30 Jun

Daily Watch – Rivers workers sue Wike, MTN gets license for 4G/LTE

  • MTN Nigeria says it has paid ₦80 billion out of its reviewed ₦330 billion fine. The telcoms firm has also been won the NCC’s auction for a 10-year frequency spectrum licence for the 2.6GHz band, which is expected to “guarantee superior performance for wireless networks, especially 4G internet services. MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Ferdi Moolman, said the company paid ₦30 billion in addition to the ₦50 billion paid earlier in the year. He also said that after complying with all the requirements for the 2.6GHz auction and making the licence payment of ₦18.96 billion to the NCC, MTN had been issued a letter of award. Although Nigeria is one of 28 African countries that currently offer 4G/LTE services, the rate of penetration is restricted to a few major cities. The NCC has described this spectrum as a significant trigger for a broadband revolution that will unlock benefits such as greater coverage, access, affordability and innovation, with the customer at the centre of these gains.
  • No less than 254 workers, whose salaries have been stopped since February 2016, have filed a lawsuit against the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, at the Industrial Court. The workers, primary and demonstration school teachers at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education and Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, have asked the court to compel Rivers to pay their salaries. Governor Wike had announced in February that Rivers would no longer pay the salaries of primary and secondary schools’ teachers of demonstration schools of RSUST and other designated institutions where pupils and students pay school fees.
  • Nigeria is far from achieving its objective of regular power supply as 1,000MW of Independent Power Plant capacity is idle due to a lack of gas delivery. The President of Nigerian Gas Association, Bolaji Osunsanya, said that indigenous players are making significant strategic investments in gas and virtual pipelines to power IPPs and industrial customers. According to him, the gradual movement of the market towards the concept of “willing buyer, willing seller”, and the government’s willingness to ensure an investment-friendly environment, will engender Nigeria’s long term gas development.
  • The Trans Niger Pipeline, one of Nigeria’s key oil pipelines is still shut for repairs. Shell’s spokesman, Precious Okolobo, said that the pipeline, which carries Bonny Light crude oil for export and runs through Awara, south-east Nigeria, had been shut for repairs since June 8 following a leak. Okolobo didn’t give a time frame for its re-opening. The TNP transports around 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Bonny Export Terminal and is part of the gas liquids evacuation infrastructure critical for continued domestic power generation (Afam VI power plant) and liquefied gas exports. With operations through the pipeline shut, Nigeria’s crude oil export capacity is negatively impacted by a reduction of at least 180,000 barrels per day. Also, gas supplies to Afam VI power plant and other critical plants necessary for power generation and supply to parts of the country remained constrained.