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MTN to Construct Enugu-Onitsha Road at a Cost of N203 Billion

Telecommunication giant, MTN has secured approval to construct the Enugu-Onitsha road at a cost of N203 billion.

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The Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday at its weekly FEC meeting approved MTN’s takeover of the construction of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway at over N202.8bn. 

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who briefed journalists at the end of the meeting noted that the takeover was granted under the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.

According to the Minister, the approval will ensure that MTN completes the dualisation of the 110-kilometre road. 

Investors King learnt that the first line of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway is currently under construction by the Federal Government while the other line of the expressway will be constructed by the telecommunication giant.

It will be recalled that in 2019, the Ministry of Works and Housing sought Presidential approval for Executive Order 9 which was otherwise known as ‘Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme’. 

This order allows the private sector to invest tax liabilities in advance in infrastructure. Some of the roads which the ministry has constructed through the order include Obajana to Kabba Road, Apapa-Oshodi Road, Oshoki-Ojota Expressway and the Bodo-Bonni expressway in Port Harcourt

Meanwhile, in the 2023 budget proposal, the Federal Government has proposed to spend a total of N300.3 billion of its N20.51 trillion for all activities in the Ministry of Works and Housing.

A breakdown of the Ministry’s budget shows that of the total of N300.3 billion allocated to it, capital projects take a significant sum of N288.4 billion, overhead costs received a proposal of N667.8 million while personnel costs will gulp N11.2 billion. 

Investors King understands that the Ministry of Works and Housing is one of the few ministries with the highest capital expenditure. 

Some of the roads which have been captured in the ministry’s budget include the expansion of the Abuja-Keffi Dual carriageway and the dualization of the Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi road.

Others include the Construction of Agbor-Sakpoba Road and the rehabilitation of the access road to Apapa/Tincan Island Port in Lagos State.

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Telecommunications

Impact Amplifier, Google Launch African Online Safety Platform

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Impact Amplifier, with the financial support of Google.org, today launched its African Online Safety Platform (AOSP).

The Africa Online Safety Platform is an Africa-wide project and part of Impact Amplifier’s broader intention to address African Online Safety at a systemic level.

The African internet safety ecosystem is hindered by several issues, key among them is the lack of a central repository of all the online safety research that has been conducted on a broad spectrum of issues in Africa; lack of a central repository for education material for the plethora of online safety challenges relevant for African users; the absence of legal and social media platform support systems that are less complex and time consuming; and underfunding of the needed interventions.

The AOSP has been built to address all these challenges. The platform provides a rich repository of research, education content, funding opportunities and ways to seek help if an online crime has occurred.

The site is intended to address the complexity of understanding what online safety issues are affecting different parts of Africa, how to keep everyone and particularly young people safe online, how to teach online safety formally in schools and at home, funding opportunities for safety innovators, and how to get help if a crime or other violation has occurred.

The event also included a panel discussion with several of Impact Amplifier’s grantees which are part of its ecosystem solution.  These panellists reflected online safety innovators from South Africa and Kenya who discussed some of the complexities and solutions to staying safe online in Africa.

The panellists from South Africa were Craig Rosewarne, Managing Director Wolfpack Information Risk and Camaren Peter, Director/Executive Lead, Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC). Those from Kenya were Dennis Ratemo, Programme Manager, Terre des Hommes and Martha Sunda, Executive Director, Childline Kenya. Their discussions underscored the importance of solutions that were suited to local contexts in Africa.

Google SA Country Director, Dr Alistair Mokoena said: “We first partnered with Impact Amplifier in 2020, when we announced the initial fund. We have now launched version 2.0 to show that we remain committed to providing sustained and dedicated support to the online safety ecosystem in Africa, in order to ensure that vulnerable populations are protected from online harms and reap the benefits of the internet. We encourage the relevant parties to use this amazing new education and research resource and to apply to the fund.”

Speaking at the event, Impact Amplifier Director, Tanner Methvin said: “With over 570 million people having access to the internet in Africa, reflecting just under 47 per cent of the continent’s population, online safety concerns deserve utmost attention.”

The new platform, Methvin added, “offers innovative approaches to addressing the complex safety issues the internet presents. These range from unique ways of combating mis and disinformation, tracking of cyber criminals, supporting journalists targeted with hate speech and bullying, integrating online safety training into school curriculums, and much more,” he concluded.

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Nigeria Sees 707% Surge in 5G Subscriptions Since May 2023

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Broadband Penetration - Investors King

5G subscriptions in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria jumped in the last seven months as more Nigerians continue to embrace 5G connection.

According to recent data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), 5G subscriptions grew by 707% since May 2023 to 2.14 million in November of the same year.

This surge in 5G subscriptions reflects a growing appetite for advanced connectivity solutions among Nigerian consumers and businesses alike.

The advent of 5G technology promises unprecedented speed, reliability, and network capacity, laying the groundwork for revolutionary innovations across various sectors of the economy.

While 5G subscriptions have experienced exponential growth, the dominance of second-generation networks (2G) still persists in Nigeria’s mobile network landscape.

Despite the surge in 5G, 2G remains the primary mode of connectivity, controlling a significant portion of the market with 59.32% of total mobile subscriptions.

The rise of 5G subscriptions underscores the country’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology and fostering digital inclusion nationwide.

The deployment of 5G networks across Nigeria signifies a pivotal step towards unlocking new opportunities for economic growth, innovation, and social development.

In response to the burgeoning demand for 5G connectivity, major telecommunications providers in Nigeria, including MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, and Mafab Communications, have rolled out their own 5G networks.

These initiatives reflect a concerted effort to expand network coverage and enhance connectivity infrastructure across the country.

As Nigeria continues on its path towards digital transformation, the surge in 5G subscriptions signals a promising future characterized by enhanced connectivity, innovation, and socioeconomic progress.

The rapid adoption of 5G technology is poised to drive Nigeria’s digital agenda forward, positioning the country at the forefront of the global telecommunications landscape.

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Airtel Africa Director John Danilovich to Retire After AGM

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

Airtel Africa plc, a prominent telecommunications and mobile money services provider across 14 countries in Africa, is undergoing a significant change in its board composition.

The company has disclosed that John Danilovich, an independent non-executive director, intends to retire from his position following the conclusion of this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in July 2024.

John Danilovich’s decision to retire marks the end of an era characterized by his valuable contributions to Airtel Africa plc.

As an independent non-executive director, Danilovich has played a pivotal role in guiding the company’s strategic direction and governance practices.

During his tenure, Airtel Africa has witnessed notable growth and expansion, solidifying its position as a leading telecommunications and mobile money services provider on the African continent.

Danilovich’s leadership and expertise have undoubtedly been instrumental in steering the company through various challenges and opportunities in the dynamic telecommunications landscape.

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