• Teleology Holdings, promoted by Adrian Wood, former MTN Nigeria CEO is the preferred bidder for 9mobile, according to a report by The Cable. Smile Telecoms Holdings, a telco operating in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa, is the reserve bidder. While Teleology put in a bid of $500 million, Smile quoted $300 million. The news site reports that both companies will be given 30 days to prove that they have the financial resources to take over the troubled telco. An official announcement has not yet been made. Globacom, Nigeria’s second largest operator, and Helios Investment Partners LLP, an investment company, did not make any financial offer for 9mobile. Airtel pulled out complaining about “too many hidden things” in the health of the company.
  • The NCC says it will play host to a stakeholders’ meeting on mobile voice termination rates February 1. Findings on a cost based study for determination of mobile voice termination rates in the country will be presented at the session. The study was conducted by PwC and it will be unveiled to stakeholders at the Digital Bridge Institute in Lagos. In a statement on Friday, the commission said the forum would be avail stakeholders the opportunity to listen to the findings of PwC in the study and discuss issues of concern to all parties. “The forum will serve as a prelude to the release of the report and the Determination of the Mobile Termination Rates by the Commission,” the statement read.
  • Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun said the FG is investigating over 200 whistleblowing tips on tax officials and taxpayers. The investigation involves under-declaration of taxes by taxpayers and receipt of gratifications by tax officials. Adeosun spoke on Sunday in Abuja while presiding over the meeting of the whistleblower unit in the ministry of finance and the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit. According to a statement by ministry spokesperson, Oluyinka Akintunde, two senior tax officials in Delta and Benue states have been suspended based on “verified tips” from whistleblowers. “The ministry is currently analysing over 200 additional whistleblowing tips including recordings between tax officials and potential taxpayers in which various practices, designed to reduce tax payable, were detailed,” the statement read. The minister, according to the statement, has also directed the reorganisation of the whistleblower unit to fast track reports relating to those in the revenue generating agencies.
  • Meter asset providers, which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is planning to introduce into the power sector, will be expected to supply and install meters within 21 working days of payment at the premises of electricity customers who choose the option of paying for the meters. The distribution licensee (the electricity distribution company) will own such meters and repay the customers through energy credits over a period not exceeding five years, according to the Draft Meter Asset Providers Regulation 2017 released by NERC. A meter asset provider is an entity that is granted a permit to give metering services, which may include meter financing, procurement, meter tests, supply, installation, maintenance and replacement. But Azu Obiaya, CEO of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, the umbrella body of the electricity distribution companies said, “We have seen the draft regulation and there is quite a bit of it that we are not happy with.” Describing metering as a critical point in the Discos’ revenue collection, he said, “So, you can understand that we are very concerned about the regulation. The Discos, as part of their performance obligations, have metering obligations. We want to be sure that whatever arrangement that comes out will allow us to ensure revenue protection and protect our customers.”