- MTN to List N153bn Shares on NSE This Year
Telecoms operator, MTN Group Limited, is planning to raise about N153bn ($500m) from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business during the first half of this year, fulfilling the terms of a deal struck with the country to settle a record fine, Bloomberg has reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.
Standard Bank Group Limited and Citigroup Incorporated have been advising Africa’s largest mobile phone company on the disposal of as much as 30 per cent of the Lagos-based unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the sources said on Wednesday.
The sources pleaded anonymity as the details of the listing had not been made public. Most of the shares will be sold to local institutions and individuals, though foreign investors could be brought in to ensure the process is a success, one of the people said.
Discussions are ongoing and a final decision hasn’t been made, they said.
Spokespeople for MTN and Citigroup in Johannesburg didn’t immediately comment, and Standard Bank didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg calls seeking comment.
MTN agreed to list the Nigerian unit as part of a June 2016 agreement to pay a $1bn fine for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown. The penalty, originally set at $5.2bn, led to the resignation of the Johannesburg-based company’s then chief executive officer and a slump in the share price that’s yet to be clawed back.
The stock extended gains and traded 4.5 per cent higher at 128.83 rand as of the close in Johannesburg, giving a market value of 243 billion rand ($20bn).
If successful, the share sale will be the biggest on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after Starcomms Plc, which raised $796m when it listed in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
MTN, Nigeria’s biggest mobile phone company with just over 50 million subscribers as of end September, slumped to a loss in 2016 as it absorbed the financial impact of the fine, though it said last month that it returned to profit the following year.
Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African governments are trying to gain more from international mobile phone operators taking advantage of rising smartphone use and faster data speeds. MTN has also agreed to sell shares in Ghana as one of the conditions of a deal to gain spectrum rights, while Vodacom Group Limited, South Africa’s market leader, was ordered to list 25 per cent of its Tanzanian business last year, raising $213m.
A top official of the Securities and Exchange Commission recently told The PUNCH that the commission had yet to receive any document from MTN indicating an interest to list.
The official said the department concerned with new listings on the local bourse was not in possession of any document showing that MTN had a listing programme on the NSE.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, told journalists mid-January this year that the Exchange would not comment on the planned listing of MTN as it was not in the right position to speak for the telco.
“MTN has to tell its own story, and not us doing so for it,” Onyema stated.
#EndSARS: National Broadcasting Commission Fines Arise TV, AIT, Channels TV N9 Million
National Broadcasting Commission Goes After Arise TV, AIT, Channels TV for Using Unverified Online Footages
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Monday fined Arise Tv, African Independent Television (AIT) and Channels Television about N3 million each for violating the commission broadcasting codes during the #EndSARS protest that rocked the nation in this past week.
The commission accused the television stations of using unverified online video footages on their respective platforms.
The Acting Director-General of the commission, Mr Armstrong Idachaba, said the fines were the initial warning before a heavier santion will be imposed on the stations for gross defiance of the commission broadcasting codes.
The three stations were fined for their alleged roles in escalating the violence that rocked the nation last week by airing various unverified online images of shootings of peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate by securitity operatives in army uniforms.
Idachaba alleged that “Channels Television, Arise TV and AIT especially continued to transmit footages obtained from unverified and unauthenticated social media sources, adding that the pictures stimulated anger and heightened the violence that was witnessed during the crisis.”
He stated: “We believe the whole country has now seen why the spurious and recklessness on the social media must not be patronised by the mainstream traditional media. We are at the stage of our nation’s history when our broadcasters have a crucial responsibility for responsive and professional broadcasting. By picking unverified, unsubstantiated social media sources and repeating the narratives, our broadcasters have shown crass lack of professionalism and a disposition to be escalators of conflict and, more seriously, a threat to Nigeria. Look at the level of damage, killings that have happened on account of unverifiable reports”.
He described the situation as disagrceful were traditional broadcast stations turned themeselves to social media pundits, using a video footage from a DJ as news source.
“Where is the authenticity, where is the credibility,” he queried.
He, therefore, said “It is beginning to look as if it is a deliberate ploy, so the option available is to shut down the industry but that is not the position of the government. Left for me, I would have considered some of that portion We decided to categorise the offence as Category B offence but it is easily escalated to A and A will be a shutdown. But we still pin it down to B, which is a heavy fine between N500,000 to N5 million and none of them will pay less than N2 million but any further breach will lead to the withdrawal of the licence,” he warned.
Npower News: Npower Stipend News, Npower News on Permanency
Npower News on Permanency and Payment of Allowances
The N-power Youths Congress has made passionate plead to President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill the campaign promise he made to the 500,000 Npower Batches A and B beneficiaries.
The group led by its national coordinator, Comrade Joseph Enam Magar, to the NUJ Press Center Maiduguri demanded the payment of all outstanding allowances of N30,000 for exited Batch A and Batch B from June 2016 and July 2019, respectively.
Maga said “We are hereby once again reminding the government of their promises to us and that we will never relent until federal government fulfils it’s promises. The State Representatives of Npower Beneficiaries have earlier stated our demands on the previous Press Conference and here we are reinstating the demands again.
“The Batches A and B of N-power Beneficiaries who according to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management were disengaged since the month of June and July respectively are not happy for being sent back to the streets.
“We were struggling in different spheres of life to make a living. We were meant to quit the things we were doing before to embrace Npower with the promise of being absolved into the Federal Government scheme at the end of the day.
“We were made to serve our fatherland with a token of 30,000. Most of us have families with children, paying of school fees, electricity bills, pipe borne water, transportation, feeding and other miscellaneous expenses on the grace of 30,000.
“How much is a bag of rice, ground nut oil, etc if I may ask? Some of us have siblings and sick parents whose hopes are attached to the same 30,000.
“To worsen it all, the same 30,000 will not be paid as at when due. Funny enough, our government under the control of Sadiya Farouk, the Ministers of Humanitarian affairs and disaster management want us to save from the 30,000.
“This is an amount that is not up to one quarter percent of what they give to their children for shopping; an amount that does not reach what their children put on as cloths and jewelries on daily basis.”
Speaking further he said,” in addition, we can recall that before the 2019 Presidential Election, we were made to understand by Mr. Afolabi that our voter’s cards determine our permanency. “
“We mobilized ourselves, came out in mass to support this government. We spent our money going to Abuja for the campaign so as to ensure that President Muhammad Buhari regains his office as the president of Nigeria. Npower beneficiaries in various states and Local Governments were equally forced by their focal persons to come out in mass during APC campaign.
“So many states even took attendance and beneficiaries that didn’t show up were penalized. All these were geared towards ensuring that Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari excel as the president so that the promises of absorption that was made through Mr. Afolabi will be fulfilled.
“But at the end, our hopes were truncated as we have been pushed back to the streets without absorption or an exit package.”
MTN Nigeria Picks Karl Toriola as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Designate
MTN Nigeria, Africa’s leading telecommunications company, has appointed Mr. Karl Toriola as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) designate.
In a statement released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website, the company said the appointment is effective from the 1st of March 2021 to give enough time for an orderly handover.
According to the company, Mr. Toriola is presently the Vice President of West and Central Africa (WECA), excluding Nigeria and Ghana, since 2016.
The statement reads “During his tenure, the WECA markets have made significant commercial and strategic strides. These include the improvement of market shares within the region and the development of mobile financial services.
“Since joining the Group in 2006, Mr. Toriola has also held a number of senior operational roles including Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, CEO of MTN Cameroon and MTN Group Operations Executive. Mr. Toriola has at various times in his career in MTN Group, had oversight responsibility of 16 of the Group subsidiaries and serves on various MTN boards, including MTN Nigeria.
“Mr. Toriola obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Ife, a Master of Science degree in Communication Systems from the University of Wales, and attended the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. In addition, he has attended several executive development courses at various institutions including Wharton Business School, Institute of Management Development and London Business School.”
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