MTN Nigeria has deactivated 600,000 active subscribers in compliance with the directive of the NCC to deactivate partially registered SIM cards, the telecommunication company said as it recorded 61.6 million subscribers at the end of Q3 this year. This indicates that the network operator added 100,000 users quarter on quarter. The firm’s Q3 unaudited financial report ended 30 September 2019 showed that its service revenue increased by 12.1 percent to ₦854.9 billion, largely driven by increases of 10.1 percent and 34.9 percent, respectively in voice and data revenue as its earnings per share rose by 29 percent to ₦7.29 while capex increased by 39.5 percent to ₦154.1 billion. The telco said it launched its super-agent services in August 2019 and recorded 66,000 registered agents. The CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, said MTN recorded double-digit growth in service revenue despite the challenging business environment. He added that the firm added 1.6 million active data subscribers and 4G population coverage reached over 35 percent in 64 cities.

Nigeria has asked the US to help fund power and other infrastructure projects and help it in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency. President Buhari met US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, at a conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and discussed increased funding, which will help the country address current challenges confronting its power sector and a general upgrade of infrastructure, the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Thursday. Nigeria has struggled with crippling electricity shortages for decades despite its potential to generate 12,522 megawatts of power from existing plants, but only generates a third of that. Buhari is also exploring areas of strengthening Nigeria’s ongoing collaboration with the U.S. on stopping terrorist financing, the Presidency said.

The Dangote refinery is scheduled to be at full capacity in the middle of 2021, a group executive director at Dangote Industries, Devakumar Edwin has said. The refinery in Lagos will be ready for commissioning at the beginning of 2021, with full capacity reached by the end of the first half of the year, he said in an interview at a conference in Lagos. The Dangote refinery, which is designed to maximize petrol output, will produce enough to allow for a small surplus of that fuel for export as Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude producer, lacks refining capacity to meet its own fuel needs. The Dangotes will also be able to send a large volume of diesel and jet fuel to international markets, Edwin said. Dangote plans to take advantage of local crude supply and it won’t participate in the crude-for-fuel swap deal that is managed by the NNPC which recently extended its crude for fuel deal for another three years. According to Edwin, the new refinery has been designed to process varieties of crude from sweet to light crude sourced both locally, and abroad. Dangote plans to export its diesel to Europe and gasoline to Latin America, Western and Central African markets while evacuation of refined products will be done by sea and through roads, he said.

The Nigerian Communications Commission licensed a total number of 20 new Internet Service Providers between January and October 2019, increasing the operators licensed by the NCC to 120. The newly licensed companies include Last-Mile Unique Integrated Services, Ciudad Infrastructure, Torrent Wireless, Fastfeet, Tripple Logic Telecommunications and Gutti Global Solutions. The regulator also licensed Telequip & Digital, Vobiss Gridworx, Brainshare Technologies and Services, Tech-Systems, MM Telcom, Access Solutions, Mobile AD, and Internetsional Technologies. Others are Paychex, Arif Investment, Unique El-Mao, Megamore Wireless Broadband, CITCC, Tecpoint, Cloud Exchange, and Butterfly Telecommunications. The number of licensed operators was at one time over 170 but due to a number of challenges faced in the sector, many operators quit. This has had an effect on the active service providers. One of the challenges is the serious pressure the ISPs have come under from mobile network operators over the years. The intense competition and other operational challenges such as increasing capital and operational expenditure have been cited as the bane of ISPs in the country. Out of 20 firms, whose licenses got expired this year, only one renewed it. This means that the remaining 19 have exited the business. The NCC’s Director of Licensing and Authorisation, Funlola Akiode, has however called on the operators to renew their licenses and fulfil their licensing obligations.