BUSINESS ROUNDUP: MTN Nigeria pays NTEL N4.2bn; Elumelu increases stake in UBA; other stories

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Hello, and welcome to the Business Roundup this week. Here, we bring you highlights of events that happened during the week -from the capital market to the mainstream business activities, while not forgetting the tech/economy build up.

Here are the Headlines:

· MTN Nigeria pays NTEL N4.2bn to access network

· Tony Elumelu increases stake in UBA with N560m shares

· Nigerian govt to subsidise fee for hajj

· MTN, Airtel, others to disconnect banks over N120bn USSD debt

Summary:

The National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) has agreed to the $250 increase in flight tickets demanded by Air Peace and three other airlines from pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year.

The other airlines are – Azman Air, Max Air, and Aero Contractors.

The NAHCON chairman, Zikrullah Hassan, told journalists on Saturday the pilgrims would not bear the additional cost of airlifting them to Saudi Arabia for the hajj which would commence on May 25.

The airlines had demanded an increase in flight tickets due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

Telecommunications operators in Nigeria have concluded plans to disconnect banks over N120 billion in Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) debt.

The latest move followed approval by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Mobile network operators including MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, and Globacom had in 2021 moved to disconnect the banks over the USSD debt before the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stepped in and resolved the dispute.

The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, who disclosed this to journalists on Friday in Lagos, said the mobile network operators would disconnect banks unless they pay the debt.

The Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Tony Elumelu has acquired more shares to increase his ownership stake in the lender.

This followed a claim by the billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, that Elumelu had sold his investment in UBA.

He purchased 70 million shares in UBA on Tuesday through his investment company, HH Capital Limited, in the Nigerian stock market.

Elumelu, who is also the chairman of Transcorp Plc, paid N560 million for the shares to raise his controlling stake in the bank to 7.16 percent from 6.96 percent reported at the end of December 2022.

READ ALSO:BUSINESS ROUNDUP: GTB’s Agbaje is Nigeria’s highest-paid bank CEO in 2022. Cash shortages in Q1 to weaken Nigeria’s growth; other stories

MTN Nigeria has agreed to a N4.25 billion spectrum deal with Natcom Development and Investment Limited (NTEL).

Details of the deal showed MTN paid N4.25 billion to lease NTEL’s 5MHz Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) in the 900MHz spectrum band and 10MHz FDD in the 1800MHz spectrum band covering 19 states.

MTN will have access to the spectrum for two years, effective from May 1, 2023, according to a statement dated May 8, 2023, which was released to the capital market authority, Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), on Tuesday.

On NSE ROUNDUP: Export proceeds rise by 40%, CBN reveals

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, stated on Tuesday that the repatriation of export revenues into the nation increased by 40% to $5.6 billion in 2022.

He said this was a result of the implementation of the Race to $200 billion (RT 200) project, adding, that the apex bank had so far given exporters N144 billion in rebates under the rebate programme.

Emefiele made this announcement in Lagos at the third RT 200 Non Oil Export meeting.

The summit was convened under the topic “RT200: Challenges and Prospects to Success” to assess the success of the RT 200 initiative, which was initiated in the first half of 2022 with the goal of raising $200 billion in currency profits from non-oil proceeds over the following three to five years.

On the tech scene, Twitter, Balad, Google, Salad, TWIG, Mozn, Dojah, Deliverect, MBZUAI, TDH, DisrupTech, Abeokuta Tech Party, Jendamark, were some of the names that made the headlines in the tech ecosystem this week.

A Nigerian identity verification solutions company, Dojah, has announced launching an advanced fraud detection tool, EasyDetect, that empowers businesses to identify and prevent fraudulent activities on their platforms.

Also, in the latest rating made by Financial Times, Zone, a blockchain network for payments, has been named Africa’s Fastest Growing Blockchain Company in 2023.

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