutterwave’s expertise in combating internet fraud, particularly the tactics employed by notorious fraudsters known as Yahoo Boys.

He highlighted that the new cybercrime research center would equip anti-corruption agents with advanced technological tools and techniques to detect and prevent cybercrimes.

“The state-of-the-art center, to be built at the EFCC academy, will focus on seven key areas: advanced fraud detection and prevention, collaborative research and policy development, youth empowerment and capacity building, technological advancement, and resource enablement,” Agboola stated.

The establishment of the cybercrime research hub is a proactive step to address the rampant internet fraud that threatens the stability and trust in Nigeria’s financial systems.

The collaboration aims to enhance the capabilities of EFCC operatives in preventing, detecting, and prosecuting financial crimes.

Ola Olukoyede, the EFCC Chair, praised the initiative as a significant leap forward in the fight against financial crimes.

“The cybercrime research center will significantly enhance our capabilities to prevent, detect, and prosecute financial crimes,” Olukoyede remarked. “The EFCC is impressed with Flutterwave’s strides across Africa, and this partnership marks a crucial step towards ensuring a secure financial landscape for Nigerians.”

The partnership between Flutterwave and the EFCC signifies a robust commitment to cybersecurity, aiming to create a safer and more secure financial environment in Nigeria.

This initiative not only addresses immediate financial threats but also aims to build a resilient framework to combat future cybercrimes effectively.

With the launch of the cybercrime research hub, Flutterwave and the EFCC are set to lead the charge against financial fraud, ensuring that the Nigerian financial sector remains secure and trustworthy for all stakeholders.

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Visa and Mastercard Face Setback as Judge Indicates Likely Rejection of $30 Billion Deal




Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are facing a potential setback as a federal judge in Brooklyn indicated she is likely to reject their $30 billion settlement with retailers.

The deal, aimed at capping credit-card swipe fees, has been a focal point of contention between the card giants and merchants for years.

Judge Margo Brodie of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York expressed skepticism about the settlement during a hearing on Thursday.

According to court records, Judge Brodie suggested she might not approve the agreement, stating she would issue a written decision in the coming days.

Retailers have long campaigned to reduce their share of the costs associated with accepting card payments, known as interchange fees.

These fees, which are partially passed on to banks that issue the cards, including major institutions like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., have been a burden for many merchants.

Announced in March and pending court approval, the settlement was designed to allow merchants to charge consumers extra for transactions involving Visa or Mastercard credit cards.

The agreement also aimed to introduce pricing tactics to steer consumers towards lower-cost cards.

“The court’s comments strongly suggest that she won’t accept the settlement,” noted Justin Teresi, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “While Judge Brodie doesn’t seem convinced that larger retailers should be allowed to opt out from the settlement, provisions like changes to digital wallet acceptance rules and some state bans on surcharges likely present real adequacy issues.”

Both Visa and Mastercard expressed disappointment over the developments. A Mastercard representative stated, “We believe the settlement presented a fair resolution of this long-standing dispute, most notably by giving business owners more flexibility in how they manage their card acceptance activities. We will pursue our options to ensure a proper resolution of this matter.”

Visa’s spokesperson echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that “continued engagement between industry and the merchants is the best way forward.”

Swipe fees have become a substantial financial issue for retailers, totaling more than $160 billion last year, according to the Merchants Payments Coalition. Reactions to the settlement were mixed when it was announced, with some retail coalitions pledging a thorough review and others quickly opposing it.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, representing large merchants such as Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc., described the settlement as a “mere drop in the bucket” and urged careful review to assess if it adequately addresses the harm inflicted on retailers.

Doug Kantor, general counsel for the National Association of Convenience Stores, praised the judge’s remarks, stating, “We’re gratified to see that the court recognized how bad this settlement was.”

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Norwegian Watchdog Slams Meta for Cumbersome Opt-Out Process in AI Training Plans



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Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is facing a new legal challenge in Norway over its plans to utilize user images and posts to train artificial intelligence (AI) models.

The Norwegian Consumer Council has lodged a complaint, criticizing Meta’s cumbersome and deceptive opt-out process, which it argues breaches stringent EU data protection regulations.

The Council’s statement on Thursday highlighted that Meta’s method for allowing users to opt out of data collection for AI training is overly complicated and intentionally confusing.

“The process to opt-out breaches strict EU data protection rules and has been made deliberately cumbersome by using deceptive design patterns and vague wording,” the Council said.

This isn’t Meta’s first run-in with European regulators regarding data privacy. The tech giant has previously faced multiple complaints for allegedly failing to obtain proper consent from users before collecting their data to target advertisements.

Also, the European Union’s top court has warned Meta about safeguarding public information on users’ sexual orientation from being used for personalized advertising.

“We are urging the Data Protection Authority to assess the legality of Meta’s practices and to ensure that the company is operating in compliance with the law,” stated Inger Lise Blyverket, head of the Norwegian Consumer Council.

The complaint was prepared by the European Center for Digital Rights and will be submitted to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, as well as other European data protection authorities.

Due to Meta’s EU base in Dublin, the Irish Data Protection Commission will serve as the lead authority in this matter.

The outcome of this complaint could have significant implications for how Meta, and other tech companies, handle user data within the EU.

Meta’s use of user data for training AI has raised significant privacy concerns. Critics argue that without clear and straightforward consent mechanisms, users are often unaware of how their data is being used.

This latest complaint underscores the ongoing tension between big tech companies and European regulators striving to enforce robust privacy standards.

The Norwegian Consumer Council’s action reflects a growing impatience with tech giants’ data practices, emphasizing the need for transparency and user control.

As AI technologies continue to advance, ensuring ethical and lawful data usage remains a critical challenge for both companies and regulators.

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