DigitalNews Today: January 2018

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Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 No comments

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A prominent developmental economist Mukoro Okotete had commended the contribution of the telecoms sector to the nation’s economic growth and development. Speaking at a seminar in Lagos with the theme “Nigeria: Sustainable Growth After Recession” Okotete noted that the impressive growth of the telecoms sector would be enhanced by the planed sale of 9Mobile. He however cautioned that for the sale of 9Mobile to yield the desired dividends, it has to be done transparently. He expressed dismay that some vested interest had sought to derail the sale by announcing the emergence of a preferred bidder. That the preemptive announcement designed to feather the nest of an interested party turned out to be false is a danger signal, which demands that the industry regulator should be more vigilant. 

Okotete noted that if the sale of 9Mobile is properly managed, it would have multiple positive effects on the nation’s economy. He listed the advantages to include deepening of the nation’s telecom market and the enhancement of effective competition in the industry. Such a transparent transaction will lead to a revitalized 9Mobile thereby enhancing the employment opportunities within the company. This, he added, will extend to allied job opportunities that will be occasioned by sundry suppliers, contractors and indirect staff. He emphasized that the multiplier effects of the sale to a capable and recognizable company are enormous and will serve the best interest of the country. 

In his own contribution, a communications analyst Enobong Udoh observed that although the Nigerian economy seems to be on the upward swing, the life of the average Nigerian is yet to record commensurate improvement. He commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its ample contribution, in the preceding year, to the sustainability of the nation’s economic growth especially through the continued inflow of foreign capital. He urged the NCC not to rest on its oars in the New Year.

On 9Mobile, he advised NCC to keep to its tradition of transparent sales, which has seen to the emergence of only competent organisations as major operators in the nation’s telecoms landscape. He surmised that the two finalists in the bid for 9Mobile, Teleology Holdings and Smile Telecoms should be commended for coming thus far. He however opined that great care should be taken to ensure that 9Mobile is not handed over to “an unknown quantity” with the attendant risks. Instead, he is of the view that a firm with evident ability by way of enviable track record in Nigeria and other parts of Africa should be a better option. To him Smile Telecoms Holdings based on all indices of good business practice and performance will fare better in revitalizing 9Mobile than Teleology Holdings. To him, what is needed is “a tested and trusted hand” that will be able to turn around the fortunes of the ailing 9Mobile in the best interest of all and sundry.


Posted on Monday, January 29, 2018 No comments

Monday, January 29, 2018

The story making the rounds that a preferred bidder and a reserved bidder have emerged for 9Mobile has been described as merely “flying a kite” in order to goad the regulatory authorities in the wrong direction.  The belief is that an interested party is merely trying to preempt the outcome to suit its purpose. 

Information gathered from a reliable source close to the transaction stated that the bid for 9mobile has not been concluded and that the sums quoted as the financial bids of both Teleology Holdings and Smile Telecoms Holdings are inaccurate.  The source therefore urged interested parties to play by the rules and not to jeopardize the bid process.

Urging the public to await formal announcement from the appropriate official quarters, it noted that only the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is empowered by law to make such announcement.  The source further stated that NCC is wont to get the concurrence of CBN in this particular transaction given the involvement of a consortium of banks to which 9Mobile is obligated

An earlier unconfirmed report claimed that Teleology Holdings had emerged the preferred bidder with Smile Telecoms Holdings as the reserved bidder.  Teleology was said to have pledged five hundred million dollars (USD 500m) while Smile was said to have pledged three hundred million dollars (USD 300m).   The report, which has now been faulted, led to a groundswell of public opinion urging the regulatory authorities to emphasize more on parameters that will ensure that any firm that emerges the preferred bidder for 9Mobile should be that with the capital, capacity and capability to sustain and enhance the operations of 9Mobile.  The aggregation of opinion is that the interest of Nigeria should be paramount hence the need to put “Nigeria First”.

Emphasis, according to the preponderance of views, should be on concrete contribution to the growth and development of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, Nigerian experience, technology innovation, human capital development and employment opportunities to Nigerians. If all these are considered, volunteered a notable industry leader who preferred not to be named, Smile will invariably and inevitably emerge the preferred bidder for 9Mobile.  His view on the suitability of Smile was collaborated by a Lagos based investment banker Lanre Raji who opined that preference should be given to an existing company with requisite experience and capital adequacy and not a special purpose vehicle so as to avoid an unnecessary and possibly costly experimentation.   

With N14b on offer, Western Lotto raises stakes with Powerball Max

Posted on Friday, January 12, 2018 No comments

Friday, January 12, 2018

Gaming and entertainment firm Western Lotto Nigeria Limited has raised the stakes in the gaming business in Nigeria with the introduction of Powerball Max, one of the latest games in the franchise.

Powerball Max, a US lottery, offers winnings of up to N14b ($26,000,000.00). Western Lotto Nigeria Limited is the official partner of the lottery.

Powerball is the wealthiest lottery in the world, offering an N562billion jackpot. Draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday in the US or Thursday and Sunday Nigerian time.

The Managing Director of Western Lotto Nigeria Limited, Mr Yomi Ogunfowora, said the gamers on the platform could tap into the nine ways through which to win prizes. Jackpots never fall below N14billion at any given time. Winners share from a large pot.

According to him, Western Lotto added the Powerball Max to its rich bouquet of games in line with its pledge “to bring world-class entertainment to Nigerians”.

Participation in the Powerball Max cost only N200 per game.

The frontline gaming platform allows Nigerians the opportunity to play and win millions of dollars offered by other renowned games like Mega Millions, Euro Millions, Euro Jackpot and the UK Lotto.

Ogunforowa said: “We are committed to bringing undiluted world-class entertainment and this is a major one for us. For someone to participate directly in these international games is a huge opportunity. Nigerians are intelligent and fun-loving. Hopefully, the world will soon celebrate a jackpot winner in this country."

He disclosed that over 18,000 gamers had won different cash prizes at, including Dorcas Nwagbara, who won N15million in September 2017.

“Our platform is synonymous with winnings. We have had people win N100, 000 N500, 000, N1million and other mouth-watering cash prizes. Last September, a graduate of Imo State University, Dorcas Nwagbara, won N15million.

“We have many other games on our portal, including the fast-paced Lotto Race game where you win by the minutes. We are giving Nigerians a platform to better their lives,” Ogunfowora added.

Arinze Asiegbunam, Brand Management
For additional information or enquiries, please contact:
1. Arinze Asiegbunam, Western Lotto, on 0706 335 7113
2. Chido Nwakanma, Blueflower Limited, 08037231111 or 08126474335

Festival of Power Prayer Crusade Kicks off in Okota

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Wordbase Assembly Incorporated, a leading Pentecostal church based in Lagos, has announced that the 2018 edition of its annual crusade, Festival of Power Prayer Crusade, will commence on January 7, 2018 and end on Sunday, January 21, 2018. According to Wordbase Assembly, the 2018 crusade, which will take place at the church’s auditorium in Okota, Lagos is themed ‘The Next Level of Glory’.

Commenting on the crusade, the presiding bishop of Wordbase Assembly, Bishop Humphrey Erumaka described it is a time the entire community of Okota and environs come together to pray and start the new year with God. According to Bishop Erumaka, the Festival of Power Prayer Crusade is a time we open the church up for the entire community to come pray and start the year with God. During the programme, we shall fast and pray individually at home, then at 6:30pm, we gather at the church. It is a flagship event for us and we are trusting God for a very wonderful time.

Bishop Erumaka stated that the crusade will be attended by various guest speakers and artistes from Nigeria and beyond. ‘We have various guest speakers coming such as Archbishop Cletus Bassey; Pastor Grace Johnson; Reverend Joseph Baisie from Ghana, and other anointed preachers. We also have gospel artistes that will be performing alongside our choir - the Voice of Resurrection, including Ngozi Zack Orji, wife of renowned Nollywood actor, Zack Orji. This year, I am trusting the Lord to give us as a church and all that will attend an increased capacity in everything we do. We trust the Lord to deepen our understanding of Him; deepen our expectations, and everything we do; to have an increased dimension to the glory of God; to be able to touch people, and as many that will come with an open heart to pray, that God will answer’, he said.

The Festival of Power Prayer Crusade 2018 is expected to be attended by thousands of worshippers within Okota and other parts of Lagos State.

For more enquiries on the crusade, please visit the website or contact:

Okwudili Onyia

Provision of Vessels by Indigenous Contractors: Total Reaffirms Commitment to due process and Zero Tolerance for Corruption

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Following a petition from the Indigenous Vessels Operators Association of Nigeria to the Senate Committee on Local Content, Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) attended a meeting with the Senate Committee on Local Content on the 9th of January at which TUPNI and NAPIMS provided clarification on an ongoing call for tender for the provision of support vessels.

Following this Senate Committee meeting, some media articles reported allegations of bribery and potential conflict of interest in the contracting process.

Total Upstream Nigeria Limited wishes to state that it has strict Conflict of Interest and Compliance policies. Total Upstream Nigeria Limited also wishes to state that it rejects all forms of bribery and corruption.

Total Upstream Nigeria Limited and its partners remain committed to the development of Nigerian Content and will continue to maintain strong and steadfast partnerships with the Nigerian government, NNPC and indigenous companies in developing the country’s hydrocarbon industry.
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