15 Aug

Daily Watch – FG frowns on Plateau illegal mining, Telcos bleed 10m subscribers

  • Nigerian telcos lost at least 10 million active subscribers over the last six months, the Guardian reports. According to NCC data, the country entered 2017 with 155.1 million subscribers, but at the end of June, it stood at 143.1 million. Teledensity, which was 110.8 percent at the beginning of the year, fell to 102.2 percent within the period. However, the number of connected lines grew from 238 million in January to 241 million by the end of the half year. According to the paper, MTN lost the most users, about nine million subscribers, followed by 9mobile, which lost over 2.5 million, Airtel 500,000 while Globacom, which celebrated 14 years of operations in Nigeria on 14 August, lost about 200,000 lines.
  • Lagos has raised ₦85.14 billion ($271 million) in 7 and 10-year bonds to fund infrastructure and environmental projects, its commissioner for finance said on Monday. The bond consists of ₦46.37 billion 7-year debt at a 16.75 percent rate and ₦38.77 billion via a 10-year paper with 17.25 percent interest, Akinyemi Ashade said in a statement. The issue is the third tranche of a ₦500 billion debt programme approved by the state parliament last year and was sold through book building, Ashade said. The state sold ₦60 billion worth of 5-year bonds last year, the first tranche of the debt programme planned to be issued over the next two to five years. “We value the reputation we have earned as the most responsible issuer in the Nigerian capital markets and thank everyone who has worked with us to deliver a successful outcome,” Ashade said.
  • Mines & Steel Development minister, Kayode Fayemi, and National Security Adviser, Gen. Babagana Monguno, have ordered an immediate closure of illegal mining sites in Plateau. Both men, in the company of Governor Simon Lalong, visited mining sites at Campania Zurak in Wase Local Government Area. They also ordered the arrest of operators of a supposed illegal mining operation, including some Chinese nationals. Fayemi said that his ministry was responsible for issuing licences to mining companies and that the one Zurak operation had not approached it for a licence.
  • Micro credit disbursement by the Bank of Industry under the federal government’s Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme in Ogun State has hit over ₦450 million. According to the DFI, over 7,000 beneficiaries from 130 associations have so far accessed the ‘marketmoni’ loans in the state. A statement from quoted Governor Ibikunle Amosun, as saying that the “Marketmoni alert train don land” would serve to revitalise MSMEs which were a major catalyst for economic growth.
  • Zenith Bank has made a provision on 30 percent of its loan to 9mobile, the country’s fourth largest telecoms group formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, the bank’s chief executive said on Monday. “We have taken about 30 percent … as a provision which we believe is very prudent as the company is undergoing restructuring … to prepare for a new investor,” Peter Amangbo told a conference call. Nigerian regulators stepped in last month to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse and prevent lenders placing the country’s fourth biggest telecoms group into receivership, prompting a board, management and name change.