MTN Nigeria, the largest mobile telecommunication firm in the country has reported a 23% rise in its FinTech revenue. This was confirmed by the company CEO, Ferdi Moolman in the company’s notes to the results.
Higher revenues: MTN reported a record N1.169 trillion in revenues for the year ended December 2019 up 12.5% year on year. Profit for the period under review was N202.1 billion up 38.7% year on year. The blistering result was backed by revenue growth across its voice and data services.
According to the Moolman, “voice revenue growth remained healthy at 8.4% and accounted for 72% of service revenue” as Nigerians continue to rely on GSM to contact loved ones and contract businesses. “Voice traffic increased by 7.6%, supporting revenue growth” he continued.
MTN has also recorded an increase in data revenue which it ascribed to “greater population coverage, a revamp of our data portfolio and initiatives to drive 4G device penetration” adding about N219.3 billion in revenues only. Data contributed 18.8 to service revenue.
On FinTech the MD/CEO revealed the division’s revenue growth was 23.3% “supported by increased adoption of MTN Xtratime our airtime lending service.” MTN does not disclose revenue from FInTech separately and captures it only as part of Value Added Services (VAS).
The company VAS business rose from N32.2 billion to N37.1 billion and includes airtime lending and mobile money (Fintech), subscriber identification module (SIM) back up services and voice-based services. According to Moolman, MTN launched a super agent service in August which helped increase their network of agents to about 108,000. He also said “the Agent network served almost one million customers in the first four months of operation” just as it focusses on further expansions.
Doubles down on FinTech: MTN also revealed plans to widen its FinTech service offering “from basic transfer service and airtime/data sales to a more extensive bouquet, including cash deposit and withdrawal services, bill payments and facilitating -e-commerce” it concluded.
MTN’s foray into the FinTech space has often been viewed as a game-changer in a very competitive and dynamic FinTech space. With its huge balance sheet and brand power, the company has a large cash pile that it can throw into space.
Competition: Several feelers from rival commercial banks suggest the banks have stifled MTN’s entrance into the challenger banking space as they believe they do not have an equal playing field. For example, MTN’s technological assets give it more advantages and access to customers through mobile while banks are still expected to retain physical branches increasing its cost of operations. Nigerian Banks are also strictly regulated compared to other FinTech players who are allowed to innovate and create products without much regulation.
In an interview last year (April), Fidelity Bank CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo made this point clear when he said,
“You know it has been a prolonged push by the telecommunications companies to come into the banking space. We don’t have a problem with that. Let them be subjected to the same regulatory conditions that we have because you are talking about depositors’ money. So, once all of us are subject to regulatory control, we will all do banking together. I think the sky is big enough and as banks, we are not sleeping, that is why you see some of us deepening our digital platforms.”
Just-in: Air Peace to recall some sacked pilots after Minister’s intervention
Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots, giving its staff the best remuneration package.
Air Peace would soon recall some of the pilots that were sacked recently. This coming after the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had intervened.
This was disclosed by the Ministry of Aviation via its Twitter handle on Tuesday.
The recall was the fall-out of an intervention meeting called by the Minister between the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) held in his office on Tuesday.
Back story: Nairametrics reported as Nigerians woke up to the news that Air Peace had sacked about 70 pilots under its employment across its fleet and also reduced staff salaries by 40%. The airline said the exercise was due to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on its business.
It added that the move was made to protect the majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in the future, as well as ensuring the survival of the airline.
In the verbal agreement, Chairman, Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under.
Chairman, NAAPE, Galadima Abednego explained that as a union it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries.
On his own, Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots after everything is done to make them comfortable on their jobs.
He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.
He however commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria.
The Aviation Minister called for the understanding of everyone, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.
AIR PEACE TO RECALL SOME SACKED PILOTS, AS SIRIKA INTERVENES
Respite has come the way of some of the pilots recently sacked by the management of Air Peace, as many of them would soon be recalled to their jobs.
— Federal Ministry of Aviation, Nigeria (@fmaviationng) August 11, 2020
He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry, but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operator agreed.
WHO gives condition for approving Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccine gets a name
Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V for the foreign markets.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that any form of approval of prequalification of the Russian vaccine will require rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.
This disclosure was made by the spokesman of the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic, during a United Nations briefing in Geneva about clinical trials.
He said that the UN health agency and the Russian health authorities are currently discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Tarik Jasarevic, during the UN briefing in Geneva said, “We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.”
Meanwhile, in a related development, Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and it is available for foreign markets. The name references the world’s first satellite, which marked a symbolic accomplishment for the USSR during the cold war and space race era. Now, the Russian Government basks in its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine for COVID-19.
The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) pointed out that Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly registered COVID-19 vaccine.
Nairametrics had earlier reported today the announcement of the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure during a televised government meeting, said that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than 2 months of human testing.
However, the speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some western countries and international scientists to question whether the Russian government is putting national prestige ahead of solid science and safety.
Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement
The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched to provide risk solutions for investors.
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the instrument of accession agreement for Nigeria for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency. This was announced by the Federal Government on Monday night.
President @MBuhari has signed the instrument of accession of the agreement for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency; sequel to the directive of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), that the instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) August 10, 2020
The agreement is coming after the Federal Executive Council ordered that an instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.
The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched in 2001, to provide risk solutions for investors, after the East African economic Union (COMESA) executed a World bank funded study to discover why Africa does not attract more Foreign Direct Investments.
The organization said it added credit insurance to its portfolio in 2006 after its members identified global trade as a major pillar of growth in the continent which has seen it grow as a market leader for risk mitigation in Africa. The ATI also attracts funding from the African Development Bank and World Bank
Nigeria joining the agreement would provide Nigeria with the necessary insurance financing to increase investment inflows into the country and improve economic productivity.