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Telecoms Tariffs Dip by 67%, Says MTN

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  • Telecoms Tariffs Dip by 67%, Says MTN

MTN yesterday lamented that telecoms tariffs have declined significantly by over 67 per cent between 2007 and this year while data prices in Nigeria are among the lowest on the continent.

Its CEO, Ferdi Moolman who appeared before the Senate yesterday in Abuja in respect of the suspension of the data hike directive issued to the telcos by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said a number of factors are threatening the sector’s growth sustainability.

Elaborating on the factors, he said: “The rise of headline inflation to about 17.9 per cent; the depletion of operator revenues by unlicensed providers of “over-the-top” telecoms services who do not have any physical presence nor pay any taxes, make any significant contribution to employment or other socio-economic objectives of government in Nigeria; the inability of operators to access foreign exchange (this is particularly debilitating given that most of our inputs are sourced off-shore). This has very significantly increased both operating and capital expenses.”

The telco however restated its commitment to the provision of affordable data and voice services to its customers in the country.

“Despite these macro-economic challenges, telecom tariffs have declined significantly (over 67 per cent between 2007 and 2016) and data prices are amongst the lowest on the continent. “With this in mind, MTN looks forward to the cost study as confirmed by the NCC, and remains committed to working with the regulator and industry to ensure fair value and fair competition in the Nigerian market,” Moolman said.

He said the telco remained unrelentingly committed to the sustained provision of affordable and accessible voice and data services in accordance with the National Broadband Plan (NBP), adding that in line with this commitment and to continue the provision of high speed data services to its esteemed customers, MTN recently bid for, and acquired the 2.6GHz LTE spectrum at the cost of $96million.

“MTN also launched 4G LTE services, enabling faster access to digital platforms and igniting socio-economic development with a multiplier effect on the economy.

“MTN actively contributed to the development of the NBP, and has consistently taken every step to facilitate the achievement of government’s objectives of pervasive, cost-effective and sustainable access to data services by all strata of Nigeria’s population. The company continues to be an ICT development partner to the government and people of Nigeria,”he said.

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

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

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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

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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

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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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