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Nigeria’s mobile Internet connections rise by 2.5%



MTN, Glo, Airtel gain, 9mobile loses


There seems to be hope on the horizon for telecom operators as active Internet data subscriptions gained traction for three consecutive months to the tune of 2.5 per cent between September and November, 2017, New Telegraph has learnt. The steady rebound is coming after active mobile Internet connections on all mobile networks smarted from protracted abysmal decline in previous months.


According to latest data obtained from Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the marginal growth started from September with 92.9 million. In October, it was at 93.8 million and further rose to 94.8 million in November, 2017.

After hitting an all-timehigh 97.8 million at the end of 2015, Internet data subscrip- tions crashed abysmally to 89.9 million by the end of the first quarter of 2017 and stagnated at the fourth quarter of the same year before picking up at the last quarter. While MTN led with 33.4 million, followed by Glo – 26.9 million, Airtel, 23.1 million with 9mobile trailing behind with 11.4 million.


The NCC latest data noted that while other rival networks were gaining traction, 9mobile was witnessing a decline from October with 11, 710, 658 as against 11,710,658 in September and 11,407,180 in November. Analyst said the 9mobile Internet subscription decline might not be unconnected with the $1.2 billion dollar debt saga owed to a consortium of 13 banks.


Between the time the loan crisis started in early 2017 and now, over five million subscribers have dumped their 9mobile lines or simply migrated to other networks, as the legal tussle over who takes over the 9mobile intensifies. Likewise, the report revealed that subscribers jumping from rival networks to 9mobile have declined considerably from 11,000 monthly to 3,000.


Meanwhile, some of the 9mobile subscribers, who spoke with this newspaper have pledged their unflinching loyalty to the network regardless of the situation on ground as a result of its Internet offerings that, they claimed, remains seamless.


“Why should I port when what has only changed for me is just the name of the network provider? The services have remained the same to me, “ said a computer dealer at the Ikeja Computer Village market, Mr. Akeem badmus. “I am more concerned about the deliverables of the network than the situation on ground that has gained massive media coverage already,” a subscriber at Akute area of Ifo Local Government Area in Ogun State, Mr. Kehinde Idowu, said.


Meanwhile, some subscribers have cited location as another key factor that has informed their decision to stay on 9mobile network.


According to the subscribers, there are many occasions where the signals of other network providers will fail to in their locations while it is only 9mobile that will prove to be reliable.


However, with the recent exit of Airtel from the dramatic scramble for the purchase of 9mobile following a court ruling of Friday Jan 12, 2018 nullifying the propriety the constitution of the interim board of the telecoms company, industry experts have expressed concerns over the fact that the loyalty of a larger chunk of 9mobile subscribers may not endure as things get messier.


Telecoms’ GDP leaps to 1.8% growth




From a decline of -3.28 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in Nigeria’s telecommunications sub-sector jumped to 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year, New Telegraph has learnt.

This, according to latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), shows a general improvement in the Information and Communication sector.

The telecoms and information services, which come under the Information and Communication sector in the NBS’ categorisation of economic activities, had in the last three quarters recorded negative growth rate as it fell by 1.9 per cent in second quarter 2017. In the third quarter of same year, it also went down by -5.68 per cent. By fourth quarter, the sector still went down by -3.28, even at the time when the overall GDP growth rate of the country looked positive.

However, the telecoms sector has shown remarkable signs of growth since the beginning of this year as subscriber data continue to surge.

Analysis of active mobile subscriptions in the first three months of the year shows that the telecom operators added 4.2 million subscribers within the period. Data subscriptions on the four GSM networks also crossed the 100 million mark in January and have maintained a steady growth.

The Information and Communication sector is composed of the four activities of Telecommunications and Information Services; Publishing; Motion Picture, Sound Recording and Music Production and Broadcasting. In nominal terms, the first quarter of 2018 saw the sector grow by 1.79 per cent (year-on-year) , a 7.25 per cent points decrease from the rate of 9.04 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2017. However, it is 2.34 per cent points higher than rate recorded in the preceding quarter. The quarter-on-quarter growth rate was 3.58 per cent. The Information and Communications sector contributed 10.64 per cent to total Nominal GDP in the 2018 first quarter, lower than the rate of 11.43 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2017 but higher than the 10.04 per cent it contributed in the preceding quarter.

The sector, in the first quarter of 2018, recorded a growth rate of 1.58 per cent in real terms, year-on-year. From the rate recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, there was a decline by 1.15 per cent points. Quarter on quarter, the sector exhibited a growth of –4.15 per cent in real terms. Of total real GDP, the sector contributed 12.41 per cent in 2018 first quarter, lower than in the same quarter of the previous year in which it represented 12.46 per cent but higher than the preceding quarter, in which it represented 11.35 per cent.

Analysts see the growth rate as a positive sign of more economic activities in the sector, leading to job creations and increased contribution to the economy.

Citing the NBS statistics, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta recently disclosed that the telecoms sector in the first quarter of 2017 contributed N1.45 trillion to the GDP, adding that in the second quarter, the figure rose to N1.549 trillion.

“This performance at a period of recession is very remarkable,” he said. “We are keeping dates with the NBS to identify and track how these trends progress. On the aggregate, the telecoms industry’s contribution to GDP in Nigeria stands at 10 per cent.

“But the figures may not tell the entire story. Investments in the sector, in human and material resources, have continued to soar. In 2001, the telecom sector could boast of a mere $50 million worth of investments but as at September 2017, we have investments worth $70 billion. The Value Added Services (VAS), segment of the telecom market in Nigeria today is worth $200 million and is estimated to grow to $500 million by 2021. The industry has provided both direct and indirect employment opportunities, accentuated growth and expansion.”

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Reps probe Pencom over alleged financial mismanagement



The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) over alleged reckless financial management of retirees’ funds and infraction on the public procurement Law. The House has consequently mandated its committee on public procurement and pensions to carry out a comprehensive investigation on alleged monumental fraud ongoing at the commission.


The decision followed the passage of a motion sponsored by Hon. Zakariya Galadima on the “need to investigate the alleged violation of provisions of the public procurement Act and financial mismanagement by the National Pension Commission (PENCOM)” During debate, the legislators faulted the commission over several financial infractions as against the principles and objectives of the provisions of the Pension Reform Act, which required the commission to collect and utilize fees, levies and penalties prudently in accordance with its regulatory and compliance roles. For instance, part of the 2014 Act authorizes PENCOM to invest the retiree funds in order to generate revenue but the lawmakers are worried that such investments powers of the agency have been grossly eroded by financial abuses.


In his lead debate, Galadima faulted the agency over several financial mismanagement while expressing worry that PENCOM engaged in fraudulent practice by investing N1billion into Aso Savings and Loans Plc under its investments portfolio at a ridiculously low interest rates and further directed Aso to lend the money to MGSL Mortgage Bank Limited where a top PENCOM management staff has interest.

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Confectionery firm hosts BBNaija ex-housemates



Infusion Cakes & Cafe, a Lagos-based confectionery firm, has hosted ex-housemates of the reality TV show, Big Brother Nigeria (BBNaija), in a meet and greet session in Lagos recently.

Founder and chief executive of Infusion Cakes & Cafe, Mrs. Ibigbeye Okobi, in a statement, said the company decided to host the BBNaija ex-housemates because: “We really enjoyed the free spirit they exhibited, how natural they were and how they were able to get Nigerians to actually get engaged in everything they did while in the house.”

Okobi said the management of Infusion Cakes & Cafe also felt that the location of the company in the highbrow Lekki area of Lagos would serve as an excellent platform for Nigerians who were keen to meet the ex-housemates, get to know and interact with them in a friendly and hospitable environment to really appreciate them.

Infusion Cakes & Cafe is a modern bakery and cafe where customers can get a combination of international and locally made cakes, coffee, pastries and desserts for refreshment, weddings and special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, among others.

The highlight of the event was a competition for the decoration of cakes. Participants in the competition included the reigning Miss Nigeria, Miss Mildred Peace Ehiguese; one of the BBNaija ex-housemates, Anto; and a representative of Team Definition, a band of musical artistes which entertained guests at the session.

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