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9mobile’s Iska Weather Service Subscription Soars

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9mobile has said that its Iska Weather (forecast) service launched recently in partnership with weather forecasting portal, Ignitia, has gained impressive traction among the target users over the short period since its introduction.

The telecom firm said users have commended the innovative service because of the positive impact it has had on their businesses.

A user, Jibrin Yakubu Gama – a Kano-based businessman, in his testimonial said, “I use the weather forecast for trading. It helps me know how to schedule my plans for the day.” Another subscriber, Nazif Umar, lauded the service in these words, “I use it for driving so I know how the weather will be to be careful when driving.”

“In the words of Abubakar Zaaki Baiti – a Birnin-Kebbi farmer and user of the service, “I use the weather forecast for farming. It helps me know when to fertilize and helps me to know what to even do at the farm.”

Iska Weather Service enables farmers, event planners and others whose activities can be affected by meteorological conditions, to predict the weather with 84% forecast accuracy, thereby mitigating the impact of adverse weather and attendant losses.

Since its launch in October 2018, the service has gained over 135,000 new subscribers. In addition, the weather forecasting portal has had an average of 450,000 daily views on its landing page.

Commenting on the milestone, 9mobile’s Head Digital Media, Bolanle Afuye, said: “We were fairly optimistic when we rolled out the service, however the rate of subscription so far has surpassed our expectations. Even more amazing is the fact that to date we have recorded zero complaints from those who have used the service.”

She added that Iska Weather Service signals good times for event planners, traders, and other individuals for whom unexpected poor weather can significantly reduce their output. “A critical mission for us is to explore ways through which we can deploy technology in solving today’s problems, and Iska Weather Service provides a good opportunity to do that”, she enthused.

Iska Weather Service is a simple, easy-to-use platform that empowers 9mobile subscribers who live in rural and urban areas, to leverage technology in predicting the weather with near-perfect accuracy; thereby empowering them to plan against adverse weather conditions.

The service offers subscribers access to Ignitia’s daily 2-day weather forecast service on rainfall risk, timing and intensity, along with the monthly and seasonal outlooks.

Farmers can utilise the service to prevent possible loss of crops from bad weather, while event planners, retailers, young and middle-aged individuals are also able to plan and carry out their activities unhindered by weather conditions.

Interested 9mobile customers can subscribe to the localised weather forecast by dialing *4555# via USSD or sending “help” to 4555 using SMS to view packages.

The service is affordable and flexible, with customers able to choose their preferred subscription package. Available options include service packages of N10 per day, N35 per week or N100 per month.

 

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N330Bn fine: NCC Orders MTN to Balance of N55Bn by May 31

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MTN Nigeria Communications Limited has till May 31 to pay the balance of N55bn out of the N330bn fine imposed on the telecommunications company by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for SIM card registration infraction, the regulatory agency has said.

 

In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the regulatory agency clarified that MTN had paid a total of N275bn, leaving a balance of N55bn that must be paid by the end of May.

 

The statement said, “Following a negotiated reduction of the N1.04tn fine on MTN Nigeria to N330bn and in line with the staggered payment arrangement, MTN has, so far, paid N275bn to the Federal Government.

 

“Part of the fallout of the negotiated terms of payment of the fine is the listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and this is being done.

 

“What this means, according to the staggered arrangement, is that May 31, 2019 would be the deadline for the telecoms company to pay the sixth and final tranche of the balance of N55bn.”

 

It added, “After six months of negotiation and re-negotiation over the fine which led to the reduction to N330bn, it was agreed that MTN would pay a balance of N280bn in six tranches. This was in addition to the “goodwill” payment of N50bn earlier made by MTN to the government.

 

“Specifically,   MTN began the payment structure with the payment of N30bn into NCC’s Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, 30 days from the date of the agreement dated June 10 2016.

 

“Subsequently, MTN paid N30bn on March 31, 2017; N55bn on March 31, 2018; N55bn on December 31, 2018,  and on March 31, it paid N55bn.

 

“The balance and final tranche of the payment will be paid by May 31 in line with the structure of the staggered payments agreed by MTN and the Nigerian government.”

 

The NCC. on October 20, 2015, imposed a fine of N1.04tn on MTN for infraction of the provision of the NCC Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations 2011; for failure to disconnect 5.2 million improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Modules lines within the prescribed deadline, because the lines had economic activities on them without proper registration.

 

In an agreement reached by the parties involved in a way to avoid decision likely to cripple business interest of the operators  the commission regulates, it was also agreed that MTN would apologise to Nigerians, subscribe to the compulsory observance of Code of Corporate Governance for telecoms industry as well as undertake immediate steps to ensure its listing on the NS

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MTN Has Paid N275Bn for SIM Card Registration Infractions- NCC

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday said that MTN has paid N275 billion SIM infraction fine as balance of N55 billion was due this month

 

Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, who spoke on the state of MTN fine payment at the valedictory service organised for Mr Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications, in Abuja; said following a negotiated reduction of the N1.04 trillion fine on MTN Nigeria to N330 billion and in line with the staggered payment arrangement, MTN has, so far, paid N275 billion to the Federal Government.

 

Danbatta said that part of the fallout of the negotiated terms of payment of the fine is the listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and this is being done.

 

“What this means, according to the staggered arrangement, is that May 31, 2019 would be the deadline for the telecoms company to pay the sixth and final tranche of the balance of N55 billion.

 

“After six months of negotiation and re-negotiation over the fine which led to the reduction to N330 billion, it was agreed that MTN would pay a balance of N280 billion in six tranches.

 

“”This was in addition to the “goodwill” payment of N50 billion earlier made by MTN to the government.

 

“Specifically, MTN began the payment structure with the payment of N30 billion into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 30 days from the date of the agreement dated June 10 2016.

 

“Subsequently, MTN paid N30 billion on March 31, 2017; N55 billion on March 31, 2018; N55 billion on December 31, 2018 and on March 31, it paid N55 billion.

 

“The balance and final tranche of the payment will be paid by May 31, 2019, in line with the staggered payments structure agreed by MTN and Nigerian government.

 

It will be recalled that the NCC on October 20, 2015, imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN for infraction of the provision of the NCC Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations 2011;

 

For failure to disconnect 5.2 million improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) lines within the prescribed deadline, because these lines had economic activities on them without proper registration.

 

He said that in the agreement reached by the parties involved in a way to avoid decision likely to cripple business interest of the operators the commission regulates.

 

It was also agreed that MTN shall apologise to Nigerians, subscribe to the compulsory observance of Code of Corporate Governance for Telecoms Industry; as well as undertake immediate steps to ensure its listing on the NSE.

 

Danbatta also said the commission had succeeded in empowering Nigerians “to control, manage and own telecommunications companies in Nigeria by owning shares in MTN Nigeria.”

 

He explained that, through the MTN’s listing on the NSE, the commission had translated into action, an important function which is to promote local investment and ownership in the telecom sector.

 

According to him, “MTN listing on the stock exchange, we have given reality to that important function of the commission.

 

“Through this listing, Nigerians will be empowered to control, own and manage one of dominant telecommunications companies in the country.

 

“With MTN shares available in the capital market, Nigerians will buy shares and by purchasing the shares of MTN, they will be financially empowered and be socially transformed.

 

“We consider this a very important milestones in translating the function of the Commission into reality, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.”

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Smile Telecoms Appoints Farroukh as Group Chief Executive Officer

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Smile Telecoms, a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, today announces the appointments of Mr. Ahmad Farroukh as Group Chief Executive Officer and Ms. Irene Charnley as Deputy Chairman, respectively, effective 1 June 2019.

Ahmad Farroukh, who currently serves as Smile’s Group Executive Director Operations, is a seasoned and experienced telecoms executive with a distinguished record of commercial and operational success.

Mr. Farroukh’s vast experience extends to executive management positions at Investcom Holdings and the MTN Group (where he served as CEO of MTN Nigeria, MTN South Africa and Group Chief Operating Executive, responsible for 19 countries) and immediately prior to joining Smile, as CEO of Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s second largest telecommunications operator. Given the extent of the opportunity and the significance to Smile, Ahmad will spend the majority of his executive time in Nigeria.

Hailed as one of Africa’s most successful business leaders, Smile Telecoms founder and shareholder, Irene Charnley has led the Company’s innovation and pioneering of Africa’s first 4G LTE network infrastructure, using low band spectrum in 800MHz band. thereby revolutionizing the way people in Africa accessed high speed internet. After 12 years at the helm, Ms. Charnley will now serve as Deputy Chairman for the Company and will fulfil a strategic role.

Commenting on the announcement, Mohammed H. Sharbatly, Smile’s Co-Chairman and Group CEO of Smile’s majority shareholder, Al Nahla Group of KSA, said “The Africa telecoms market is as dynamic as it is challenging, and Ahmad is suited to lead Smile’s next exciting phase of growth, as we have transitioned from a spectrum rich upstart to the fastest, most reliable data gigabyte factory in Sub-Sahara Africa.

“We are equally delighted that Irene will continue to serve the company she founded as Deputy Chair, and we look forward to her ongoing strategic direction and guidance.”

“The next phase for Smile will focus on delivering excellent operational returns, achieving profitability and creating value for all stakeholders, and I believe that Ahmed is best suited to lead the Company forward in this regard”, added Irene Charnley.

“Africa is experiencing explosive data growth, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the operations of one of the continent’s best 4G LTE networks at this exciting time.

It has also been a revelation after over 20 years in the industry to witness the power and versatility of Smile’s proprietary technology applications platform, which was developed in-house and provides a huge competitive and cost advantage,” concluded Ahmad Farroukh.

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