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MTN Nigeria launches mobile money transfer service1 minute read

he success in East Africa of m-Pesa, the mobile money unit of Kenya’s Safaricom has convinced investors of the market opportunity in Nigeria

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MTN Nigeria launches mobile money transfer service

Nigeria’s biggest telecoms firm, MTN has launched a mobile money transfer service, targeting those without bank accounts and it plans to become a payment service bank following approval from the country’s apex bank.

The success in East Africa of M-Pesa, the mobile money unit of Kenya’s Safaricom, has convinced investors and the industry that financial services are the next growth area for the telecoms sector, where prices for basic services are falling.

Nigeria said last year, that it would allow telecom companies to provide banking services, aiming to give millions of Nigerians without bank accounts access to mobile money services. 

MTN Nigeria was awarded a license by Nigeria’s central bank in July to provide financial services. 

Majority owned by South Africa’s MTN Group, the company runs Nigeria’s biggest mobile phone network serving around 56 million people. 

MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Ferdi Moolman said its Yello Digital Financial Services Limited (YDFS) unit would extend access to simple money transfer services and other financial services. 

More than half of Nigeria’s population of 180 million do not have a bank account. 

Shares in MTN Nigeria, which was listed on the local bourse in May, fell 1.49% to ₦144.50 on Thursday, valuing the telecoms firm at ₦2.95 trillion.

MTN Group appointed Rob Shuter as chief executive in 2016 to oversee the formulation of a new strategic growth plan and look for new revenue streams as competition and regulation hit profit margins.

Shuter, who has previous banking experience, has been revamping Africa’s biggest telecoms group, seeking returns in everything from financial services to music and video games.

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UK to Invest £1.3 Billion in Kenya

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British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has pitched £1.3 billion worth of (about Sh170 billion) business opportunities to a Kenyan delegation led by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit held in London as part of the United Kingdom’s post-Brexit economic plan.

A statement by the British High Commission in Nairobi says the deals cut across housing, finance, renewables and entrepreneurship “will create a new lasting partnership that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth to Kenya.”

The summit comes at a time British corporate giants in Kenya such as Barclays, British luxury carmaker, Land Rover, Standard Chartered Bank , British American Tobacco  and Unilever are struggling to fend off a stiff challenge from aggressive rivals.

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Sudan plans airline revival

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Sudan announced on Tuesday, that it is in talks with Airbus over a deal to supply eight new planes to its state carrier.

According to a statement from Sudan’s finance ministry, a delegation representing the European manufacturer has met the ministers of finance and infrastructure to discuss the deal and revamp Sudan Airways’ fleet

The document further explains that Airbus has also proposed to provide technical support,  without giving details on the financial aspects of the deal.

The manufacturer has commented on the proposal.

Sudan Airways has suffered heavily over the years from trade sanctions imposed by Washington in 1997, with most of its fleet grounded.

Washington lifted the sanctions in October 2017 but the airline has still not been fully operational due to difficulties in procuring spare parts.

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Trump to expand travel ban to seven countries

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United States President, Donald Trump has confirmed plans to expand a travel ban that bars citizens of certain countries from entering the United States adding seven countries to a group of countries subject to travel restrictions, including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, alongside others on the continent and Asia.

The new restrictions will apply to travelers and immigrants from Belarus, Eritrea, Krygrzstan, Myanmar,Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.

The ban is one of the most controversial undertakings by the Trump administration, having received backlash from some leaders in the U.S. as well as foreign leaders.

The Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling in 2018, upheld a version of the ban that blocked nationals from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The ban applies to people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen.

The ban upheld by the high court was a watered down version of the original White House proposal, which barred people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan from coming to the United States for 90 days and banned all refugees for 120 days.

Trump'[s presence at the 2020 Davos comes just a few days before the U.S. senate begins his impeachment trial.

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