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.
Africa’s largest telecoms firm, MTN, to divest from its Middle East operations
The MTN Group is in advanced talks to sell its stake in MTN Syria to the minority shareholder.
Africa’s largest telecoms firm, the MTN Group, has announced its plans to exit the Middle East. This is part of the wireless carrier’s strategic plan to shift focus entirely to its home continent, Africa.
The mobile operator said that as part of its medium-term strategy, it will be leaving the Middle East, starting with the sales of its 75% stake in MTN Syria. Overly reduced revenue from war-torn Syria and the complex nature of the operating environment in the country are part of the reasons MTN is divesting.
MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, noted during a conference call with reporters, that “the Middle East environment is becoming increasingly complex and it contributes less to the group’s earnings.’’
Shuter disclosed that the disposals in the Middle East region will be done in a phased manner, with its 3 consolidated subsidiaries in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria earmarked to be sold first. These markets only contribute about 4% to the group’s earnings before interest, depreciation, taxation, and amortization.
The MTN Group is in advanced talks to sell its stake in MTN Syria to the minority shareholder, TeleInvest, who has 25% stake in the firm, according to the CEO. He believes that the telecoms firm is better served to focus on its Pan-African strategy and simplify its portfolio by leaving the Middle East region in an orderly manner.
In the medium term, the group will also dispose of its 49% stake in MTN Irancell, one of its largest markets.
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The South African firm plans to exit the entire portfolio in time, which will then leave it with 17 subsidiaries in Africa.
Just yesterday, Nairametrics reported about MTN’s plan to sell its stake in Jumia Technologies. MTN will also be divesting from telecommunications infrastructure firm, IHS Towers. The divestments from Jumia and IHS Towers were informed by the decision to raise funds in order to reduce MTN’s debts. It will also help the company to refocus its operations.
4 key points in the new Lagos 2020 Land Use Charge
All property owned, occupied by anyone older than 60 years are exempted from paying the Land Use Charge.
Lagos State Government has released the new provisions in the new 2020 Land Use Charge (LUC) Law, which entails the reduction in penalties for defaults, the people exempted from the charge and forfeiture of N5.8 billion penalties among others.
While presenting the guideline to the public on Wednesday, the Commissioner of Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, explained in 2018, there was an increase in the Land Use Charge rate as well as the method of valuation of properties, this shock had a sporadic increase in Land Use Charge payable by property owners.
He said, “In view of the aforementioned, the current administration decided to review the Land Use Charge law by reversing the rate of Land Use Charge to pre-2018 while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.”
Back story: Earlier on Wednesday, Nairametrics reported that the state government revoked the 2018 land use charge. According to Olowo, the government reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.
He said, “The penalties for land use charges for 2017, 2018, and 2019 have also been waived, which translates to a loss of revenue amounting to N5.6billion.
Below are 4 key components of the new law:
People exempted from the law:
All property owned and occupied by pensioners are exempted from paying the LUC. The definition of Pensioner, according to the state, has been expanded to include all retirees from private and public institutions in the state or any person that has attained the age of sixty (60) years and has ceased to be actively engaged in any activity or business for remuneration.
- Profit oriented Cemeteries and Burial Grounds are no longer exempted from payment of Land Use Charge
- Private Libraries are also no longer exempted from paying Land Use Charge
Reductions of penalties and rates
- Days Outstanding Before Now
45-75 days from 25% to 10%
75-105 days from 50% to 20%
105-135 days from 100% to 50%
- A 48% reduction in the Annual Charge Rates:
Definition Areas Before Now
Owner-Occupied Residential Property 0.076% to 0.0394%
Industrial Premises of Manufacturing Concerns 0.256% to 0.132%
Residential Property/Private School (Owner & 3rd Party) 0.256% to 0.132%
Residential Property (Without Owner in residence) 0.76% to 0.394%
Commercial property (Used by the occupier for Business Purposes) 0.76% to 0.394%
Vacant Properties and open empty Land 0.076% to 0.0394%
- Annual charge rate for Agricultural land was reduced from 0.076% to 0.01%. This is an 87% reduction from the old rate.
- Penalties for Land Use Charge for Year 2017,2018 and 2019 have also been waived. This translates to N5,752,168,411.03 potential revenue waived by the State.
- In addition to the reintroduction of the 15% early payment discount, an additional COVID 19 incentive of 10% will be granted on the total amount payable. This makes the total discount for early payment 25% if payment is made before the due date
- The penalty for obstruction of officials and damage to property identification plague has been reduced from N250,000 to N100,000
- The penalty for inciting a person to refuse to pay LUC has been reduced from N250,000 to N100,000
- The 2020 LUC Law introduced a 10% and 20% special relief for Vacant properties and Open empty land, respectively.
- The right of enforcement has been reduced from notification of three (3) default notices to (2) default notices.
Agents of LUC
- Section 14 of the Law which makes it possible for the Commissioner to appoint any person including an occupier of a chargeable property to be an agent of the owner for the purpose of collecting Land Use Charge.
“While we assure Lagosians that our typical response time will not exceed 24hours, we urge anyone who feels dissatisfied or whose complaint results in a dispute to please contact the Lagos State Appeal Tribunal. Let me state that we share in the pain which the pandemic has brought on every household including the government,” he added.
Olowo added that while the state hopes for the return of normalcy to business activities, it is important to let residents know that, the payment of LUC is not intended to inflict any hardship on anyone.
Meanwhile, property owners are expected to receive their 2020 LUC bills shortly and they are to leverage on the 25% early payment discount.
Read full guideline here
IPMAN orders fuel marketers to sell fuel at old rate until new directive from PPPRA
The ex-depot price is the price at which depot owners sell petroleum products to retail marketers.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has ordered its members to continue selling Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known as fuel, at the old rate of N143 per litre until there is a new directive from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
This was disclosed by the National Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, during a media chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
While reacting to the recent increase in the ex-depot price to N138.62 per litre from the previous N132.62 per litre, Yakubu revealed that IPMAN would brief its members on a new price regime once it receives a directive from PPPRA.
Recall that Nairametrics had reported that the Pipeline Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of NNPC, recently fixed the ex-depot price for PMS at N138.62 per litre. PPMC’s Sales Manager, Mohammed Bello, had noted that the new price would take effect from August 4, 2020.
It should be noted that the ex-depot price is the price that depot owners sell petroleum products to retail marketers.
In the meantime, some media reports revealed that some fuel marketers had adjusted their pump price to reflect the new rate. It was reported yesterday that fuel marketers in Kano State increased the pump price of N150 per litre.
READ ALSO: NNPC reduces fuel price to N108 per litre
Some of the stakeholders in the downstream sector recently pushed for an increase in the pump price of petroleum products to reflect the current reality.
In the wake of the oil price crash, the Federal Government had announced the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry with the removal of fuel subsidy.