MTN Nigeria, yesterday, secured a N470 billion (about $3 billion) medium term financing from a consortium of 17 Nigerian banks and five international financial institutions.
The local consortium was led by Zenith Bank which pooled a N55billion, about ($367million), the co-ordinating bank, GTB, pooled N40billion, First Bank N40billion, Access N35billion, Fidelity N26.2bilion, UBA, 25billion, Union Bank N20billion,
FCMB N15billion, Ecobank N15billion, Stanbic IBTC N15bn.
Others are Diamond N5billion, Citibank N5billion, FSDH N3billion, Keystone N5billion,Mainstreet N5billion, Rand Merchant N3billion, Standard Chartered N7billion, which totalled N329.25billion.
The N329.25billion facility from the local banks was arranged by a syndication of 17 banks with Zenith Bank as the lead arranger having the highest allocation of N55billion. The foreign banks included one in China, two from South Africa and others from Europe.
The deal which is expected to help MTN in further expanding, modernising and improving its network infrastructure, consists of US$1.8 billion in additional facilities and US$1.2billion in restructured existing local facility.
MTN explained that the funding ratio is 70 per cent from the local consortium and 30 per cent from the foreign institutions with a seven- year repayment plan.
The reason, according to the company, was to guard against unstable foreign exchange between the dollar and naira.
Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr Brett Goschen, said, “ordinarily, Naira funding is usually costly but it reduces risk. We deliberately made the bulk of the financing from local currency because we do not know what the rate of Naira to dollar will be in future. We may predict the forex between one and two years but definitely not in seven years”.
For him, the deal represented another successful landmark in the history of MTN and the banking industry.
The deal is the sixth of such strategic partnerships for MTN, including a facility of US$170 million Commercial Paper Facility secured by the company in 2002 and $395 million Medium Term Facility in 2003.
Goschen noted that “in 2007, MTN Nigeria again partnered with various local and international financial institutions to raise USD 2 billion to fund our rapidly expanding operations. It was again regarded as the largest loan syndication to any individual telecommunications company in Africa. In that year, it won the ‘African Deal of the Year’ by the EuroMoney Magazine,” he said.
He also recalled that in 2010, MTN Nigeria partnered with 15 local financial institutions and two international lenders to raise another USD 2 billion, which was described as the largest corporate financing deal in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. This deal was awarded ‘Trade Finance Deal of the Year 2010” by the Trade Finance Magazine of the United Kingdom.
“The essence of these deals was to enable MTN to make the necessary capital investments to expand our network infrastructure and meet the growing demands of our customer base. We certainly put that financing to good use, built the most extensive telecommunications network in Africa and grew our customer base to over 50 million subscribers,” he said.
He noted that MTN currently has effective network coverage of more than 85 percent of Nigeria’s land mass and population, and nearly 100 percent coverage of most major highways in the country.
Mr. Goschen said with a relatively low mobile penetration, sound economic growth, lower cost of ownership for consumers and the insatiable demand for data services, there is still ample room for more growth in the sector.
“The restructured and additional facilities will enable us to continue with the aggressive investment in our network,” he said. He stated that the company invested $1.6 billion in 2012 and is investing over US$1.5 billion in 2013.
“Enhancing our network quality is also a key focus of the investment as we lead the delivery of a bold new digital world for our customers,” he said.
Stating his bank’s involvement in the deal, Deputy Managing Director of FCMB bank, Mr Segun Odusanya said it was his bank’s way of helping in entrenching telecom development in the country.
According to him, going by the market share that MTN has in the Nigerian telecommunications industry, it would be common sense for any bank that likes development to support them and if you check the track record of FCMB, one will easily find out that those kind of gestures interests us a lot” he added. [Vanguard]
First celebrity Limited Edition Smartphone in Sub Sahara Africa: Davido Special Edition of Infinix NOTE 8
Over the last few weeks, Infinix has floated its candy before the eyes of tech enthusiast intensifying their craving for the soon to be released device. Through several social media posts, Infinix has hinted on the imminent release of the NOTE 8 and we all can’t wait for the device to hit the shelves.
Although the proposed date for the launch in its initial teaser videos and banners have passed without
any launch, we have reasons to believe that the launch will take place sometimes this month.
However, here’s a more interesting news. Infinix is set to be the first smart phone company in sub Sahara Africa to launch a limited edition device with a celebrity. A special edition of the NOTE 8 will be released alongside the primal version of the NOTE 8 and the NOTE 8i. The special edition is signed by Infinix’s brand ambassador David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido.
The available stock for the special Davido-signed edition is limited. However, interested shoppers can
get one for themselves at exclusive SLOT outlets nationwide and on their website Here. Exciting free
gifts are also available if you’re among the lucky few to buy this device while stocks last.
The Infinix NOTE 8 is targeted at the mid-to-high-end market segment and it comes with several
interesting features. The device on-boards a super-fast processor – the MediaTek Helio G80
processor, which supports ultra-fast gaming speed, stable graphics in-game, easy multi-tasking as
well as an all-round optimal performance.
The device also sports six cameras in total. It comes with a dual selfie camera which is cut out from its
super-wide 6.95inches screen. On the back, the NOTE 8 crams a 64MP super night shot camera for
amazing night shot photographs and other photography needs.
Many of Infinix loyalists and smartphone enthusiasts are already clearing their carts and lining up in
preparation for the launch of the Infinix NOTE 8. Now that there’s a special Davido edition in sight, the
queue might just be doubling up.
To stay ahead of interested shoppers and ensure that you’re one of the first to get your hands on this
special edition of the NOTE 8, follow Infinix on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @Infinixnigeria.
The potential for iGaming in Nigeria uncovered
There is a growing positivity surrounding the Nigerian iGaming industry. As the nation breathes a collective sigh of relief following the announcement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), it’s hoped that many burgeoning industries such as the world of iGaming can be allowed to flourish and bring much-needed tax revenues to the country.
Many analysts within the iGaming industry believe Nigeria has the potential to become Africa’s iGaming hub. Its domestic market is already forecast to be worth $2 billion, due largely to sports betting and the fascination with Nigerian soccer stars overseas like Odion Ighalo at Manchester United. Meanwhile, the domestic penetration of smartphones is also recognised, with some 83% of the population now owning a mobile device.
Nigeria was also a major focal point during this year’s SBC Digital Summit Africa, which was understandably conducted virtually earlier this month. Ahead of the summit, experts enrolled in the event were asked to vote on which African country offered the best foundations for iGaming operators to thrive. Nigeria outperformed every other nation, with 31% of all votes labelling Nigeria as the country with the highest potential to make a real
success of its domestic iGaming sector.
Even South Africa, which has a well-established domestic iGaming market, ranked second with just 28% of the vote. Prospective Nigerian iGaming operators should certainly take a leaf out of the book of South African iGaming brands, many of which have cultivated a strong customer base through the use of incentives and sign-up bonuses. The vast majority of offers available at platforms like Casinos.co.za, direct gamers to the safest and most reputable
One of the main reasons that industry experts believe in Nigeria’s iGaming potential is that it already boasts an engaged target demographic. Many of its young adults are already betting on sports like soccer and boxing, and there is a feeling that introducing them to casino gaming verticals would not be too difficult a stretch. Marry that with a growing number of smartphone users, which is predicted to reach over 140 million people by 2025, and you can
see the potential for iGaming apps and web applications to provide immersive, secure gaming
on the go.
Presently, the country has three separate bodies responsible for licensing online betting activities – the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP). At the time of writing, online betting at a domestic Nigerian site is strictly prohibited by law. Loopholes regarding offshore operators make it possible for
Nigerians to play elsewhere, but it seems somewhat short-sighted for the Nigerian government to steer clear of creating its own regulated, revenue-making iGaming industry.
In a nation of substantial population, supporters of developing a domestic iGaming industry in Nigeria believe that the most would be a positive step, creating new career opportunities for everyday people. This could be in customer support, game development or any other facet of an iGaming operator. All the while, generating tax revenues for the Nigerian government and helping to breathe new life into the domestic economy.
There is a general feeling that Nigeria’s gaming industries tend to follow the same path as South Africa’s. The SBC Digital Summit Africa revealed that there has been a “seismic shift” from sports betting markets to casino games in the last eight months, including live dealer tables, that’s according to Sean Coleman, CEO of the South Africa Bookmakers Association.
Live dealer games seemingly “appeal to millennials” across South Africa. Dean Finder, CEO of Evolution Services SA believes the fact that live dealer games are “not gender biased” is an opportunity to reach out to female players, which are an often “unserved market” across Africa.
For these trends to follow suit in Nigeria, operators will need to build further trust in their
games and regulatory measures to curry favour with the country’s legislature.
Femi Otedola Reacts To Lekki Tollgate Shooting
Nigerian businessman, Femi Otedola has finally reacted to the shooting that took place at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos on Tuesday.
Information Nigeria recalls men dressed in military wears opened fire on unarmed #EndSARS protesters, who convened at the area.
Otedola took to his Instagram page on Sunday to commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident.
Sharing a photo of the Nigerian flag, he wrote;
“The horrors that have been unfolding in our country have left me filled with sadness. I deeply commiserate with those who have lost their loved ones and as a father, I share the sentiment of my three daughters who protested in Lagos and London. As a young boy of 16, I participated in the ‘Ali Must Go Protest’ of 1978, so I understand the determination of our youths who rightly want our country to be better. We must all do our part to make Nigeria great! I will continue to do my own quota in providing for those who are most in need of support in our country in these tough times .…F.Ote💲”
See his post below:
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