The long-anticipated Initial Public Offering (IPO) of MTN Communications Nigeria Limited, will most likely experience difficulties due to the $10.1 billion demand by the Nigerian authorities.
This was disclosed yesterday by Mr Ralph Mupita, the Chief Financial Officer of MTN Group Limited who used the phrase “pretty challenging and awkward” to describe the IPO during an interview in South Africa.
However, Mr Mapita did admit that the preparations for the planned listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange have already progressed to a reasonable extent in spite of the company’s recent troubles with the authorities.
In his own words:
“We are not sitting here saying the listing is off. The listing is to remain on track. It’s just that the development makes the IPO that we had planned pretty challenging and awkward. But we have got to explore other options of continuing to meet the listing requirements.”
This development is a confirmation of the growing worries in the company over the IPO as reported by Nairametrics.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) late last month demanded that MTN Group Limited return the sum of $8.1 billion which it was alleged to have illegally repatriated to South Africa from its Nigerian operation between 2006 and 2016.
But the company has yet to comply with the CBN demand, even as it continues to claim innocence. Meanwhile, as though to compound MTN’s troubles, the office of Nigeria’s Attorney General last week made known its intentions to recover the sum of $2 billion from MTN which it claims the telco owes in back taxes. This too was denied by the company’s management.
MTN stated that it would engage the authorities towards ensuring a resolution to the issues. But earlier this week, the company disclosed that it has taken both the CBN and Nigeria’s Attorney General to court with hopes of halting the $10.1 billion payment required of it, whilst protecting the company’s assets in Nigeria and shareholders’ rights.
It is yet to be seen how this whole matter settles at the end. In the meantime, the company’s shares continue to decline as a result of the regulatory crisis.
Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency
Atsu Davoh has gone from failed projects to running one of Ghana’s most innovative startups.
In recent times, the tech space in Africa has experienced immense growth, with the introduction of several key players and disruptors across various sectors. One sector that is also rising is the cryptocurrency space with Africa experiencing greater crypto ownership and trade volume.
The number of Bitcoins processed on a single day reached its highest value at the beginning of 2021, as more people displayed interest in the cryptocurrency. Due to its fast adoption, more fintech players have created platforms that have made trading with cryptocurrency easier. One of such players is Atsu Davoh who calls himself the “product guy.”
Atsu Davoh dropped out of college (Carleton College) in the United States and moved back to Ghana to help innovate on Africa’s financial infrastructure. Atsu first discovered Bitcoin in 2017 during the first boom when it became mainstream. Before then, he and his co-founder Samuel Baohen had been involved in many failed projects.
He developed a USSD system where people could buy bitcoin through their phone numbers, like tying crypto to phone numbers in a native way. This was one of the first iterations of Bitsika.
Atsu was invited to Join Binance Labs Incubator by Yele Bademosi where he got $150,000 after graduating from the incubator. Bitsika went on to raise around $900,000 from investors. This brought the total seed raised to $1,050,000.
This USSD system worked in Ghana but didn’t work in Nigeria. Atsu and his team then pivoted the platform to a donation crowdfunding platform, which allowed people living in other countries to send donations to African nationals in need of the funds before finally building it into a cross-border crypto remittance platform.
Bitsika users can deposit and remit money across multiple currencies using the app, with all monies deposited in Bitsika stored in USD credits or stable-coin.
Bitsika has over 50,000+ downloads on Playstore and processed nearly $40 million in 2020 with $18,872,474 in deposits, $17,890,807 in payouts (withdrawals), and $3,189,834 in internal peer-to-peer transfers.
Despite a few unfavourable regulations surrounding cryptocurrency in Africa, the market has shown no signs of slowing down as more people are building products that will make trading seamless.
FG signs new Sustainable Development Goals agreement with UN
The Agreement is for new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.
The Nigerian Government has signed a deal with the United Nations to develop new cooperation towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in a statement on Thursday after the agreement was signed with the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, represented by Ifeoma Charles.
The Minister said, “On behalf of the Nigerian Government, I signed an agreement with the UNOPS represented by Ifeoma Charles Multi-Country Office Rep. The Agreement is for a new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.”
What you should know
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are:
No Poverty; Zero Hunger, Good Health, and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reducing Inequality; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Partnership for the Goals.
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