Bharti Airtel, the parent company of Airtel Africa says the African unit plans to raise more investment through an issue of primary shares to strengthen Bharti Airtel’s consolidated books.
Airtel Africa will raise $200 million( Rs 1,420 crore) through an issue of primary shares from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which will serve as a long-term strategic equity partner.
“We are excited to welcome Qatar Investment Authority as a longterm strategic equity partner … This transaction will not involve any sale of shares by existing shareholders,” said Airtel Africa, which operates in 15 countries on the continent.
While QIA said it looks forward to “supporting Airtel’s vision in building a world class business in the African continent.”
Reason for fundraising
The fund will strengthen Bharti Airtel’s consolidated books, and be used to reduce the Africa unit’s debt, helping the UK-based holding company of Airtel’s Africa operations cut its net debt to roughly $3.5 billion, the mobile phone operator said.
In November, Airtel Africa had raised $1.25 billion ( about Rs 9,200 crore) through a placement of shares to six global investors, including Warburg Pincus, Temasek, Singtel and SoftBank Group International, in the runup to an Airtel Africa IPO likely around June this year, through which the telco plans to garner an additional $1.5-1.6 billion.
According to a report by The Nation, the follow-up fundraise is estimated to dilute Airtel’s stake in its Africa unit to 67.24 per cent from roughly 71.6 per cent, said a senior sector analyst who did not wish to be named.
Bharti Airtel — facing severe pressure on revenue and profitability at home in India owing to intense competition triggered by the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm — is trying to build a war chest to fund its 4G network expansion across the country.
Airtel investment drive
It has been selling stakes in tower unit Bharti Infratel, and plans to sell another 32 per cent — valued at close to Rs 15,500 crore —in that firm. Airtel is also planning a Rs 15,000-crore rights issue. Bharti Airtel’s net debt was at Rs 113,204 crore at September-end. Its shares closed 1.22 per cent lower on BSE at Rs 303.35.
The latest developments come at a time when the Sunil Mittalled telco’s Africa business has continued to put on a robust show in the September quarter, with Africa net income (before exceptional items) rising to Rs 232.3 crore from a net loss of Rs 207.9 crore a year back. Total revenue of Airtel Africa rose nearly 13 per cent to Rs 5,647.2 crore.
After years of posting losses every quarter, Airtel Africa has been experiencing better financial performance of late, completing its first full year of profitability in March since making inroads into Africa. There are plans by Airtel Africa to expand its Nigeria and other African operations.
With 94 million customer base in Africa, Airtel Africa is the second largest telco in the continent, appearing among the top two operators in most of its 14 markets. Airtel currently has 29,757,791 million subscribers in Nigeria, coming second behind MTN Nigeria with 43,899,957 million subscribers, and before Globalcom which accounts for 28,054,948 million subscribers.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 3rd of December 2020, 343 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 68,303 confirmed cases.
On the 3rd of December 2020, 343 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.
To date, 68,303 cases have been confirmed, 64,291 cases have been discharged and 1,179 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 779,708 tests have been carried out as of December 3rd, 2020 compared to 756,237 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 3rd December 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 68,303
- Total Number Discharged – 64,291
- Total Deaths – 1,179
- Total Tests Carried out – 779,708
According to the NCDC, the 343 new cases were reported from 14 states- FCT (123) Lagos (106) Kaduna (72) Nasarawa (14) Rivers(5), Bauchi (4), Imo (4), Ogun (4), Ekiti (3) Edo (2), Oyo (2), Plateau (2) Akwa Ibom (1) and Kano (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,545, followed by Abuja (6,991), Plateau (3,904), Oyo (3,730), Kaduna (3,245), Rivers (3,001), Edo (2,705), Ogun (2,237), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,799), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,110), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,030), Osun (947), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (778), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 681 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (493), Bayelsa (456), Ekiti (377), Akwa Ibom (340), Jigawa (331), Niger (298), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (166), Taraba (163), Yobe (100), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Engineer Sanusi Garba assumes office as Chairman of NERC
The new NERC boss has assumed office today in an investiture event witnessed by other Commissioners of the Commission.
Engineer Sanusi Garba, today, December 3, 2020, formally assumed office as the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
This is according to the statement issued by the media team of the NERC via the official Twitter handle of the Commission.
Professor Momoh hands over to Engineer Sanusi Garba
Professor James Adeche Momoh has handed over to Engineer Sanusi Garba in a ceremony witnessed by Commissioners of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. Engineer Sanusi thanked Professor Momoh @NERCNG
— NERC Nigeria (@NERCNG) December 3, 2020
Engineer Garba whose appointment was confirmed by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday will be replacing Professor James Momoh, the outgoing chairman of the Commission.
Speaking at the handover ceremony today, the New Chairman of the Commission recognized the efforts and the hard work of Prof. Momoh and thanked the outgoing chairman for his contributions to the development of the Commission and the sector in general.
However, Professor Momoh on his part pledged his continuous support to the Commission and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve the country.
What you should know
- The new Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engineer Sanusi Garba is a seasoned professional in the Nigerian Energy Supply Industry (NESI), and also a top officer in the Commission.
- Prior to his nomination as the Chairman of NERC, Garba served as the Vice Chairman of NERC, under the leadership of Prof. Momoh. He also served as the Chief Executive of Katsina Steel Rolling Co. Ltd and the Director (Power) in the Federal Ministry of Power with responsibility for the Generation, Transmission and Distribution aspects of the electricity industry.
- He also served as Executive Director (Generation) at the Niger Delta Power Holding Co. Ltd during which he provided technical and commercial leadership for the efficient operation of seven (7) NIPP thermal power plants.
- Engr Garba, who is a seasoned professional has served on many Federal Government Committees including the Presidential Committee on Power Sector Reform (2007/8) and the Presidential Task Force on Power (2009/10).
#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu gifts families of slain police officers N10 million each
Governor Sanwo-Olu has compensated the families of slain police officers with the sum of N10 million each.
The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has brought respite to the families of police officers killed during the violence witnessed in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.
According to the disclosure on the Twitter page of the Lagos State Government, the families were handed a cheque of N10 million each and the children of the slain officers awarded scholarships by the government.
Governor @jidesanwoolu handing over a cheque of 10 million naira each to the families of police officers who lost their lives during the unrest that followed the EndSARS protest and awarding scholarship to their children. @followlsstf @ceolsstf @LagosPoliceng#LASG #SecureLagos pic.twitter.com/XdjPPRsRf7
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) December 3, 2020
What they are saying: Commenting on the recent development, a tweet by the Lagos State Government read thus: “Governor @jidesanwoolu handing over a cheque of 10 million naira each to the families of police officers who lost their lives during the unrest that followed the EndSARS protest and awarding scholarship to their children.’’
Why this matters: The recent effort by the Governor is in fulfillment of the promise he had earlier made to compensate affected victims of the post-EndSARS protest which led to the loss of lives and valuable properties both in the state and the country at large.
The compensation will be viewed by serving officers as a motivation, aimed at promoting patriotism, loyalty, commitment and dedication to national service.
What you should know