The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has tasked licenced Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to double their telecom investments from $70 billion to $140 billion over the next 10 years. According to the Commission, this should be done by positioning widespread network infrastructure across the country.
Reasons for this: The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta gave this directive because the $70 billion investment was not adequate for Nigeria’s telecommunications market which is one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world.
He said this would help meet the growing demand for affordable and accessible broadband services, promote the growth of businesses across all sectors of the economy and create employment for the teeming youth.
What does this mean: These investments, when doubled, will help reach more Nigerians with basic telecom infrastructure and services. As of now, over 40 million Nigerians are yet to be reached because of the unavailability of broadband services, especially in the rural areas.
Danbatta said the need for service providers to increase their infrastructure deployment came as a result of the ever-increasing demand in the country. Therefore, it is mandatory to create more room by doubling the size of the investment.
“The NCC roadmap for broadband has created new frontiers for investment. The quest for data and social media, as well as the increasing value–added services creates new frontiers for investments. Therefore, the desire for investment in the sector will continue to grow as the size of the network increases.”
Why this matters: Robust telecommunications network is important for economic growth and this can be made possible through investments. Investing in telecommunications infrastructure is also crucial because telco products such as cable and switches lead to increase in the demand for goods and services used in their production. These all transcend to prosperity for the country.
Flour Mills GMD purchased additional shares worth N209.29 million in 3 days
Paul Miyonmide Gbedebo acquired 7,486,719 additional shares of Flour Mills, worth ₦209.3 million in 3 days.
The Group Managing Director of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc (FMN), Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, purchased a total of 7,486,719 additional shares of the company, worth ₦209.29 million.
According to the notifications issued between 17th and 19th of November by the company’s Secretary, Mr Joseph Umolu, the GMD purchased the ordinary shares of Flour Mills Nigeria in this order:
- On 17th November, 1,949,839 additional shares worth N54.59 million, at a price of N28.00 per share.
- On 18th November, 4,200,852 additional shares worth N117.62 million, at a price of N28.00 per share.
- On 19th November, 1,336,028 additional shares worth N37.07 million, at a price of N27.75 per share.
This brings the total number of shares of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc purchased by the GMD to 7,486,719. The total consideration for these shares is put at N209.29 million.
What you should know
In line with the information contained in the financial statements of the company, as of 30th September 2020, Mr. Gbedebo had a direct shareholding of 2,720,109 shares.
Hence, with the 7,486,719 additional units acquired, his total shareholding now stands at 10,206,828 shares, which is worth N285.79 million at the current share price of N28.00.
What this means
The purchase of the shares of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc further cements Mr. Paul Gbedebo’s position as one of its majority shareholders.
Drive-ins, photo shoots, outdoor catering, hotels in Nigeria adopt new ways to survive
Hotels in Nigeria have adopted several creative measures to survive the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Operators in the Nigerian hospitality industry have created opportunities for themselves amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to redefine value propositions and keep their heads above water.
To survive the negative impacts and ensure that they give their patrons reasons to continue patronizing their services, some of these hotels came up with initiatives like drive-in events, outdoor events, promotions, guest engagements, and group conference events, amongst others.
During its Q3 2020 Investors Call, the Managing Director of Transcorp Hotels, Dupe Olusola, told Nairametrics that though the revenue of the hotel, dropped by 54% year-on-year due to the lingering negative impact of Covid-19; Through the various initiatives implemented to reduce the impact of the pandemic, over 237% increase was recorded in Q3 revenue compared to that of Q2.
She said, “Drive-In Events product, launched in May, is for ‘top of mind’ awareness for the hotel amongst our targeted audience. It has also driven sales in the restaurant and other business areas within the hotel.
“Continuous promotion of our meetings, simplified product offerings like the Weekend Staycation, Work-From-Hotel package, amongst other initiatives, and have increased leisure business at the hotel.
“With the launch of EventReady and the CleanStay program, we have seen an increase in meetings.”
She added that the hotel had witnessed improvement in room revenue, majorly driven by the transient and group segments, as well as its continuous marketing campaign of hotel offerings.
She said, “Our Weekend Staycation is to attract both Abuja residents and potential guests from other states, in order to drive local and leisure demands.”
Ikeja Hotels Plc
Ikeja Hotels Plc also adopted some initiatives across its hotel chain to survive the pandemic. A staff of Sheraton Hotel Ikeja, who preferred anonymity, as she was not permitted to discuss on behalf of the hotel, told Nairametrics that the hotel had adopted some initiatives like outdoor events and promotions to attract more patrons.
She said, “As part of our strategy to improve operational efficiencies, we have put in place cost-cutting and recovery measures, including negotiating vendor contracts, energy conservation, and optimizing our workforce to the required manning at different occupancy levels.
“Our Food and beverage revenue has improved, driven mainly by the conference and event businesses. We recorded a week on week increase in the month of October.”
In the case of L’eola Hotel, formerly known as Protea Hotel, surviving the challenges created by the pandemic is key and this made the hotel to introduce some initiatives.
In an interview with Nairametrics, its Deputy General Manager, Tunde Oduyoye, explained that the hotel had to invest more on social media tools to reach out to its clients and also to meet the needs of some patrons, who wanted to hold social gatherings despite the social distancing rule.
He said, “We just did a photoshoot, which we shared with our existing and potential clients via our social media tools, to remind our patrons that we are back and fully compliant with the Covid-19 protocols.
“We now host weddings and other occasions and Zoom to other guests that cannot attend physically due to social distancing rules. We also host occasions on our open field to guarantee the safety of our patrons.
“We deliver food to our clients and also engage Jumia for deliveries. The hotel has also started baking bread for lodging guests and others within and outside the community.”
Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel
Like other hotels earlier mentioned, Radisson Blu also adopted several measures to remain relevant to its patrons.
In an interview with Nairametrics, a source at the Hotel, who preferred anonymity, as he was not permitted to speak on behalf of the hotel, disclosed that it had adopted an outdoor catering service for both corporate clients and individuals.
He said, “Continuous promotion of our product offerings and other initiatives, has boosted patronage in our hotel. We now offer outdoor events and new discount rates for using our facilities. With this development, we have seen an increase in meetings at the hotel, compared with when the lockdown was eased few months back.”
What the future holds
Hotels in Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa rely on local tourism to drive occupancy rates. In contrast, locals in Nigeria prefer smaller mushroom hotels that are cheaper and often well-furnished to meet their needs, especially the short-stay apartments.
Hence, hotels in Nigeria rely on commercial room sales, driven by the influx of business and leisure travels into the country.
With several airlines yet to be fully operational due to reciprocal bans and lockdowns in some countries, it is highly unlikely that things will improve anytime soon.
What you should know
The lockdown effect on the revenue of these hotels is reflected in the 2020 Q2 results of the main listed hotels.
According to the data, Ikeja Hotels (Sheraton), Tourist Company of Nigeria (Federal Palace), Capital Hotels (Abuja Sheraton), and Transcorp Hilton Hotel Plc all lost 90% of their revenue in the three months preceding June 2020.
- The hotels earned a combined revenue of N1 billion in the quarter, compared to N10.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.
- They lost over N4.7 billion for the quarter alone.
- Combined, they had about 3,502 employees as of 2019.
25 million Nigerians to pay N4,000 monthly for solar power system
25 million Nigerians will be expected to pay about N4,000 monthly over a 3-year period to benefit from the FG’s Solar Power Naija project.
The Presidency has disclosed that an estimated 25 million Nigerians that will benefit from the Federal Government’s Solar Home Systems which is expected to commence this week will be expected to pay about N4,000 monthly over a 3-year period.
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, through a statement on Sunday titled “25m Nigerians to own 5m solar systems at N4, 000 monthly.”
While giving further insight into earlier reports that the Federal Government will from next week commence the process of installation of 5 million solar-home systems in underserved and off-grid communities across the country, Akande said the solar programme nicknamed Solar Power Naija, whose installations would start in December, is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency.
The Presidential media aide who pointed out that the programme was designed to boost ongoing efforts to fix Nigeria’s energy supply challenge, also said that priority would be given to Nigerians residing in rural areas and urban settlements either under-served or cut off the national grid.
He said an important aspect of this scheme is the option of outright ownership by beneficiaries at a cost ranging from N1, 500 per week to N4, 000 per month depending on the capacities for the 3 years.
He noted that that the arrangement allows as many as 25 million Nigerians to own personal solar systems in their homes.
He added that, as indicated in the Economic Sustainability Plan, the 5 million connections initiative is a private sector-led electricity access acceleration scheme to be facilitated by a low-cost loan facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria and implemented by REA.
Akande said, “The programme will include the assembly or manufacturing of components of off-grid solutions to facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing industry. In view of the scale of materials required, solar equipment manufacturers/assemblers will be incentivised to set up facilities in Nigeria, thereby offering additional job opportunities to Nigerians.’’
“In addition, installation, servicing, and payment collections are expected to provide thousands of other jobs. In all, at least 250, 000 jobs will be created.”
Optics: If religiously implemented, this will help provide affordable energy to the under-served Nigerians in rural areas with the objective of improving social, economic, and environmental welfare of 25 million Nigerians while generating jobs, increasing revenues, and import substitution.
However, the fear is whether this will go the same way as other government’s programmes or initiatives in the past.