Connect with us


Buhari Allegedly Waives N70b Spectrum Fee for Telcos



Kindly share this post

Facts have emerged on how President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), allegedly waived over N70 billion in spectrum fees for Emerging Market Telecommunications Service (EMTS), trading as 9mobile in Nigeria.

Buhari Allegedly Waives N70b Spectrum Fee for Telcos

According to The Guardian, since the rebranding of Etisalat to 9mobile in July 2017, the firm has been linked to a particular billionaire in the north with close ties to the Presidency. This is believed to have granted the telecommunications firm some preferential treatment in the industry, as against other telcos.

The Guardian sighted a letter from the NCC, which conveyed approval of the waiver to the telecommunications firm.

Approval of such a waiver, according to industry sources, is a clear case of favouritism and unfairness to other competitors. They claimed the action has potential to distort the level playing field and undermine growth of the telecoms industry in Nigeria.

According to sources, the waiver formed part of last minute underhand dealings, which the ministry, through its closeness to the Presidency, was able to facilitate.

The letter by NCC, signed by its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, dated May 8, 2023, was addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the telecommunications, EMTS, titled: ‘RE: Appeal for Concession on Payment of Spectrum Licence Fees’.

The commission, in the letter, referred to the above subject matter and also the presidential approval conveyed through a letter with reference number: HMCDE/026/GEN/Vol. VII, dated April 6, 2023, from the office of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy on the request by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (EMTS).

In the letter, NCC said it conveyed the approval of Mr. President on the prayers of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy for necessary action.

According to the letter, the prayers were: a 50 per cent waiver on the total amount on the outstanding spectrum fees due to the Federal Government of Nigeria; installment payment of the balance of 50 per cent (unwaived) of the outstanding Spectrum fees spread over a period of 10 years; and that EMTS should make immediate payment of the first installment of the amount (50 per cent) to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

In view of these prayers, EMTS was informed that the amount waived on 900/1800MHz band is N43, 608,048,767.50 and for the 2100MHz band, N29, 329, 977, 600.00.

In addition, the document revealed that installment payment of the balance, yearly, for 900/1800MHz band is N4,360,804,876.75 and for the 2100MHz band, N2, 932,997,760.00, over a period of 10 years.

EMTS was told that the amount immediately due for first installment of 900/1800MHz band is N4, 360,804,876.75 and for the 2100MHz band, N2, 932,997,760.00.

According to the letter, EMTS is to ensure immediate payment of the amount stated for payment as approved by Mr. President vide a letter, dated March 31, 2023.

The telecommunications firm is also to note that this concession does not only apply to new accruals on spectrum, and EMTS is to ensure strict compliance, as appropriate sanctions shall be applied in cases of non-compliance.

However, efforts to get more clarifications on this development from NCC proved abortive as of press time.

The Guardian,reached out to the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Mouka, on Tuesday, who promised to clarify and get back on Wednesday, but as of press time, yesterday, there was no information from him.

Several calls were put across to his mobile numbers, but his network operators claimed the numbers were switched-off. Text messages were equally sent to the numbers without any response, as of the time of filling this copy.

The Guardian,also reached out to the Head, Corporate Commission, NCC, Mrs. Nnenna Okoha, who directed our reporter to NCC, Director of Public Affairs.

Truly, spectrum has been described as the life wire of the telecommunications industry. Only recently, during a 5G auction, which presented MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications and Airtel as winners, between 2021 and 2022, the Federal Government, through the NCC, raked in some $820 million from fees paid for the licenses.

Source: The Guardian


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.


MultiChoice Group Launches “Moment” an integrated payment platform for Africa



Kindly share this post

MultiChoice Group, Rapyd and General Catalyst have entered into a joint venture agreement aimed at developing an integrated payment platform for Africa. The joint venture will operate under a new company, called Moment.

Moment offers expanded payment infrastructure for businesses across Africa to help them collect and make payments easier, quicker, and more affordable in any manner that their buyers or suppliers prefer.

Moment will also offer additional options for consumers to spend and save money more wisely. The aim is to transform the African payments landscape by making digital payments more accessible and reliable for domestic, cross-border and global payments.

“We are excited about our venture with Rapyd and General Catalyst. It will address the need for an accessible and reliable payment platform for many small businesses and millions of consumers in Africa.

“Investing in this venture is a logical progression for us, as we already process payments every month from 22 million households across 50 countries in Africa.

“Moment fulfills our strategy to expand our ecosystem, by investing in adjacent businesses that provide scalable services, underpinned by technology”, said Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO.

Moment will consolidate the $3.5B in payments that the MultiChoice Group processes annually to expand options for subscribers and make payment processes efficiently, as well as extend Africa’s most complete payment network to African and global businesses.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with MultiChoice and our network partners to provide Africa’s most complete payment platform for businesses through Moment.

“Africa is one of the most exciting markets in the world – with tremendous opportunities to expand the use of digital payments, drive cash payments to real-time digital payments, and to capitalise on the tremendous entrepreneurial drive of African businesses,” says Arik Shtilman, CEO of Rapyd.

“Africa represents one of the most exciting investment opportunities for global investors. Over the next 20 years, most of the population growth of the world will be happening in Africa, along with increasing urbanisation.

“African consumers and businesses are not only moving business online, but will be the labour force for the world across the next 20 years,” adds Adam Valkin, Managing Director at General Catalyst Partners.

The long-term plan is to provide the infrastructure for pan-African payments for the 44 million small businesses operating on the continent. It is also to turn the 90% of retail transactions that are currently taking place in cash, into digital payments.

Moment aims to make digital transactions more accessible to the 350 million consumers that are underbanked or not banked at all.

Some of Moment’s long term service offering include:

  • Payments across 40+ countries in Africa through 200+ locally preferred payment methods to collect, disburse and manage risk.
  • Drive adoption of PayShap, TCIB, NQR, and other real-time payment methods across all markets.
  • Global-Africa trade for importers and exporters with  virtual accounts in 40+ currencies and local payments in 130+ countries.
  • Payment tools, deep inventory to sell and financial services for micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs.
  • Offering consumers payments, savings and rewards.

Moment gives MultiChoice another opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the economic development of the African continent. It will play a key role in accelerating cash-to-digital payments for all consumers and businesses and making the continent more investment ready for global players, by connecting payments from Africa to the world,” Mawela concluded.

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading


Clickatell Wins Business Efficiency Solutions Provider of the Year @ABoICT Awards



Kindly share this post

Clickatell, a pioneer in mobile messaging and Chat Commerce innovation, was acknowledged by Nigeria Communications Week as the winner in the Business Efficiency Solutions Provider of the Year category as part of their 14th Africa’s Beacon of ICT Merit and Leadership (ABoICT) Awards, held on 27 May at the Lagos Oriental Hotels, Lekki.

A respected local technology publication, acknowledges and champions through the awards best practices and outstanding contributions to the growth of the ICT sector. Clickatell was declared a winner in its category through a voting process that included business leaders, readers, as well as independent quality experts.

In a letter announcing the achievement, Ken Nwogbo, Editor In-Chief of Nigeria Communications Week said, “This is a testament to your talents, innovations, contributions and commitments to the growth of the ICT industry, and we are happy that Nigerians have recognized your hard work, sincerity and dedication towards the development of the ICT industry.”

Speaking after the awards ceremony and annual ABoICT lecture delivered this year by Dr. Krishnan Ranganath, Regional Executive, West Africa, Africa Data Centres FZE Nigeria, Clickatell’s Samson Isa, Regional Managing Director, West Africa, shared his thoughts on the past year and what the award means for the company and his team.

“We are delighted to once again be recognized by our peers at this prestigious event. Over the past year we have seen a marked increase in awareness of chat commerce with some great success stories coming from early adopters.

“Over the last 12 months, Clickatell has expanded to provide new and full commerce experiences in mobile messaging channels and worked closely with local customers to begin their chat commerce journey.

“We have helped them to optimize their processes, improve efficiencies and ultimately reduce costs.

“It is a great honor to see our efforts formally recognized, not just by our satisfied customers, but by the industry in general here tonight,” Isa said.

According to Isa, companies in the banking and aviation sectors have shown particularly strong interest in the opportunities offered by chat commerce, and he says transactions on Clickatell’s Chat Commerce Platform have increased by over 25% compared to 2022.

According to Isa, chat commerce is also set to revolutionize the retail sector in the coming months.

“Despite the many macro-economic pressures of the last year, we are pleased to see our business expanding into more verticals as Nigerian business leaders become more familiar with chat commerce.

“We believe this will continue into 2024 and beyond. We are grateful to the organizers for creating platforms such as this, where the industry can salute one another’s efforts.

“We congratulate all the participants and winners and we are proud to be in such excellent company,” Isa added.

Clickatell’s Chat Commerce offering has already been deployed by many respected brands including EcoBank, Wema Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank. In the past year the company has also added among others CBN, eNaira, and QRIOS tto its list of clients.

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading


Tecno Debuts Newest Materials of Magic Skin on Smartphone in Africa



Kindly share this post

Global innovative technology brand TECNO just unveiled its latest breakthrough in material innovation in smartphone design – the “Magic Skin” in Africa, making it the first to bring this innovative material to African consumers.

It is a brand-new material technology that promises to create phone backs that are skin-friendly, stylish, and easy to clean. This new material will be integrated into the body of TECNO’s phones and applied to CAMON, SPARK, and POP series, ensuring African consumers stay abreast of the global trends on smartphone design innovations.

Stylish Design with Skin-friendly Touch

Magic Skin boasts a sleek and stylish design with a delicate texture, a softer touch, and a better color effect. The phone’s back cover’s vivid colors and vibrant patterns make it chic. TECNO has meticulously tailored Magic Skin to suit the distinctive positioning of each product line, giving each product its unique style.

The design is the outcome of extensive user research. TECNO designers surveyed thousands of African consumers to understand their aesthetic preferences and functional demands. The team then refined every aspect of the process, from perfecting the color implementation to scrutinizing the quality of the patterns.

Moreover, Magic Skin has been engineered to reduce the weight and thickness of the back cover while maintaining durability and practicality. This creates a more seamless integration with the phone, resulting in a comfortable grip.

Dense Molecular Structure Provides Stain Resistance

The benefits of Magic Skin extend far beyond its aesthetic appeal. It is not only visually pleasing but also easy to clean. To achieve optimal performance, a variety of materials were tested and evaluated. The final launch of Magic Skin is a unique blend of polymers and micro-particles that create a very dense molecular structure.

This dense molecular structure makes the material resistant to stains and spills, making it perfect for everyday use. Whether you spill coffee or wine on your phone case, Magic Skin can be effortlessly wiped clean without leaving any residual marks or stains.

Furthermore, the advanced manufacturing process also ensures that Magic Skin can withstand Furthermore, the advanced manufacturing process ensures that Magic Skin can withstand extreme conditions.

The material is waterproof and resistant to abrasion and can maintain its stability in extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to 70°C. In laboratory tests, Magic Skin has demonstrated its superiority in various aspects, such as resistance to denim fabric abrasion, prevention of lipstick and perfume stains, and protection against UV light exposure.

Don’t Stop Creating for Consumers

TECNO again demonstrates its unwavering commitment to delivering stylish and innovative designs incorporating the latest technologies by introducing Magic Skin. This launch is just one of the many milestones on TECNO’s journey toward materials and designs innovation as it continues to push the boundaries and create new possibilities for the future..

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading