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Revert to Old Prices FG Tells Telecommunications Operators

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The federal government has instructed telecom operators in the country to revert back to the old price and abolish the 10 percent increase in calls and data tariffs.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a statement on Wednesday.

NCC had earlier approved the increment before its analysis showed that given Nigeria’s current economic reality and business environment, many Nigerians would struggle with the increment. Hence, the decision to direct telecommunications companies to revert back to the old price.

The NCC statement read in part, “The consideration for 10% approval for tariff adjustments for different voice and data packages was in line with the mandates of the Commission as provided by the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and other extant Regulations and Guidelines, as this was within the provisions of the existing price floor and price cap as determined for the industry.

“The decision was also taken after a critical and realistic review and analysis of the operational environment and the current business climate in Nigeria, as it affects all sectors of the economy,

“Much as there is an increase in the cost of production, the provision of telecom services is still very profitable and it is necessary that the subscribers are not subjected to a hike in charges.

“In view of the above, the Commission, through a letter sent on the 12th of October 2022, has already directed the affected Mobile Network Operators to reverse the upward tariff adjustment.

“The Commission will carry out further consultations with all industry stakeholders on the best approaches that will protect and uphold the interest of both the consumers and the service providers.”

The 10 percent increase saw MTN’s subscription of 2.5 gigabytes move from N500 to N550, while Airtel 40GB subscription increased from N5000 to N5500.

With the jumped in inflation rate to 20.77% in September and weak wage growth, it was necessary for the NCC to order telco operators to put the increment on hold to no compound the plight of the Nigerian people, Investors King understands.

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Telecommunications

MTN to Bid For Second 5G Spectrum; Other Telcos Protest

MTN to bid for a second 5g spectrum on December 16, 2022

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MTN Nigeria - Investors King

Nigerian mobile telecommunications company, MTN has showcased a potential interest to bid for a second 5G spectrum in the forthcoming auction which is scheduled for December 19, 2022.

The potential bidding however has been opposed by other telecommunication companies which claimed the move is against the spirit of competition. 

Investors King could recall that MTN and Mafab Communications won the first 3.5GHz spectrum license for a 5G network which was auctioned in December 2021 by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).

The highly competitive auction which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja also witnessed the participation of Airtel

Subsequently, in September 2022, MTN finally launched the 5G network to boost internet speed in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri.

However, to access the 5G network, users will need to have compatible devices which is a bit expensive for average Nigerians.

To this end, MTN thereafter partnered with a phone financing company, Intelligra to bridge the cost of 5G-enabled smartphones. 

According to MTN Chief Marketing Officer, Adia Sowho, the partnership with Intelligra is aimed to drive 5G adoption in Nigeria. 

Meanwhile, barely two months after MTN launched its 5G network, the leading telecommunication company in Nigeria has showcased a potential bid for the second spectrum which is scheduled to hold on Friday. 

At a stakeholders engagement meeting organised in Lagos, MTN’s General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Ikenna Ikeme, said the company had entered the last auction in 2021 with the expectation that it was an open market and it would be allowed to participate in other auctions should the need arise.

This, however, did not go down well with other telecommunication companies which claimed that should MTN be allowed to participate in the second auction and eventually win, it will make them dormant players which could affect the overall growth of the industry. 

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta who presided over the engagement session noted that all contending issues will be given due consideration before the auction on Friday. 

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Telecommunications

Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Others Activity Level Jump Despite Stock Market Negative Close

Investors transacted 187,094,282 shares worth N2.535 billion in 3,326 transactions with Access Bank accounting for 87,923,339 shares valued at N704,474,274.95

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Despite the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) opening in the red on Monday, activity on Access Bank continued to increase while Zenith Bank and others followed closely.

Investors transacted 187,094,282 shares worth N2.535 billion in 3,326 transactions with Access Bank accounting for 87,923,339 shares valued at N704,474,274.95. This may not be unconnected to Herbert Wigwe’s recent acquisition. The Chairman, Access Holdings Plc has dumped almost a billion on Access Bank stocks in the last one month.

The banking index appreciated by 26 basis points (bps) on 3.48% and 1.42% gain in the value of Union Bank of Nigeria and Sterling Bank.

The consumer goods index and industrial index were unchanged on Monday. The oil and gas shed 38 basis points on 2.56% decline in Oando.

The market vaue of all listed equities stood at N23.867 trillion, a decline of N82 billion from N23.949 trillion it closed on Friday. The NGX All-share index shed 0.34% from 43,968.75 index points it settled last week to 43,818.12 index points.

The Exchange Yea-to-date return declined to 2.58% as only 13 stocks closed in the green against another 13 that lost points. See other details below.

Top Five Gainers

Symbols Last Close Current Change %Change
FTNCOCOA N 0.31 N 0.34 0.03 9.68 %
CHIPLC N 0.58 N 0.62 0.04 6.90 %
MANSARD N 1.53 N 1.62 0.09 5.88 %
CHAMS N 0.24 N 0.25 0.01 4.17 %
UBN N 5.75 N 5.95 0.20 3.48 %

Top Five Losers 

Symbols Last Close Current Change %Change
JOHNHOLT N 0.81 N 0.73 -0.08 -9.88 %
SCOA N 1.75 N 1.58 -0.17 -9.71 %
PRESTIGE N 0.39 N 0.36 -0.03 -7.69 %
UNITYBNK N 0.57 N 0.54 -0.03 -5.26 %
AFRIPRUD N 5.35 N 5.10 -0.25 -4.67 %

Top Five Trades

Symbols Volume Value
ACCESSCORP 87923339.00 704474274.95
ZENITHBANK 19323689.00 385788915.25
TRANSCORP 10679983.00 11613144.33
UNITYBNK 10175240.00 5339887.59
NGXGROUP 5255594.00 112846073.20

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Telecommunications

About 9.7 Million Phone Numbers Barred From Making Calls

Around 9.7 million phone numbers were barred by the two largest telecommunications companies in Africa.

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Two leading mobile telecommunications networks in Nigeria, MTN and Airtel have barred about 9.7 million phone numbers from making calls due to issues related to National Identification Numbers. Earnings reports filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show. 

Investors King gathered that in April 2022, more than 72 million phone numbers were barred from making calls. The directive to barn phone numbers that were not linked to their National Identification Number came from the Federal Government through the Nigeria Commission Commission (NCC). 

A joint statement released by the spokespersons of NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde, and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke partly read: 

“Outgoing calls will subsequently be barred for telephone lines that have not complied with the NIN-SIM linkage Policy from the 4th of April, 2022. Subscribers of such lines are hereby advised to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos can lift the restriction on their lines,”. 

The statement added that the president has approved the implementation of the policy after the deadline has been extended on several occasions. 

The federal government had earlier stated that the policy will help the government to fight insecurity, particularly bandits and terrorists. 

Meanwhile, both MTN and Airtel have revealed that the policy has eaten deep into their profit as almost 10 million phone subscribers could not make outgoing calls. 

A look at the two telecoms eating reports shows that while 16. 2 million subscribers who had their lines barred have submitted their NINs for verification only 6.5 million had been verified as of September 30, 2022

Leaving about 9.7 million phone subscribers in the cold despite submitting their NIN for linkage. A responsibility that is expected of the National Identity Management Commission

Revenue growth for the first half of the year was impacted by the effect of barring outgoing voice calls in Nigeria for those customers who had not submitted their NINs, Airtel noted in its report. 

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