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9mobile Asks Citi, Standard Bank to Shop for Investors

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9Mobile.jpg

9mobile, the mobile operator formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, has appointed Citigroup and Standard Bank to find an investor to buy into the firm and three companies have shown interest, a banking source close to the deal said on Tuesday.

India’s Bharti Airtel, which already has a presence in Nigeria, as well as Britain’s Vodafone and French telecom company Orange have shown interest, the source told Reuters.

“These are still early interest signals but they are looking at the company as an attractive entry strategy,” the source said.

Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says that 9Mobile, one of the four biggest telecommunication companies in Nigeria remains strong with a solid revenue base.

Emefiele said this while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the CBN on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), supported by the CBN intervened in the company because of its huge contribution to the nation’s economy.

“9Mobile employs more than 4,000 workers, with about 20 million subscribers nationwide,’’ Emefiele said.

The CBN governor noted that the apex bank and NCC could not allow the company to go down because of the negative impact on jobs, which was capable of impacting on the economy.

While expressing delight in the indication of interests by some potential investors in the rescue of the communications company, Emefiele said that the interventions were temporal.

“The intervention is temporal, it should not last more than 90 to180 days. I am gratified that potential investors are taking part,’’ Emefiele said.

9Mobile had been struggling to meet its contractual agreement with its creditors before the intervention of the NCC with the support of the CBN.

9mobile declined to comment.

Citigroup, Standard Bank, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Orange were not immediately available to comment.

The telecoms company took out a $1.2 billion loan four years ago from 13 local lenders to refinance existing debt and expand its mobile network but it struggled to repay the credit due to a currency crisis and recession in Nigeria.

The crisis forced the telecoms company’s one-time UAE parent Etisalat to terminate its management agreement with its Nigerian business and surrender its 45 percent stake to a trustee following the regulatory intervention.

9mobile’s Chief Executive Boye Olusanya said earlier this month he would be focused on getting the telecoms company back on track to make a profit, while working on the paperwork to eventually raise new capital. He also said the company was open to new investors.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Telecom

Reps Query Non-Patronage of Nigeria’s Multi-Billion Satellite

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Committee on Information Communication Technology of the House of Representatives has been mandated the to investigate the cause of non-patronage of the multibillion Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited.

 

The committee is also to proffer solutions and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.

 

The House resolution followed a motion sponsored by Honourable Danasabe Hosea entitled, “Need to Investigate the Non Patronage of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT)”.

 

The lawmaker recalled that the Federal Government had contracted Kosmo – 3m Rocket from Russian Plesetsk Spaceport to launch its first Earth Observation Satellite, the Nigeria – 1 on September 17, 2003, at the cost of ₦30 million.

 

He added that, “Nigcomsat – 1 Communications Satellite was launched in China at the cost of ₦200 million, but it failed in orbit in 2008 after running out of power, owing to an anomaly in its solar array.

 

The Federal Government he added that, had, since 2003, spent about ₦85 billion on five Satellites which were meant to provide communication data and images for government agencies and the private sector with the aim of saving billions of foreign exchange and generating revenues estimated at $ 20 billion for the country.

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NCC Set To Dump Paper Numbering for Automated Numbering System, Meets Stakeholders

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday held a consultative forum with a broad spectrum of stakeholders as part of the processes planned towards the introduction of an automated numbering system in Nigeria.

 

This is Consistent with the commission’s distinctive tradition of broad spectrum consultation prior to taking regulatory decisions.

 

Speaking during the consultation forum, Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner Technical Services who represented Prof. Umar Danbatta, the EVC/CEO of NCC informed the participants that, “Numbers are scarce resource and one of the core functions of the Commission is to ensure that this scarce resource is effectively and efficiently managed”.

 

He also informed the audience that the automated system will be launched very soon by the Commission.

 

Paul Dinwoke, CEO Molcon Multiconcepts Limited, Consultants to NCC on the project also told the participants that some of the benefits of the automated system include convenience, transparency, efficiency, easy tracking, ability to choose number options, and strengthening of online payment systems.

 

Bako Wakil, Deputy Director Technical Standards and Network Integrity also told the audience that the deployment of automatic numbering management system is part of NCC’s efforts to automate her business processes within and outside the Commission.

 

The Forum was attended by many stakeholders, including licensees of the Commission and staff.

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Five Reasons To Stop Wearing Headphones Always

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By Ogunfowoke Adeniyi

Headphones are very important because they make work and travel more fun. Therefore, it’s so common today to see people strolling with their headphones.

Despite the seeming advantage (s) of headphones, it should not be constantly plugged in your ears for the following reasons shared by Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency.

 

You Can’T Hear Cars Coming At You

It’s much safer to walk around without your headphones. This is because you cannot hear cars coming at you and this can lead to an unavoidable accident. According to research, serious injuries have increased 300% in the last six years for pedestrians wearing headphones. So, make it a rule not to use your headphones on the road.

 

Headphones Overuse Can Damage Your Ears

Your ears may be damaged if you overuse headphones. So it’s probably best to let them breathe now and then.

 

You Can’T Hear The People Around You

For people who are headphone addicts, they must have been told several times by a friend that they called out to them and they didn’t respond. Why? Because they had their headphone plugged in. If this is the report you always get, it is time to stop plugging your ears when you are around people.

 

You Miss The Little Things

After sight, hearing is the most important sense that engages us. If we can see but lack the sound-correlated ambience, we become dissociated. It’s like we are putting our minds on autopilot, and just going through the motions of daily life.

 

You Risk Coming Off As Rude

Even if you’re the friendliest person around, headphones make you unapproachable. It makes it harder for people to call out to you.

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