• MTN Group, Africa’s biggest mobile operator, reported a 1.1 percent rise in quarterly user base on Monday, helped partly by strong performances in Nigeria, its largest market. The company said its user base increased by 2.5 million subscribers to 225.4 million users in the quarter ended September, and mobile money customers grew by 1.7 million to 25.8 million users. Mobile money customers charge their phones with cash, and send it to friends or family via the short message service. These counter-parties can then make similar transfers or cash in their credits with pre-approved agents, such as merchants or banks.
  • The Association of Power Generation Companies in Nigeria says that power plants are being forced to operate below their optimal capacity levels by the frequency of instructions to either increase load or decrease load and, in some cases, shut down, leading to induced damaging stresses to the components of the machines. Executive Secretary of APGC, Joy Ogaji, said that these instructions, reflective of the grid behaviour, are subjecting key electrical components of the power plants to operational stresses. The generation plants, she said, are now being used as regulating power reserve by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, via its subsidiary, the System Operator/NCC, to stabilise the national grid. The nation’s total power generation has been hovering between 3,000 megawatts and 3,500MW in recent months. It stood at 3,741.30MW as of 0600 hours Sunday, according to the Nigeria Electricity System Operator.
  • Ahead of November 6 nationwide strike to compel government to peg a new minimum wage at ₦30,000, organised labour will today hold a mass protest across the country to prepare workers and Nigerians for the planned industrial action. This came as the unions urged workers not to be deterred by the government’s threat of “no work, no pay” saying strike had always complied with legal requirements. Already, leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC and United Labour Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have started reaching out to workers nationwide and their civil society allies, ahead of the protest and the nationwide strike scheduled for November 6.
  • Twelve crew members of a Swiss ship seized off Nigeria last month have been freed, Swiss judicial officials have announced. Negotiations between the owner Massoel Shipping and the kidnappers led to the release of seven Filipinos, a Bosnian, a Croatian, a Romanian, a Slovenian and a Ukrainian, all of whom were then flown to Switzerland, ATS news agency and the Basel prosecutor’s office said. The ship, MV Glarus, and its cargo of wheat are still in the hands of pirates who attacked on September 22nd and destroyed most of its communications equipment. The ship had been transporting wheat from Lagos to Port Harcourt when it was hijacked off Bonny Island. It is not known whether a ransom was paid for the crew’s release.