The senior Energy Solutions Expert, Nigeria Enterprise Business Development, Mr. Samuel Orji, has revealed that the company has put up a 76 million dollars investment in Nigeria so far, with two training centers in Lagos and Abuja, where they build capacity.
 
Orji stated this yesterday at the Huawei Nigeria Oil & gas summit 2018 holding at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. He also stated a total of $786 million has been spent in Nigeria by the company in the area of procurement. According to him, this is in terms of the local involvement and investment of the company. Most of these procurements, he said were done locally to help grow the economy. He added that the company had also been able to partner with the federal government in up scaling the IT skills of Nigerians, stressing that their corporate social responsibility activities are top-notch. ‘‘It is not about taking the money back to china. As we are the products and solutions, some scope of it is more localised.’’ However, with a record of $92billion global revenue recorded at the close of business in 2017, Orji said Huawei has set a new target of $100 billion for 2018. ‘‘We have the global capacity and sales formation to achieve this. 
 
The expectation is that after speaking with the key stakeholders today and they come to trust our brand, we will be able to achieve this set target,’’ he said. On 5G network, he said the company is already on the pre-commercial testing stage for 5G network for voice, data and video services. ‘‘We as a company is currently changing the construction model of the industry from investment driven to value driven. We are bringing some more value to the existing investment to enable the carriers’ give the subscribers a richer experience in terms of voice and video communication. On the launch date for the 5G networks, I don’t have an exact date but it would be announced.
 
‘‘The DG and ES also confirmed there is some form of collaboration between us. We have delivered some solution and systems to them in the past ranging from data center, to IP telephony system. The idea is to really do more collaboration with them, help them improve efficiency, reduce their cost and sustain revenue’’ he added. 5G network has to do with Internet surfing and all intelligent, and connected networks as it stands today. It is the key driver. Remember in 2017, there was no much investment in the telecom sector. He said the key challenge the company faces in Nigeria is that of investment and decision making. He said the stakeholders must actually put the right investment and at the right time for the Nigerian oil and gas sector to strive.
 
Another challenge, according to him, is decision making. ‘‘We found that the oil and gas industry is still left in the hands of the government. So decision making, bureaucracy hampers effective and timely implementation of projects.’’
 
 
Source: Vanguard

A hearing in the court case between MTN and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a disagreement over the alleged repatriation of $8.1 billion by the telecommunication company has been set for October 30, MTN’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, has said.

Olanipekun said it on Friday that MTN denied claims that it depleted Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves.

Recall that CBN had in late August alleged that MTN repatriated a total of $8.1 billion from the country through illegal means.

The financial regulator further directed the telco to refund the money and imposed a combined fine of N5.87 billion on four banks – Standard Chartered Plc, Citigroup Inc., Stanbic IBTC Plc and Diamond Bank Plc – that allegedly aided the process.

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market and accounts for a third of its annual core profit. This explains why the claim which led to the dispute between the two parties wiped as much as 36 percent off MTN’s market value within two weeks.

The CBN had said in its counterclaim to the court that MTN contributed to depleting the country’s reserves through the purchase of dollars via unapproved certificates. MTN however denied any wrongdoing.

Crude oil is Nigeria main source of foreign exchange earnings, the nation’s external reserves was greatly depleted in 2016 following the drop of crude oil prices in the international market.

This contributed to the sharp drop in the value of Naira and further led the country’s economy to a recession in the same year, which the country emerged from last year.

 

Source: The Router

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says its awareness campaigns against the menace of pre-registered SIM cards, which has been a recurring trend in the country’s telecom sector is yielding results.

Mr Salisu Abdu, the Head, Enforcement Unit of the commission, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.

Abdu said that the commission had carried out a three-day comprehensive enforcement in some major markets in Lagos to fish out perpetrators of pre-registered SIM card.

He said that the latest enforcement exercise was largely informed by a report from the office of the National Security Adviser about the prevalence of pre-registered SIM cards at some locations in Lagos.

He said that the adviser however expressed some measure of satisfaction that the trend seemed to be on a downward trend when compared with what obtained few years ago.

“We visited computer village, some markets in Ikorodu and we also visited one in Bariga with the objective of identifying where the sale of pre-registered SIM cards is ongoing.

“Fortunately enough, it was only in computer village we were able to buy only one Airtel SIM card from a mobile agent.

“We appreciate the level of compliance in Lagos; it apparently means that there is adequate awareness campaign that people are now aware that the sale and buying of pre-registered SIM card is criminal,” he said.

Abdu said that the commission had addressed the media on the outcome of the outing at the Lagos Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), where some of the apprehended suspects were taken for interrogation.

“We went to two locations, Alaba International market and Orile market along Badagry expressway.

“At Alaba market, we purchased a pre-registered SIM card from an agent, a Globacom agent and in Orile we found pre-registered SIM cards on a market woman who, in fact, was seated with a lot of SIM cards being sold to members of the public.

“It is those same cards that criminals are using to commit a lot of crime and you can now understand why it had sometimes been difficult for security operatives in the course of their investigations of criminal offences to identify people who have actually committed such crimes,” Abdu said.

The enforcement official said that the last day of the raid of phone markets in Lagos was concentrated largely on the Saka Tinubu market in Victoria Island where two more persons who were found selling pre-registered SIM cards and were picked up by the combined team of NSCDC and NCC officials.

While speaking on the commission’s next line of action, Abdu said that investigations would first be carried out by the NSCDC, which accompanied the enforcement team during the exercise.

“We have to get to the root as to where they are getting the pre-registered SIM cards and I am sure the old woman and some of the persons arrested are not the ones doing the registration, there must be somebody who is supplying the SIM cards to them.

“We will need to find out the people who are behind it and we believe some of these challenges are coming from registration agents.

“So, we have been trying as much as possible to warn network operators to ensure that they checkmate their registration agents.

” We will also look into all the SIM cards we recovered in this exercise and ensure that we communicate necessary sanction to the mobile operators,” he said.

Abdu recalled that in 2017, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta hosted a stakeholders’ meeting with telecom network providers at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja where he expressed displeasure at the persistence of improperly registered and pre-registered SIM cards.

Abdu said that the commission had subsequently launched a nationwide television commercial in major national television and local television networks in all the states of the federation in March to sensitise telecom subscribers on the dangers of pre-registered SIM cards.

 

Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it was reviewing the information provided by Nigeria’s telecommunication giant, MTN Nigeria, and four banks it recently sanctioned over illegal repatriation of funds.
 
The CBN disclosed in a statement by its Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor.
 
Recall that the CBN had on August 29 sanctioned MTN Nigeria and four banks – Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic-IBTC, Citibank, and Diamond Bank – for allegedly issuing irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN.
 
The CBN had ordered MTN to refund a sum of $8.13 billion it repatriated, while the four banks were slammed a total of N5.87 billion, which it later deducted from their accounts.
 
The apex sanctioned Standard Chartered Bank the highest fine of N2.4 billion, while Stanbic IBTC Nigeria received a fine of N1.88 billion. Citibank Nigeria was ordered to pay a sum of N1.2 billion and Diamond Bank was penalized in the sum of N250 million for violating extant rules.
 
However, the telecommunication company and the four banks in separate statements denied wrongdoing.
 
But according to the statement by the CBN, it was engaging and reviewing additional information provided by the four banks owing to concerns raised over the sanctions it imposed on the banks.
 
“The recent sanctions on the banks arose due to irregularities with respect to repatriations made on behalf of MTN Nigeria Limited and were not in any way designed to restrict access to investor returns.
 
“In response to the recent regulatory actions, the Banks and MTN are engaging the CBN and have provided additional information which is currently being reviewed with a view to arriving at an equitable resolution,” it stated.
 
CBN assured all investors that the integrity of the CCI regime remains sacrosanct and there shall be no retroactive application of foreign exchange rules and regulations.
 
It also added that “some of our recent innovations and reforms of the Foreign Exchange regime such as the introduction of the NAFEX window, are designed to simplify foreign exchange regulations.
 
“Furthermore, the delegation of the issuance of CCIs to commercial and merchant banks some years ago was done to instill confidence in the investor community and encourage the flow of foreign direct and portfolio investments into the Nigerian economy.”
 
 
Vanguard

Following $10.13 billion allegations of illegal repatriation of funds and tax evasion against MTN Nigeria, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Services (DSS) and other relevant security agencies to probe the operations of the company.

In a statement in Abuja on Sunday, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the Federal Government should spare no effort in recovering the money as anything to the contrary would send wrong signals to other corporate organisations it had punished for lesser tax infractions.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had alleged that MTN repatriated $8.13 billion using irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs), while the Federal Government through the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, demanded for the payment of $2 billion in tax arrears.

According to Wabba, the allegations have vindicated the NLC as it had earlier highlighted alleged labour laws, local content law and security breaches by the telecommunications company.

The statement quoted the NLC President as saying, “We at the NLC hereby urge MTN Nigeria to comply without further delay with the directive of the Federal Government to pay $2bn in tax arrears as well as the $8.13bn it was said to have illegally repatriated to South Africa over which four indigenous banks have been fined.

“Coupled with the demand that MTN should obey our national laws by allowing unionisation, we urge critical government agencies such as the Nigerian Communication Commission, the EFCC, the Department of State Services, Nigeria Immigration Service and the CBN to closely look into the operations of the company, especially in the light of the Thabo Mbeki report.

“On our part, we are, however, not surprised by the unethical conduct of MTN. They are not only engaged in the exploitation of Nigerian workers and turning them into slaves, but have extended their frontiers to unwholesome economic exploitation and sabotage.”

The NLC also called on the government to use the opportunity to send appropriate message to everyone, especially corporate organisations that often paid taxes in the breach.

Internet users in Nigeria increased marginally to 103.6 million in July, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.

The NCC disclosed this on Wednesday in its Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for July posted on its website.

According to the data, Airtel, MTN and Globacom gained more internet subscribers during the month under review while 9mobile was the biggest loser.

The data also showed that overall internet users increased to 103,671,778 in July from 102,805,122 in June, showing an increase of 866,656.

The breakdown also revealed that Globacom gained the most with 574,821 new internet users, increasing its subscription in July to 27,146,075, up from 26,571,254 in June.

It further showed that 9mobile lost 218,086 internet users in July, decreasing its subscription to 10,367,260, as against June when it recorded 10,585,346.

NCC indicated that MTN also gained 134,171 new users in the month under review, increasing its subscription to 39,071,670, in July as against 38,937,473 in June

It said that Airtel gained 375,754 new internet users in July, totalling 27,086,773 as against 26,711,049 in June.

 

Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA

MTN Nigeria has dismissed allegations by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over illegal repatriation of shareholders’ dividends amounting to $8.1 billion by the company between 2007 and 2015.

The telecommunication company said all dividends it paid to its shareholders were approved by CBN as required by law.

The telco made this known in a statement on Thursday in response to the claim by the financial regulator.

“MTN Nigeria strongly refutes these allegations and claims. No dividends have been declared or paid by MTN Nigeria other than pursuant to CCIs issued by our bankers and with the approval of the CBN as required by law,” the statement read in part.

It said the company would engage with the relevant authorities and vigorously defend its position on this matter and provide further information when available.

MTN Nigeria has been bedeviled with penalties over failure to comply with government’s regulations.

In 2015, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had slammed the telecommunication company with a $5.2 billion (N1 trillion) fine for violating SIM card registration regulations directing telcos to deactivate unregistered lines.

Also, the fine was imposed on MTN for not disconnecting about 5.1 million improperly registered lines in its network within the stipulated deadline.

Although, NCC had threatened not to reduce the fine, it however slashed it to $1.65 billion (N330 billion) after several appeals and negotiations including diplomatic intervention by the South African government.

 

Vanguard..

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has imposed sanctions totalling N5.87 billion on four banks for wrongly assisting MTN Nigeria to repatriate funds.

The banks allegedly issued irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs) on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

The affected banks are Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic-IBTC, Citibank, and Diamond Bank.

Announcing the decision of the bank in Abuja on Wednesday, Director, Corporate Communications of CBN, Isaac Okorafor, said the decision of the financial regulator became necessary following allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular CCIs issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria and subsequent investigations carried out by the apex bank in March 2018.

According to him, the CBN has asked the managements of MTN Nigeria to immediately refund the sum of $8,134,312,397.63 illegally repatriated by the company to the coffers of the apex bank.

The CBN slammed Standard Chartered Bank the highest fine of N2.4 billion, while Stanbic IBTC Nigeria received a fine of N1.88 billion.

Citibank Nigeria was ordered to pay a sum of N1.2 billion and Diamond Bank was penalized in the sum of N250 million for violating extant rules.

The CBN spokesman said investigations revealed that the sum of $3,448,119,321.72 was repatriated by Standard Chartered Bank on the basis of the illegally issued CCIs.

similarly, he said the sums of $2,632,005,623.78, $1,766,263,212.75 and $348,914,501.30 were repatriated by Stanbic IBTC Nigeria, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc, respectively between 2007 and 2015.

He added that the CBN had directed the affected banks to immediately refund the respective sums to the CBN.

Okorafor, therefore, advised all banks and multinational companies in the country to adhere strictly to the provisions of all extant laws and regulations of Nigeria in their foreign exchange transactions.

This will be the second heavy sanction MTN would be facing from Nigerian regulators in three years after the $5.2 billion fine it received from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in 2015.

The telecommunications company, which only just finished paying the reduced fine of $3.2 billion, will see this as another huge challenge posing a serious threat to its corporate existence in Nigeria.

No fewer than 40 million Nigerians in 200 communities across the country are being deprived access to the internet, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said on Monday.

The Executive Vice Chairman at the commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who made the disclosure while declaring open the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Annual Regional Workshop in Abuja, said the development was as a result of coverage gap in the communities.

According to Danbatta, the NCC was making efforts to bridge the gap in the communities in no time.

“Access is very important. Talking about access, I don’t know the experience in other parts of the world especially the Africa continent but here in Nigeria, we have 200 access gaps and we know where these gaps are.

“These access gaps deprive close to 40 million people access to the internet. We need to look at what we can do to fast-track blocking these access gaps, because unless and until we do so, many of our citizens will continue to live without access to the internet, especially the right kind of internet connectivity.”

“We are trying to make sure we are not left out in benefiting from the various important features of the fourth industrial revolution. While we are doing this, we are taking cognisance of the elements of digital transformation system because we have to start somewhere,” he said.

The NCC boss decried the poor internet speed in the country, pointing out that the standard for internet speed in the country, which is 1.5 megabytes per second, was only obtainable in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

He said the local government he hails from has a connectivity speed of 500 kilobytes per second, adding that the inability of some locations in the country to have the standard 1.5 megabytes per second internet connectivity speed was attributable to poor infrastructure.

Danbatta charged the workshop to come up with ideas on how to tackle the problem.

In a bid to ensure the wellbeing of the citizenry, the Dukan Group has launched the CarXie Mobile app aimed at curtailing the spate of kidnapping and other criminal activities being perpetrated in the country.
 
The outfit’s operations Director, Chinedu Amadi, who spoke during the launch of the software in Abuja, disclosed that no fewer than 36,000 Nigerians would be gainfully employed through the initiative.
 
Amadi dosclosed that CarXie will come live in Abuja on August 20, urging the citizenry to download the CarXie Mobile App as soon as in the interest of the country.
Stating that well qualified drivers, car owners and commuters would reap immensely from the initiatives, he assured that CarXie would reduces the amount of monies Nigeria loses daily through capital flight to foreign cab companies.
 
Noting that there are many designs for technology products coming out from Nigeria that engender hope in the early emergence of Nigeria as the giant of Africa, Amadi said that the on-going national rolling-launch of the CarXie Mobile App and Swift2pay, is another opportunity for Nigerians to actively participate in national development.
 
According to him, “It is high time Nigerians realized that the only way to the industrialized economy of our dreams is the preference and patronage of Made in Nigeria products and Services. The preference for everything foreign must end in the face of products and services that meet global standards. We therefore ask Nigerians to support and partner made in Nigeria by Nigerians for Nigerians.
 
“The CarXie Mobile App, tested and available in the Google Play store and in the very discerning Apples Store, comes on board with awesome features that resolve a number of the challenges that have threatened the growth of the transport sector in Nigeria. These features include how to make car theft and kidnapping impracticable – a rider is expected to issue his Bank Verification Number (BVN), as a means of social identification, each vehicle is automatically tracked, and voice chats are possible during rides.
 
“The CarXie App is embedded with the Swift2Pay easy to use payment gateway and card to ensure only your wallet like feature is exposed to online transactions. Swift2Pay has additional features including ATM. This is an innovation to ensure that Nigerians can move around with a smart wallet. Engaging cab owners and drivers, the CarXie Director explained, that only cars made from 2008 would be allowed to operate the CarXie franchise.
 
He stressed that cars below 2008 may under-perform thus diminishing the image of the brand CarXie. Amadi noted that the integrity of the drivers and vehicles are assured through rigorous inspection exercises. Unlike competition, inspection is free and handled by supervisory partnerships embedded in the CarXie offer to ensure quality and trust – the Executive Partners, the State Partners and the Regional Partners.
 
 
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