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Business News

Trouble ahead, as probe into telecoms, banks, others, could cost 2% of their revenue

The National Information Technology Development Agency (@nitdanigeria) has commenced investigation into some banks, Network operator, financial technology companies and @nigimmigration; and this could cost them 2% of their annual revenue.

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commenced investigation into some banks, network operators, financial technology companies and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS). This could cost the affected companies 2% of their annual revenues.

What led to probe: Investigation into the companies and the Immigration was initiated because they reportedly used data belonging to Nigerians. According to NITDA, the unnamed companies violated the data privacy rights of their customers.

[READ ALSO: Opinion: Is NITDA’s grant to these startups a joke?]

It was learnt that the companies’ handling of customers’ data was not in compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), while the NIS breached Article 2.1(2,3) of the NDPR.

The NDPR was created to protect the data and privacy of individuals, and deter companies or agencies from abuse of data. The NDPR said,

“Anyone who is entrusted with the personal data of a data subject or who is in possession of the personal data of a data subject owes a duty of care to the said data subject.

Anyone who is entrusted with the personal data of a data subject or who is in possession of the personal data of a data subject shall be accountable for his acts and omissions in respect of data processing and in accordance with the principles contained in Subsection 1of this Section.” 

[READ MORE: Airtel and MTN Nigeria are sending bad signals from NSE to Glo, 9mobile]

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Nigerian Immigration Service NIS jobs, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA begins investigation of Banks and NIS over data breach

While addressing the investigation, the NITDA’s Director General, Dr Isa Ibrahim said, “The management of the National Information Technology Development Agency will like to bring to the notice of the general public the on-going investigation of alleged breach of the data privacy rights of Nigerians by some data controllers.

NITDA is currently investigating some entities including banks, fintechs, telcos, etc, who are in alleged breach of the NDPR. The Nigeria Immigration Service is also under investigation for alleged violation of Article 2.1(2,3) of the NDPR.

 We therefore wish to assure all Nigerians that NITDA is willing, able and ready to implement the NDPR with the ultimate aim of ensuring compliance and making businesses and government work better for every Nigerian.”

[READ FURTHER: State Governors parted with N33.9 billion to external debt deductions]

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Although he didn’t disclose how the data were used by the companies and NIS, the NDPR, however, stated that data should not be obtained without the consent of the owners, or received through fraud, coercion or undue influence.

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Penalty for breach: If the companies and NIS are found to have breached the data protection regulation after the investigation, they will be sanctioned. According to the NDPR Article 2:10, the following penalties will be applied, depending on crime involved.

  • In the case of a Data Controller dealing with more than 10,000 Data Subjects, payment of the fine of 2% of Annual Gross Revenue of the preceding year or payment of the sum of N10 million, whichever is greater.
  • In the case of a Data Controller dealing with less than 10,000 Data Subjects, payment of the fine of 1% of the Annual Gross Revenue of the preceding year or payment of the sum of N2 million, whichever is greater.

[YOU SHOULD ALSO READ: Stanbic IBTC issues sober, yet optimistic message after losing N2.5 billion case]

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Companies

MTN Nigeria declares largest ever revenue by a listed Nigerian entity for FY 2020

The strong revenue growth was basically due to its data-led segment as sales from the segment expanded by an impressive 51.5% Year to Year.

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UACN appoints Toriola as new Director 

MTN Nigeria recently announced another ground-breaking full-year turnover in the financial year of 2020, the highest ever recorded by a Nigerian listed entity.

Specifically, the telecom giant’s revenue expanded by 15.1% year-to-year to N1.3 trillion in the review period. The strong revenue growth was basically due to its data-led segment as sales from the segment expanded by an impressive 51.5% Year to Year.

  • Voice sales rose relatively by 5.6% year to year as the global switch to data-enabled communication subsisted.
  • MTN Nigeria Plc also announced a N5.90/share final dividend on impressive growth in its free Cash Flow for the financial year of 2020.
  • Notably, MTNN’s 4G network now covers 60.1% of the population compared to 43.8% in 2019.
  • According to MTN Nigeria, the suspension of new SIM registration enforced in mid-December did not have a material effect on the voice segment, which managed a 10.6% YoY revenue growth in Q4’20 (vs 7.0% YoY in Q3’20).

In contrast, data revenue growth notably moderated to 37.5% YoY in Q4’20 compared to 55.5% YoY in Q3’20.

In a research report released by CardinalStone, the most valuable telecom company’s margin was adversely affected by currency devaluation;

“Margins were adversely affected by the effect of naira devaluation and expenses associated with new sites’ roll-out to boost 4G network coverage in FY’20.

“On the former, we note that MTNN expanded the scope of its service agreement with IHS Holding Limited and changed the reference rate for converting USD tower expenses to NAFEX (vs CBN’s official rate previously). Thus, over the full-year period, the company’s operating margin contracted by 1.9 ppts YoY to 31.7%,” the report stated.

The company’s margin was also negatively affected by the higher cost of borrowing and the ultra-low rates prevailing at Nigeria’s debt market;

“Net finance cost increased by 25.4% YoY on the impact of higher borrowings and lower interest on investment in government securities.

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“Borrowings rose by over 26.3% to N521.2 billion in FY’20, after the company notably issued its N100 billion Commercial paper in June 2020. The effect of higher borrowings combined with a tax increase (a consequence of lower investment allowance and exempt income) to keep after-tax profit growth subdued at 0.9% YoY.”

That being said, in spite of its impressive growth in revenue the Stock was trailing by 3.28% trading at N174 per share.

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Energy

Oil marketers say petrol will sell for N230 per litre in March

Oil marketers have insisted that petrol will sell for as much as N230 per litre in March.

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Oil marketers, on Sunday, said that Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol is to sell for as much as N230 per litre in March.

This is coming against the background of insistence by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has no plans to increase the price of petrol in March.

There has been a reported reappearance of queues at filling stations in some parts of Lagos and Abuja as panic buying and petrol hoarding occurs in some filling stations.

According to a report by New Telegraph, the National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mike Osatuyi, declared that the whole nation had crossed the bridge and that there was no hiding place for a hike in fuel price.

What the IPMAN top officials are saying

Osatuyi said, “I have just returned from a meeting in Abuja. What I have observed is that many stations have closed down and there are queues in many places in both Lagos and Abuja. Nigeria has crossed the bridge, there is no hiding place, the N1.2 trillion, which was hitherto annual spending on subsidy, will be borne by the market.

“As it is, the prices of crude oil have gone up to $67 per barrel and, with this, the price of PMS will be between N220 per litre and N230 per litre. I was told by someone that the Group Managing Director of NNPC told them that the official price is likely to be N206 per litre.

“As it is now, all the stations that have shut down their gates must have heard information before they took that action. I want us all to wait by tomorrow we will all see clearly what will happen. There have been annual spending of N1.2 trillion on fuel subsidy and now that the subsidy has said to be abolished, that money must come from somewhere.

‘’The money must be coming from somewhere. “NNPC is not an NGO (non-governmental organisation), there is no budgetary provision for subsidy again and instead of wasting it on subsidy, it should be deployed to other sectors,’’ he said.

On what can be done to cushion the negative effects of higher fuel price, Osatuyi said: “This plan to cushion the negative effects of higher fuel price should be the next important thing. The government can do the free conversion of vehicle from fuel to gas. This should be done to help Nigerians who will definitely be affected by this fuel price hike.”

On his part, the IPMAN National Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, condemned the panic buying and return of long queues at some filling stations within Abuja.

While assuring Nigerians that the normal supply of petroleum products would soon be restored with the commencement of loading at various depots, Yakubu said the increase in the global price of crude oil has affected the price of petrol.

He said, “We want to assure the buyers that government and marketers are doing everything possible to ensure that the products are available in every filling station within a few days starting from today (Sunday).’’

What you should know

  • The state oil giant, NNPC, had in a press statement on Sunday, assured Nigerians that despite the increase in the price of crude oil, it has no plans to increase the ex-depot price of petrol in the month of March. This is coming after it gave a similar assurance earlier in February, that it was not going to increase the price of the product in February.
  • NNPC explained that the decision was to allow ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship, to be concluded.
  • This uncertainty has led to hoarding of the product by depot owners and some retail marketers, which has led to the return of queues in some filling stations.
  • The Federal Government had in March 2020, announced the removal of fuel subsidy and full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry, which will allow market forces to determine the price of the product.

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