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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.

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Dangote: Businesses, residents lose N86bn daily to Apapa gridlock




Businesses and residents are losing N86 billion to Apapa-Wharf road gridlock daily, Africa’s richest man and President/CEO, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said.
He stated this in Lagos while condemning the challenges posed by traffic jam and heavy presence of different types of taskforce, including the Customs, on the major route leading to the nation’s largest port.
Dangote, who was on an inspection tour of the on-going reconstruction of N4.3 billion Apapa-Wharf road by AG Dangote recently, stated that businesses and residents are losing 20 times the project’s cost daily.
By calculation, N86 billion is being lost by business owners and residents on daily basis.

He said: “People don’t really understand how much money businesses are losing because of the gridlock here; if you quantify it in billions, it is 20 times the cost of this project every single day.”
Consequently, he urged the Federal Government to move the taskforce, including Customs, away from the route to ease traffic.
The reconstruction of the road that leads to Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports is being undertaken by Dangote Group, Nigerian Flour Mill Limited and the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), which are together committing N4.34 billion to the project.

Justifying the involvement of his company in sponsoring the project, Managing Director, Flour Mills Limited, Paul Gbadedo, lamented that it has been difficult for businesses and residents of Apapa.
Noting that the economy of Apapa is very huge, he said that businesses cannot see the traffic and road deteriorating without doing something.
He stated that 75 to 80 per cent of imports passed through the Apapa ports, noting that the road is strategic.

Dangote stressed that it did not make any commercial sense for Customs to mount check points outside the wharf after they might have checked and certified goods at the ports.
“If there should be any more checkpoints, they should be at the toll gates, not here where they are obstructing traffic flow,” he said.

Africa’s richest man said he was impressed with the progress and quality of work being done by AG Dangote, the contractor handling the reconstruction of the road.
He also lauded the palliative work going on on Apapa Oshodi Expressway and the Trailer Park being constructed by government off the expressway, pointing out that these were efforts being made to ensure that the access roads to the ports are decongested.

“My impression of this road has changed because AG Dangote is doing a great and excellent work here. You can see the quality of work being done. This is quite impressive. Even in Germany, you cannot see this kind of quality of road. This road can last at least two generations in which case you will be talking about over 60 years. It is so solid that it can take any weight and any traffic,” Dangote said.
“I can assure you that we will double our efforts to complete the project on schedule, that is, latest by the end of June,” he said.

Chief Executive, AG Dangote, Ajif Juma, stated that the company is facing a lot of challenges, citing traffic and gas pipeline as major ones.
“But now we are working hard to ensure we finish on schedule with some of our workers on night shift,” he said.

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CBN to banks: Settle customers’ complaints within 2 weeks



Deposit Money Banks ( DMBs) and other financial Institutions have been directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to settle customers’ complaints on issues of overcharge, unauthorised deductions and other matters within two weeks.

CBN Head of Complaints management Division, Mr Tajudeen Ahmed, conveyed the Apex Bank’s directive in Abuja. He said the regulator would ensure that bank customers receive redress on issues of excess charges or unauthorised withdrawal.

Ahmed reiterated the CBN’s commitment to eradicating the culture of excess and arbitrary charges. According to him, the CBN has since issued a circular,which could be found on the its website showing all legitimate bank charges. He explained that any charge outside what is contained in the circular was not allowed and should not be charged.

“The Consumer Protection Department issued guidelines to banks dated August 16, 2011, directing all banks and other financial institutions to resolve all customer complaints within two weeks of receipt of that complaint,” he said. “Before the expiration of that complaint, the financial institution is expected to be engaging the customer on a continuous basis to update him or her on the status of the complaint. “If it is not resolved within the deadline given, then such a person is encouraged to draw the attention of Central Bank of Nigeria to find solution to that complaint.”

Ahmed enjoined customers with unresolved complaints to contact the CBN by writing to the Director Consumer Protection Department. He also advised disgruntled bank customers to visit any branch of the CBN closest to them to lay their complaints.

“The CBN continually engages the banks to find out if their conducts and practices are fair to their customers in order to stimulate people’s confidence in the banking system. “Non-adherence to that normally results to regulatory sanctions as the case may be,” he said.

Ahmed faulted banks for setting a limit on ATM withdrawals to get customers to make several withdrawals to cash large sums. “I have also observed and noted this. Don’t forget that at the beginning, it wasn’t like this. Over time, we started having this problem.

“One of the reasons is that the quantum of N500 denomination is much more than that of N1,000 denomination,” he said. “When we approached the banks about these problems, they said that the machines become easily faulty when it is set to dispense up to N30, 000 to N40, 000 units.

“However, CBN has directed that the machines that allow payment of up to N30,000 to N50,000 should be installed. “This is still ongoing. The Banking and Payment Department of the CBN is championing it.” In her remarks, Head, Consumer Protection Department, Mrs Hadija Kasim, admonished bank customers to imbibe cashless policy.

“Let’s not forget that ATM cards can also be used on Point of Sale (POS) terminals. We are encouraging people that unless it is absolutely necessary, they should reduce the carriage of cash. Cashless transactions are more convenient, safer and you will avoid the problem of overcharges,” she said. She advised bank consumers to use bank transfer channels for transactions in cases where sellers do not have POS.

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DAAR Communications commends retired workers



The Management of DAAR Communications Plc has announced the retirement of some members of staff of the organization with effect from Feb 2018.
A statement made available to New Telegraph said those affected had served the organisation between 20 and 25 years.

According to the statement, the Chairman and the Board of the media outfit commended and appreciated the retirees’ pioneering efforts, the outstanding, remarkable contributions and all the personal efforts to the organisation right from inception in 1993/1996.

“They made their respective indelible marks in their respective departments, which cumulatively made the broadcast stations of the organisation not only household names but also a reference point in broadcasting in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and indeed the continent of Africa.
“As they gracefully move into another stage in their respective lives, we wish them the very best and a most successful future endeavor,” the statement added.

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