MTN Nigeria posts N975.76 billion revenue for Q3 2020

This is according to its updated financials  available on the Nigerian Stock Exchange Market.

Commenting on the rationale behind the revenue growth in the latest financials posted by the firm, the CEO of MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, said, “Following a decline in voice traffic and an acceleration in data during lockdowns in Q2, we have seen a normalization of traffic as restrictions have been removed, with a recovery voice traffic and continued growth in data. This has supported a 13.9% growth in service revenue, with an acceleration of growth to 16.5% in Q3 specifically.”

Operating profit also increased by 7.8% from N284.73 billion in Q3 2019 to N307.01 billion in Q3 2020.. The growth in operating profit was largely impacted by the increase in finance costs as a result of increased borrowings (September 2019: N381 billion, September 2020: N509 billion), leading to a decline of 0.6% in profit before tax to N211.6 billion.

The following are key metrics which impacted the Q3 2020 figures posted by the firm:M

Mobile subscribers increased by 3.9 million to 75million.Active data users increased by 1.7 million to 30.7 million. Service revenue increased by 13.9% to N973.8 billion.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 9.1% to N497.9 billion.

EBITDAmargin declined by 2.3 percentage point (pp) to 51.0%, due to cost pressures arising mainly from increased investments in the firm’s network and the impact on costs of the depreciation to the CBN and NAFEX exchange rates. Profit before Tax (PBT) declined by 0.6% to N211.6 billion. Earnings Per Share (EPS) declined by 3.3% to N7.1 kobo

UK High Commission reopens Visa Application centres in Nigeria

The United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria has announced the reopening of its visa application centres in the country.

This is coming some days after the high commission had shut down its visa application centres in Victoria Island, Abuja and Lagos over the outbreak of violence arising from #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings. This has led to the loss of lives and destruction and looting of public and private assets across the country.

The disclosure was made by the high commission in a statement through a tweet post on its official Twitter handle.

The high commission, however, noted in its statement, titled, ‘Update on UK visa application centres in Nigeria’ that its centres would not open on Thursday due to the public holiday in Nigeria due to the Eid-El Malaud celebration

The statement from the UK high commission, partly reads, “Our TLS contact visa application centres are now open in Nigeria. Following the recent closures, we are working hard to process all outstanding applications.’’

“We thank you for your continued patience and understanding. Please note Thursday, October 29, is a public holiday in Nigeria and our Visa application centres will be closed.

The reopening of the visa applications centres after they were shut about a week ago is due to the gradual return of peace and order to some of those trouble spots following the intervention of security The UK high commission had been very critical of the outbreak of violence in the country, especially the shooting of unarmed protesters at Lekki Tollgate by alleged military personnel and asked the government to thoroughly investigate the incident and ensure justice is done.

In its statement, the high commission said, ‘’We remain concerned by acts of looting and violence in Nigeria and urge security services use restraint as the order is restored. Working with all stakeholders, judicial panels of inquiry must investigate all incidents, including Lekki and ensure accountability for crimes.

13 out of 50 commercial banks grant license for bancassurance in Tanzania

With the introduction of bancassurance in Tanzania, 13 out 50 commercial banks in that country have been granted licences for such operations.

The Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (Tira) regulations allow each bank to practice bancassurance with three to ten insurance companies.

Such distribution channel was introduced by the regulatory authority in order to make insurance products accessible to a large number of Tanzanians.

The authority also aims to improve the penetration of insurance in all regions of the country. For the record, bancassurance has helped increase employment opportunities for young graduates.

Major reforms will be undertaken in the insurance industry to increase coverage and stimulate economic growth.

Achieving the targets will involve implementing policy and non-policy reforms, to boost the image of the industry and increase public confidence.

The regulatory authority commissioner general, Baghayo Saqware said that the adoption of the national insurance policy would guide reforms

A draft prepared in 2015 is regarded as a tool to facilitate the attainment of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and the Zanzibar Development Vision 2020 which envisage raising the standards of living to the middle-income level.

He said the draft was awaiting the approval of the Ministry of Finance and Planning before being adopted.

Munich Re records 77% drop in net profit Q3 2020

Munich Re recorded a 77 percent decline in its net profit during Q3 2020. The latter dropped from 865 million EUR ($1.012 billion) in Q3 2019 to €200 million ($234,1 million) a year later.

The health crisis alone has cost the German reinsurer €800 million  ($936.4 million) during the period under consideration. This amount is mainly related to death coverage due to Covid-19 and event cancellation or postponement.

The Group has also suffered losses pertaining to natural disasters, particularly hurricanes and serious forest fires in the United States. Munich Re estimates the damages it incurred in the devastating explosion of Beirut on 4 August 2020 at €100 million EUR ($118 million).

The detailed results for Q3 2020 will be published on 5 November 2020.

FG begins payment of N30,000 grants to 333,000 artisans nationwide

The federal government has continued with the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan.

A statement from the office of the vice president says the payment of N30,000 one-time grant to 330,000 artisans across the country is now in progress.

The statement signed by Laolu Akande, spokesman to the vice president, revealed that the payments are being made to sets of verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme, a track under the MSMEs Survival Fund

Akande further said beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta states.

He stated that they form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between Thursday, October 1 and Saturday, October 10. The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020

The president asked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan.

The N2.3 Trillion Economic Sustainability Plan consists of fiscal, monetary and sectoral measures to enhance local production, support businesses, retain, create jobs and provide succour to Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged federal and state governments to release all COVID-19 palliatives still stored in warehouses across the country.

US Consulate announces 2020 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs..Application closes Nov 8

The United States Consulate General in Lagos on Tuesday announced a call for applications for the 2020 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a U.S. Government initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world.

For the second annual AWE, the Consulate will select 120 female entrepreneurs from across southern Nigeria to receive virtual and in-person training and mentoring. To support the comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of returned migrants, it will select 20 female returnees to take part in the program.

During the intensive program scheduled to run from November 2020 to March 2021, successful applicants will receive lessons on business management, network with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors, and learn the practical skills required to create and run successful and sustainable businesses.

United States Consulate Acting Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Foltz explained that the goal of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is to teach women around the world to become successful entrepreneurs.

According to her, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy, the U.S. Consulate General aims to work with the AWE participants to develop their businesses.