President Buhari has approved the extension of Nigeria’s border closure neighbouring countries to 31 January, next year. The Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspectorate, Victor Dimka, conveyed the Presidential directive on the exercise code-named Operation Exercise Swift, which had resulted in joint border operations by a combined team of security agencies. According to the memo, “despite the overwhelming success of the operation, particularly the security and economic benefits to the country, a few strategic objectives are yet to be achieved, which informed the extension of the exercise by the President.” The President assured that operatives that are involved in the joint exercise would get their allowances in due time.

The GMD of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, has publicly opened bids from 14 companies for the financing and redevelopment of Oil Mining Lease 119, operated by the Upstream subsidiary of the corporation, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company. Speaking at the public opening of bids for the Funding and Technical Services Entity, the GMD, represented by the COO, Corporate Services, Faruk Sa’id, said the OML 119 was one of the corporation’s critical projects which aligns wholly with the FG’s aspirations of boosting crude oil and gas production, growing reserves, and monetising the country’s enormous gas resources. He noted that the selection process for the potential FTSE was transparent and in strict compliance with extant laws and overriding national interest. It was also in tandem with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the TAPE agenda of the NNPC, he said. OML 119 is a twin offshore block made up of Okono and Okpoho Fields located approximately 50 kilometres offshore south-eastern Niger Delta.

The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, has said that the country’s security challenges of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping will be totally eradicated if the border closure is sustained for the next two years. Emefiele, while responding to questions after his lecture titled “The Role of Monetary Policy towards Economic Growth in Nigeria,” at the first Convocation Lecture of Edo University, Iyamho, Auchi, said the border closure was capable of tackling all security challenges currently being experienced in the country. Explaining how the closure can arrest the security challenges, he said if the youth who were in these vices were gainfully engaged in meaningful activities, the insecurity would reduce to the barest minimum. He assured that the monetary regulator will promote this policy by making sure that we produce what we consume and eat what we produce.

Globacom increased its subscriber base in the country by 2 million new users in September this year, making it the second-largest in the country after MTN. The NCC’s report for the month showed that Globacom added 1,945,846 new subscribers. This increases the base from 47,265,628 in August to 49,211,474. Airtel which had briefly occupied the second position in the industry now drops to the third position with a subscriber base of 48,909,678 at the end of September, after adding 987,787 new customers, representing 50 percent of Globacom’s new addition within the period under review. Its figure at the end of the preceding month of August was 47,921,891. The NCC data showed that it was only Globacom and Airtel that added new subscribers to their networks, as MTN and 9mobile recorded a decline in active subscriptions for the month. Globacom’s record performance in September was buoyed by improved service delivery following continuous upgrade of its infrastructure. However, MTN remained the largest mobile operator in Nigeria, it lost 379,795 subscribers in the month under review. This brought its total subscriptions down to 65,328,104 from the 65,707,899 it recorded in August. The fourth mobile operator, 9mobile, lost 268,159 subscribers in September, going down from 15,602,255 in August to 15,334,096 in September. According to the industry regulator, the number of active mobile users in the country rose from 176.6 million recorded in August to 178.9 million in September. With this, the country’s teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area, also increased to 93.8 per cent.