10 Aug

Daily Watch – MTN gets listing deadline, Paga clocks 9 million users

  • Nigeria has approved a $150 million loan from the World Bank to help eradicate polio and scale up immunisation. After a global effort to wipe out polio, there were just 22 cases on earth last year, down from 350,000 30 years ago, according to the World Health Organisation. Nigeria was on the verge of eradicating the virus but recorded its first case in two years in 2016. It is now one of only three countries left on earth where polio still exists, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, the WHO says. Nigeria has recorded no new cases in 21 months and could be certified polio-free by July 2019 if none are found. The 20-year loan comes with a 1.25 per cent interest rate and no payments are due for five years. The funds would be applied in 12 states, mostly in the northern part of Nigeria, some of which have been hit by Boko Haram insurgency.
  • The NCC says MTN Nigeria must complete its listing on the NSE by May 2019. Speaking during an interactive session with journalists, Umar Danbatta, NCC executive vice chairman added that the commission is conducting a new due diligence exercise on Teleology, the preferred bidder for 9mobile. An NSE listing had been one of the conditions reached by the NCC and MTN for the settlement of a 2015 fine imposed on the company for not disconnecting unregistered sim cards. In April, Rob Shuter, MTN chief executive officer, said the company will complete its listing in 2018 if the conditions are right.
  • The Honeywell Group has launched a new investment vehicle and accelerator called Itanna. Led by Tomi Otudeko, Head, Innovation and Sustainability for Honeywell Group, Itanna will roll out four-month innovation programmes for tech-enabled Nigerian startups from its newly built Enterprise Factory located in Iganmu, the heart of industrial Lagos; with its pilot cohort of startups receiving USD $25,000 each in investment from Honeywell Group. Itanna launches with four cohort companies – Accounteer- providers of online accounting services for SMEs across Africa; KoloPay – a cashless target savings mobile and web application, Tradebuza – an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and out-grower scheme, and PowerCube -providers of affordable power supply using renewable energy.
  • The Nigerian manufacturers of soft-drink Big Cola have secured a $50 million (₦15.3 billion) investment from UK-based Duet Partners in a deal that could help the company compete better in a saturated FMCG sector. Duet, a principal investor in emerging and frontier markets, formally announced on 1 August that it has acquired a majority stake in AJEAST Nigeria. The deal marks Duet’s sixth investment in the FMCG sector in sub-Saharan Africa and its first in Nigeria. Proceeds of the investment will be used to accelerate in select international territories, facilitate the launch of new products and brands, and increase our production capacity and volume. The deal marks the fifth in Nigeria’s FMCG space this year, with Affelka’s ₦21.45 billion buyouts of the Nigerian minority shareholders of 7up in January and De-United’s ₦775 million investment in Mimee noodles in April leading the pack.
  • Paga, has hit 9 million unique users on its platform. Just 4 months ago, the company had 8 million users. Since 2012, the company has processed 57 million transactions worth over $3.6 billion and is now profitable. The company, which has the largest agent network, over 15,000 transacting agents, of any Nigerian financial payments service, was recently recognised by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System as the mobile money operator with the highest transaction count on its Global Mobile Regulatory & Monitoring Platform in 2017.
  • 21st Century Technologies has become the first data centre in Africa to achieve the Multi-tier Cloud Security standard. This standard describes the relevant cloud computing security practices and controls for public cloud users, public cloud service providers, auditors and certifiers. With this new milestone, 21st Century Technologies Data Centre becomes the most certified data centre on the continent with 8 top certifications