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After Etisalat’s exit, foreign telco partners have now threatened disconnection over unpaid bills

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Foreign telecommunications partners have threatened to disconnect their Nigerian partners as a result of failed payments. The threats, if carried out, could lead to difficulties in making international calls from the country to other countries in Europe, America and other parts of the world.

The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo made the threat known, stating that some of the companies had already issued a notice of disconnection of service to their Nigerian counterparts. Although the Nigerian partners were not mentioned, AT&T, T-Mobile, Orange Telecom were mentioned as some of the foreign partners.

According to Adebayo, international calls are made possible as a result of international interconnect system which Nigerian telcos have a duty to pay some fees for in some cases 30 days and some maximum of 90 days. Nigerian telcos have been however unable to meet up with this obligation and as a result have been threatened with disconnection from the interconnect services of some of their foreign partners

As to the reason why Nigerian telcos have failed to meet their obligations, inability to access forex as at when needed was cited by some companies. Some of the telecommunications companies have thus accumulated debts in foreign currencies, which have proved difficult to settle. “There appears to be accumulation of debts on the part of Nigerian operators, not their fault though, but their inability to access forex,” explains a source to Guardian.

This is coming hot on the heels of the exit of telecommunications giant, Etisalat, from the country. This sequence of events is leading some to believe that there is a need for a round-table table discussion between telco companies, regulators and government.

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“I think it is time we have a core telecoms summit where there will be the Presidency, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NCC and other stakeholders, to actually sort out this matter. Just imagine what Etisalat is currently battling with. We don’t want such things again. The sector should be supported to move the economy forward,” suggests Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMs).

Chacha Wabara-Ogbobine is a Legal practitioner with over 9years post call experience. A research Consultant, professional writer and a blogger at heart,owner of four thriving websites with well over 10years of experience. Totally in love with keeping fit and coaching weight loss enthusiasts. I love my quiet time, being with my kids, watching TV series for hours on end.

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria to exit recession by first quarter of 2021

The Minister of Finance has said that Nigeria will exit the economic recession by the first quarter of 2021.

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Finance, Ministaer, vow to recover AMCON debt through issuance of promissory notes, FG reiterates stance on IPPIS as ASUU threatens strike, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed identifies capital market as key driver for economic growth , Nigeria has paid $1.09 billion to service its debts in 2019  , Dividends on oil proceeds will be taxed - FG , State governments own most bad roads - Finance Minister says, Budget deficit increases by N351.98 billion, as FG misses revenue target, Economy: Funding MSMEs in Nigeria , Finance Bill: New tax regime to take effect from Jan 2 - FG , Again, Finance Minister argues that Nigeria is not in debt distress , ECOWAS: Single currency regime not kicking off in 2020  , FG: CBN holds N43 billion stamp duty charges collected by banks , FG may shift deadline to deactivate bank accounts without tax verification, Confusion as ministry and presidency disagree over Finance Act start date, 7.5% VAT: Implementation to begin Feb 1 – FG , Finance Minister: Nigeria to go into recession if ..., Foreign tech companies that will now pay tax to FGN: see the criteria

The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Monday, November 23, 2020, said the country will exit recession by the first quarter of 2021 as the Nigerian government is working towards reversing the declining economic trend in the country.

According to Channels Television, this disclosure was made by Mrs. Zainab Ahmed while speaking on the latest GDP figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) about the current recession in the country at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

The Finance Minister said the COVID-19-induced recession followed the pattern across the world, where many countries had entered an economic recession.

Ahmed said, “Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth.”

The country’s economy posted a second consecutive negative growth, contracting by 3.62% in the third quarter. This negative growth is much better than the 6.01% that was earlier forecasted by the NBS.

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Also at the Economic Summit, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, emphasized that the government is committed to working in synergy with the private sector to foster equitable growth and underpin national development.

The 26th Nigerian Economic Summit focuses on building resilient partnerships for Nigeria’s households, businesses, and the general economy.

What you should know

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It can be recalled that on Saturday, NBS announced that the country had entered its second recession in 5 years in the third quarter of this year, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell for the second consecutive quarter.

According to figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first nine months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48%, just as it recorded a -6.10% in the second quarter.

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Business News

United Securities Limited changes name to Coronation Registrars Limited

United Securities Limited formally notifies its numerous customers and stakeholders of a change of name to Coronation Registrars Limited.

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In line with section 30(3) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA), United Securities Limited has formally notified its numerous customers and stakeholders that it has obtained regulatory approval from the Corporate Affairs Commission to change its name to Coronation Registrars Limited.

The disclosure is contained in a verified post on Linkedln, signed by the firm’s Secretary, Omotoyosi Kola-Ojo, and seen by Nairametrics.

What this means

In line with the recent corporate action and according to section 30(5) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the company has been issued a new Certificate of Incorporation by the Registrar General of the commission, evidencing the change of name.

What they are saying

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A verified post by the Firm read thus: “The Public is hereby informed that United Securities Limited having passed the necessary Special Resolutions in line with Section 30(3) of Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA) and obtained the necessary regulatory approval of the Corporate Affairs Commission, has changed its name to CORONATION REGISTRARS LIMITED.

The public is further informed that pursuant to Section 30(5) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the company has been issued a new certificate of incorporation by the Registrar General of the Commission evidencing the change of name. All stakeholders are requested to take note of the above information.”

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Energy

Nigeria imported over 55% of cooking gas consumed in October 2020

55.47% of cooking gas consumed by Nigerians in October 2020 was imported, according to a recent report by the PPPRA.

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Nigerians paid less to refill cooking gas in October - NBS report

Nigeria imported 55.47% of cooking gas, known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), consumed in October 2020, with the remaining 44.53% sourced and supplied locally.

This is according to the monthly LPG supply data, provided by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). The data confirmed steady growth in the import of LPG, compared with the previous month (19.6%) and the corresponding period of 2019 (13.2%).

  • Data released by the PPPRA indicated that the total quantity of LPG both imported and sourced locally in October 2020 was 123.27 thousand Metric Tonnes in Vacuum (MT (Vac)).
  • Out of this, 68.37 thousand MT (Vac) was imported, and 54.90 thousand MT (Vac) was sourced locally.

(READ MORE: EndSARS: A day by day timeline of the protest that has brought Nigeria to its knees)

  • Imports grew by 19.6% in October, compared with September and by 13.2% compared to the corresponding period of 2019.
  • On the other hand, LPG sourced locally declined by 30.8%, compared with the previous month. However, it grew significantly by 219.3% compared with the corresponding period of 2019.
  • NIPCO, with Port of Discharge at BOP, Apapa and PWA, Lagos, was the highest importer of the commodity into the country in October 2020, with 32.67 thousand MT (Vac) of LPG, representing 47.8% of the total import and 26.5% of total LPG supplied in the period under review.
  • The other importers, according to the data, includes Matrix Energy, 12.46 thousand MT (Vac); Algasco LPG Services Limited, a subsidiary of Vitol, 13.82 thousand MT (Vac); Prudent, 5.63 thousand MT (Vac); and Hyson, 3.80 thousand MT (Vac).
  • The origin of the imported LPG was the USA and Equatorial Guinea. The USA supplied 50.27 thousand MT (Vac), representing 73.5%, while Equatorial Guinea supplied 18.10 thousand MT (Vac), representing 26.5%. Imported LPG was discharged at BOP, Apapa; Matrix Jetty, Warri; PWA, Lagos, and Prudent Energy Jetty, Oghara.

(READ MORE: FG gives reasons for fuel subsidy removal, discloses alternative to kerosene)

  • NIPCO was responsible for 26.42 thousand MT (Vac) of the total 54.90 thousand MT (Vac) sourced locally in October 2020; Algasco sourced 13.20 thousand MT (Vac); Stockgap Fuels Limited sourced 8.19 thousand MT (Vac), and Rainoil sourced 7.08 MT (Vac).
  • The origin of the locally sourced LPG was NLNG, Bonny and BRT. NLNG supplied 47.82 thousand MT (Vac), representing 87.1%; while BRT supplied 7.08 thousand MT (Vac) representing 12.9%. Local LPG was discharged at PWA, Lagos; Rainoil Jetty, Lagos; Lister Jetty, Apapa; and Stockgap Jetty, Port Harcourt.

What this means

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The 30.8% decline in local supply compared to the previous month is particularly worrying, considering the huge proven gas reserves in the country estimated at over 200 trillion cubic feet.

However, the 219.3% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2019 may mean that all is well. The 55.1% increase in locally sourced LPG from 35.40 thousand MT (Vac) in August to 54.90 thousand MT (Vac) in October 2020 appears to further confirm there may be no cause for alarm.

Notwithstanding the improvement, the country needs to make concerted efforts towards developing facilities and capabilities needed to improve local production of LPG, since it has abundant gas reserves.

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What you should know

It may be argued that efforts are being made towards improving on what is currently obtainable. In this context, Nairametrics reported that the country has increased its LPG storage capacity to 69,968 Metric Tonnes. The latest addition being the 8,400 MT Tonnes capacity built by Techno Oil in Kirikiri, Lagos.

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