The Nigerian police have arrested about 125 suspected looters following sporadic violence and looting of businesses by rioters claiming to have been angered by the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa. Several businesses, assumed to belong to South Africans, have been looted or destroyed in Lagos, Ibadan, Uyo and other parts of the country since Tuesday. A large billboard carrying MTN commercials but owned by a Nigerian was destroyed in Abuja on Wednesday morning, and the police stopped an attempt to breach a shopping mall in Abuja’s Lugbe suburb. The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammad Adamu, while announcing additional security measures for foreign embassies, missions and businesses across Nigeria, said that foreigners across the country would be protected against further aggression. All zonal AIGs and commissioners of police have been placed on red alert to ensure no similar violence is replicated within the country.

OVH Energy Marketing, a licensee of the Oando retail brand, said it has fired 100 of its employees in order to overcome the problem of salaries payment due to challenges in the downstream oil sector. An official told the News Agency of Nigeria that all the terminated workers had been paid their entitlements. The firm said that the severance exercise was not a decision made on an impulse but was done after extensive discussions for over eight months at the local, zonal and national levels of the relevant unions. A spokesman for OVH, Gogomary Oyet,  said that the severance package realised from these conversations were acceptable and signed by all parties before the implementation of the exercise. Oyet added that the company had introduced a voluntary exit package for workers who were not affected by the severance exercise but wished to move ahead with other ventures.

Data from the Nigerian Communications Commission shows that telecom operators grew their revenue by 15 percent in a year to ₦2.25 trillion recorded in December 2018 from ₦1.96 trillion in 2017. Investments of the operators in infrastructure declined by 62 percent to stand at ₦32.1 billion by the end of 2018. The breakdown of the 2018 network/subscriber data indicated that the GSM operators made up of MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile grew their revenue by 13.6 percent from ₦1.57 trillion in 2017 to ₦1.78 trillion in 2018.  The fixed network operators grew their revenue by 1.5 percent from ₦4.05 billion to ₦4.11 billion in the period under review. The NCC said Internet service providers also grew their revenue by 23.4 percent to reach ₦43.83 billion in 2018 from ₦35.53 billion in 2017. Other operators made up of value-added services, collocation companies, interconnect firms among others recorded 18.2 percent revenue growth from ₦349.2 billion to ₦412.77 billion in a year. The capital investment of operators decreased from ₦84.7 billion in 2017 to ₦32.1 billion in 2018, the 2018 report indicated. The operating cost of the companies increased by two per cent from ₦1.72 trillion in 2017 to ₦1.76 trillion in 2018. According to the NCC, the figure was based on the number of responses it received from the network operators in the country. There was substantial telecom infrastructure growth as operators reported a total of 52,160 Base Transceiver Stations and co-location towers, 334,314km of microwave, 151 gateways and 84,580.7km of fibre optics, the NCC said.

MTN Nigeria has announced the closure of its offices nationwide and has also asked its workers to stay at home. The telecom company also ordered all its stores and service centres to be closed as a precaution until further notice. This is due to reprisal attacks faced by the firm and other South African companies operating in the country by Nigerians who are aggrieved over the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa. However, the telecom company said its social media handles, mobile app and call centres are available to attend to subscribers’ concerns, and that it would continue to provide uninterrupted services despite being concerned about the safety and security of its customers, members of staff and partners. MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman, said that the company was against all forms of violence and xenophobia.