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Bharti Telecom Raises $1.1B From Airtel Stake Sale

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Bharti Telecom, the holding company of India’s Bharti Airtel, sold a 2.75 per cent stake in the operator to institutional investors to raise INR84.33 billion ($1.12 billion) to fully repay its debt.

In a statement, Harjeet Kohli, group director of Bharti Enterprises, said with the completion of the share sale, Bharti Telecom becomes a debt free company, “providing even stronger financial flexibility and capacity to provide any additional shareholder support as may be desired by Bharti Airtel from time to time”.

Kohli claimed the strong response received from a diverse mix of investors across geographies, even during challenging global macro-economic conditions, shows the competitive strength and the long-term prospects of Airtel.

The investors included Blackrock, Fidelity, Segantii Capital, Norges Bank and Key Square Capital, The Economic Times reported.

Airtel’s credit profile will also be boosted as it will stand to benefit from deleveraging on a consolidated basis, the statement added.

After the transaction, Bharti Telecom’s stake in Airtel dropped to about 36 per cent. The combined holdings of Airtel’s main shareholders – Bharti Group and Singtel – fell to 56.23 per cent from 58.98 per cent.

Over the past month, rival Reliance Jio’s parent company Reliance Industries sold around 17 per cent of Jio Platforms for $10.46 billion to five different investors, also in a move to reduce debt.

Jio Platforms operates broadband and online commerce services, including Jio, India’s largest mobile operator with 388 million subscribers.

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LaPRIGA Awards Recognises MTN Nigeria For Community Relations

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LaPRIGA Awards Recognises MTN Nigeria For Community Relations, SiliconNigeria

Leading telecommunications services provider, MTN Nigeria has been recognised for best practices in Community Relations efforts through its social investment arm, MTN Foundation, at the fifth edition of the Lagos Public Relations Industry Gala and Awards (LaPRIGA).

 The annual event organized by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) was created to celebrate exemplary practices, professional accomplishments and long-standing leadership roles of stakeholders, PR practitioners, the media and corporate organisations. Through the awards, the Lagos State Chapter of NIPR aims to boost adoption of global best practices while in turn increasing awareness for the role of PR.

 Commenting on the recognition of MTN Foundation’s efforts, Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary, appreciated the Lagos State chapter of NIPR for recognising MTN Foundation’s impact in over 500 communities across Nigeria. According to her, “We understand the crucial role PR practitioners play in strengthening relationships between corporate organisations and their stakeholders. At MTN Nigeria, we have enjoyed mutually beneficial relationships with media practitioners through which we have been able to reach more host communities with our health, education and economic empowerment projects.”

 “We are honoured to not only receive this award but to have been nominated alongside other outstanding organisations. We remain committed to improving quality of life for Nigerians on a sustainable basis.” She added.

 In 2019, MTN won two LaPRIGA awards for best in Crisis Management and Excellence in Internal Communication, this is in addition to a long list of decorations for the brand this year, including the 2020 Nigeria Risk awards for the most responsive organisation to the Covid-19 crisis, brand of the year at the Marketing Edge and Brandcom awards, Investors in People Employer of the Year awards, among others. Since inception, the Foundation has spent over N22 billion in 852 people-centred projects across the 36 states and the FCT, and impacted over 18.6 million lives. 

Established in 1963, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), is the non-governmental, not-for-profit professional body of qualified Public Relations practitioners chartered by Decree 16 of June 1990 (now an Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) to regulate the practice and direct its development.

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Good Together: MTN Nigeria and uduX Partner to Deliver Quality Music Content

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Good Together: MTN Nigeria and uduX Partner to Deliver Quality Music Content, SiliconNigeria

MTN Nigeria today announced a new partnership with uduX, Nigeria’s first domestically launched music streaming service which offers users access to high-quality audio and HD music videos. The partnership will see MTN subscribers gain access to discounted data bundles for accessing content and streaming unlimited music on the uduX app.

 Srinivas Rao, Chief Digital Officer, MTN Nigeria, described the partnership as reinforcing the company’s Good Together mantra, which advocates collaboration as a way to foster growth in different sectors of the economy.

“Our young customers are passionate about music. That is why we have consistently supported the development of the local music industry. We’ve partnered with uduX because we believe in their capacity to deliver high-quality, curated music from around the world, and contribute immensely to the continued growth of the music industry in Nigeria.” 

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” he added referencing the well-known African adage. “This partnership reaffirms our commitment to supporting the growth of indigenous companies and content through active collaboration.”   

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of uduX, Chidi Aneto Okeke said: ‘‘With all three global major record companies signed to uduX among many others, we will be bringing our MTN/ uduX audience the creme of the global music scene and its international superstars, and of course we are committed to showcasing the very best of our African artistes.  Our partnership with MTN bodes well for the entire music streaming chain, and especially the artistes who will get a chance to earn from locally generated streaming revenue.  We are thrilled to be working with one of Africa’s leaders in telecommunications.”  

With a library of over three million local and international music tracks and videos, uduX enables artistes, DJs, music content providers and aggregators optimize revenue across Africa and beyond. The music industry keeps seeing a rise in local talents and platforms like uduX and MTN who have been at the fore of promoting local content continue to set the pace. 

Customers can register for the service via MyMTN app or go to www.uduX.com. The uduX app is also available for download in the Google Play and App stores.

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Pantami To Deliver Keynote Address At Council Meeting In Owerri

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Pantami To Deliver Keynote Address At Council Meeting In Owerri, SiliconNigeria

L – R: Managing Director (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus.; HRH Eze TID Uba, Hon. Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Ikechukwu Sunday; Gombe State Commissioner for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Aishatu Umar Maigari and Director (|Planning, Research, and Statistics) Dr. (Mrs.) Nonye Nwachukwu, during a courtesy visit to Eze Palace in Owerri.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the ongoing 8th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy in Owerri, Imo State.

The ongoing 8th National Council on Communications and Digital Economy has a theme titled “Leveraging the Digital Economy Policies and Strategies for Economic Recovery in a COVID-19 Era and Beyond.” Scheduled from Friday, November 27 – Tuesday, December 1.  

The meeting involves all stakeholders from 36 states commissioners and FCT,Security agencies, ICT stakeholders from the public and private institutions.  

In a related event, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Musa Istifanus led the Council Members on a courtesy visit to the Palace of His Royal Highness, Eze TID Uba, of Owerri.

The Permanent Secretary said that the purpose of the Council coming to his domain is to introduce the Digital Economy to his people so that they can market their products around the world without necessarily being in the market.

He added that with the digital economy their children can be educated without being in the classroom. He noted specifically that this will get the youths to key into the Digital Economy and use the knowledge to make a living for themselves and improve the economy.

In his response, the Eze solicited the help of the Federal Government through the Permanent Secretary to resuscitate  the NIPOST and make it fully functional, and to get the telecom service providers like (MTN, GLO, AIRTEL,9Mobile)  to reduce the cost of telephone calls, and data adding that the cost of using the Internet to render their services is too high which makes it too expensive for the youths to key into the digital economy.

Members of the Council that accompanied the Permanent Secretary includes; the MD, NIGCOMSAT; Dr. Abimbola Alale,  Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, Post Master-General, NIPOST, Directors, and other stakeholders.

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