[Nigeria Business Week] Andrea Ayemoba: Banks move into East Africa, telecom pushes NSE profit
The telecom industry this week recorded a peculiar development – the massive registration of Nigerian SIM card holders. According to the figures, millions have flooded into centers of registration since the Federal Government’s SIM-NIN ban weeks ago.
The sector also showed the resilience of industry giant, MTN, and its profitability on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Equally stable is the banking sector. Access Bank is set to acquire a Kenyan bank, United Bank for Africa redeemed a half a billion dollar Eurobond, and Firtsbank formed a strategic partnership to support female entrepreneurs. The Stock Exchange saw a large sale of shares from FBN’s largest single shareholder, dumping shares worth over 9 billion naira on the Exchange floor.
Wema Bank, however, is on the receiving end of a federal investigation over data malpractice and privacy breach.
Transportation is still experiencing challenges, both air and road, and not only as a result of the pandemic and conflict. Several issues have been underlined as the direct causes of the delay in national carrier, Air Nigeria, taking flight.
A commercial airline owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government did have cause to celebrate on June 7th, clocking three years of operations.
On the ground, the state of Lagos and Oando have partnered to launch electric mass transit buses to facilitate smoother and more efficient transport in the state.
Other developments include a marked dip in Nigeria's oil earnings and a parallel drop in FDI in Q1 amid a worsening dollar crisis. Not surprisingly, we also see increased spending on electricity as Nigerians’ utility bills soars.
On a positive note, a high-end watch brand is set to make its entry into the Nigerian market in Q4 of this year, demonstrating a spark of enduring investor confidence in the local economy.