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Telecom Firms May Cut Down on New Workers



  • Telecom Firms May Cut Down on New Workers This Year

Telecommunications companies in the country may have lost over N10bn in revenue in the last two weeks due to fuel shortage and this may affect planned recruitment of casual and permanent workers by some of them this year, it has been learnt.

Following Nigeria’s exit from recession, the major telecoms companies are planning new recruitments this year in order to boost their workforce and enhance revenue growth, especially with the consistent low profits garnered per user in the previous years.

With companies like WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook offering the same services as the telcos, the revenue by the firms, which also provide data for the applications to work, has reduce drastically.

A top management employee of one of the telcos said on Friday, “But having lost over N10bn in the last two weeks and with no signs that the fuel scarcity will end soon, there are strong feelers that the telecoms companies that have planned to recruit new workers from January 2018 may have to put a hold on such plans.

“Another option left to them will be to curtail the number of workers they plan to recruit.”

The source said that the lack of adequate power supply in most parts of the country meant that the telcos mostly ran on generators “and are now spending twice or thrice more to buy petrol and diesel that have now become gold in the country.”

“This continues to be debilitating to offering quality services; power provided by both the national electricity grid and generators are also problematic,” the source added.

Parallel Wireless, a telecoms company in Africa, says a solution to the current challenges being faced by telecoms companies in the country will be for the government to help them provide value to the rural market.

According to the company, investments in Nigeria’s rural areas will mean affordable workforce and employment opportunities to the millions of unemployed people in the rural areas.

The company stated in a response to an enquiry by our correspondent, “The service providers require innovative technology solutions to address the unique problems faced by them in addressing the rural market. One of the most critical issues faced by them is that of high incidence of power outages, which adds to the increased cost of conducting business as the telcos are forced to use generators to keep the networks up and running.

“Secondly, extremely low average revenue per user means that the telcos find it hard to justify the massive investment to expand and modernise the networks.

“These factors limit the expansion of mobile networks in the rural areas and ensure that the population is unable to gain from the benefits of broadband.”

To solve these problems, Parallel Wireless proposes bringing down the cost of deploying the networks.

It said, “The telcos need to bring down the cost of deploying the network to bridge the digital gap and to address the vast potential of the rural market.

“Doing that will include exploring the benefits of 2G technology, still the mainstay of the African market.

“Parallel Wireless’s combines the benefits of 2G technology with the concept of virtualisation to offer easy-to-install, easily upgradeable solution, uniquely suited to the requirements of the rural market. It consumes as much as three-times reduced power and covers a much larger area when compared with a traditional network.”

An industry player, Oreoluwa Runsewe, said that by leveraging 2G technologies, “two problems are solved: the rural market is maximised, while less power is consumed in producing these services.”

He noted that by creating an ecosystem built mainly around Africa’s rural market, the biggest user of telco services would help raise revenue.

“Deployment of a rural mobile ecosystem can make a significant contribution to Africa’s economy and growth. It is imperative that telcos adopt the technologies, which make it easier for them to address the rural market, which in turn will allow the population in the hinterland to benefit from connectivity,” Runsewe added.

The Executive Secretary, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Gbolahan Awonuga, said the Global System for Mobile communications companies, Long-Term Evolution operators and Internet Service Providers remained the biggest consumers of diesel in the country.

He explained that as of 2014, the firms were spending an estimated N175m daily or N45bn monthly on diesel for powering their Base Transceiver Stations nationwide, amounting to N540bn at the end of the year.

Awonuga said, “This figure is bound to have risen by about 35 per cent in the year ended December 31, 2015, and doubled in 2016, going by the expansion of base stations across the country and the fluctuation in the price of diesel, as well as the worsening power situation in the country.

“Operators in the sector have always relied on generators in an industry that does not tolerate recurrent downtimes, and the decision by the telecoms operators to outsource most of the sites to tower operators has not significantly reduced the cost of managing the sites.

“This is because the cost of managing the sites was passed to the service providers who in turn pass it down to telecoms consumers.”

However, the Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, said the power cost of a site connected to the grid was only about one sixth of that of a fuel-powered site, “but only about 10 to 15 per cent of the BTS are connected to the electric power grid.”

“Primarily, because of fuel costs, the average network cost in Nigeria is twice or thrice higher than the cost in a number of other African markets. The implications of such absence of reliable power infrastructure are far-reaching,” he stated.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya


Jeff Bezos Sets a New Record as Net Worth Hits $172bn



Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos Breaks His Own Record, Now Worth $172bn

Jeff Bezos, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Amazon Inc, on Wednesday broke his own record to set a new all-time record of $172 billion net worth.

Bezos’s previous record was $167.7 billion attained in September 2018. However, the billionaire broke the record on Wednesday after Amazon shares gained 4.4 percent to close at $2,878.80 per share.

Jeff Bezos companies

This is despite the billionaire parting with 19.7 million Amazon shares in July 2019 as part of his divorce settlement to his wife, Mackenzie Bezos.

Mackenzie Bezos’s 19.7 million shares now worth around $56.9 billion, making her the second richest woman and the thirteenth richest person in the world.

Jeff Bezos’s net worth has now risen by $57.4 billion from the year-to-date, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Jeff bezos Net worth

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Opay Pauses Some Business Operations as COVID-19 Bites



Opay halts business units

OPay Halts Some Business Units Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Opay, a seamless mobile money service provider, has announced it would be putting some of its business units on hold as COVID-19 pandemic bites.

In a statement released by the Chinese owned mobile money start-up on its official twitter page @OPay_NG, the company said “We can confirm that some of our business units including the ride-hailing services, ORide, OCar as well as our logistics service OExpress will be put on pause.”

This, it said was largely due to the tough business environment brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and government ban of motorbikes in Lagos.

The statement read “Globally, ride-sharing businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. But several months ago, foreseeing this issue, OPay had already taken preemptive steps to restructure our business focus away from rides. It is worth to note that this final restructuring has minimal impact on OPay as a whole business.”

“It is important to clarify that ride-sharing had always been only one part, and not a major part of OPay’s diversified business in Nigeria. In fact, OPay had been investing more and seeing accelerated growth in its commitment to Nigeria’s financial and technology inclusion.

“During the pandemic, we have seen continued demand for our offline mobile money agency, and online digital payment, which remains the core of our business.

“From January to April 2020 for example, we witnessed a 44% growth of offline and online transaction value even in the midst of pandemic and lockdown. This is a testament to the high demand for flexible and easy financial services by Nigerians. OPay remains one of the most well-funded and profitable mobile money platforms in Nigeria, and we will continue to do more for our customers.”

Below is the company’s official statement as published on Twitter.

Opay Statement

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Facebook, Google Earn 80% of Annual Digital Ads Spend – Report



facebook and google ads revenue uk

Facebook, Google Earn 80% of the £14bn Spent on Digital Ads in 2019

A recent report from the United Kingdom’s competition watchdog has shown that Facebook and Google earned 80 percent of all the money spent by advertisers on digital platforms in 2019.

In the 440-page report, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), UK said Google and Facebook market positions are having a “profound impact” on newspapers that now receive almost 40 percent of all visits to their sites through the two platforms.

“This dependency potentially squeezes their share of digital advertising revenues, undermining their ability to produce valuable content,” the watchdog said.

This is coming two weeks after Investors King called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to protect Small and Medium businesses against Facebook and Google activities or watch the nation’s SMEs die. Investors King had posited that “Nigerian startups can not compete with Facebook and the recent tax announced by the Federal Government through the ministry of finance would not be enough to stop these giant tech companies from taking advantage of Nigeria’s young growing market.

According to the CMA report, out of the £14 billion spent on digital advertising in the United Kingdom in 2019, Google with more than 90 percent share of market search earned £7.3 billon while Facebook with more than 50 percent of display market earned £5.5 billion. Representing 80 percent of the total digital ads spent in 2019.

While the report admits that the two platforms help small businesses reach customers and are valued by users, it also said they have “developed such unassailable market positions that rivals can no longer compete on equal terms”.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at CMA, said: “What we have found is concerning – if the market power of these firms goes unchecked, people and businesses will lose out.

“People will carry on handing over more of their personal data than necessary, a lack of competition could mean higher prices for goods and services bought online and we could all miss out on the benefits of the next innovative digital platform.

“Our clear recommendation to government is that a new pro-competitive regulatory regime be established to address the concerns we have identified and regulate a sector which is central to all our lives.”

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