Connect with us

Top Stories

African TowerCo IHS Holding, MTN, Wendel In Shareholder Standoff

According to anonymous sources familiar with the situation, Wendel and MTN insisted that shareholders with a minimum 10% stake be able to nominate board members.

Published

on

, SiliconNigeria

African tower operator IHS Holding Ltd. found itself embroiled in a tense shareholder standoff during its annual meeting as two of its largest stakeholders, Wendel SE and MTN Group Ltd., who own roughly 45% of IHS, demanded better representation on the company’s board, but their proposals were rejected by the board.

According to anonymous sources familiar with the situation, Wendel and MTN insisted that shareholders with a minimum 10% stake be able to nominate board members. The demands, however, were rejected by IHS’s board, who stated that the proposed changes were not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders as a whole.

So far, both Wendel and MTN have declined to comment on the situation.

The shareholder conflict comes amid a significant drop in IHS’s stock value, which has dropped by 60% since its initial public offering (IPO) in New York in 2021. Tower companies in Africa are facing significant investment demands to support the continent’s growing use of broadband and smartphones.

According to sources, Wendel and MTN also claimed that IHS management failed to provide timely notice of their proposed resolutions and are now demanding that the general meeting be rescheduled to address their concerns.

According to the reports, another point of contention was MTN’s motion to convert its non-voting shares into voting shares, which was also denied. MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator, currently owns a 26% economic stake and 20% of the voting rights in IHS.

It is worth noting that MTN currently has no representation on the IHS board, whereas Wendel has one, Frank Dangeard. Sources say that according to the shareholder agreement, Wendel has the right to nominate one director for appointment by the board as long as it owns at least 10% of the shares. MTN, on the other hand, lacks a similar right.

This latest shareholder dispute is not the first involving IHS. Prior to the company’s IPO, IHS management clashed with Wendel over voting rights. As the standoff continues, it remains to be seen how the conflicting interests of the shareholders will be resolved, as well as the implications of this governance dispute for IHS and its future operations in the African tower industry.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Digital Economy

Digital Technologies Directly Benefit 70% of SDG targets- ITU, UNDP and partners

Published

on

, SiliconNigeria

More than two-thirds of the UN’s targets for sustainable development can benefit directly from digital technologies, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organizers of SDG Digital which opened today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  

With digital technologies so closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SDG Digital event highlights how safe, inclusive and scalable digital solutions can put the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development back on track amid concerns that the world may miss the vision for people, planet and prosperity that was set in 2015. 

The SDG Digital Acceleration Agendaa global analysis of the connections between digital technologies and sustainable development, was released as part of SDG Digital to provide a roadmap to governments on their digital transformation journey and to promote action and financing.  

“With only a fraction of the SDGs on track at the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda, it is urgent to ensure that everyone, everywhere can build their own digital futures,” said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner in the foreword of SDG Digital Acceleration Agenda. “The recent breakthroughs in digital technology have unleashed unprecedented opportunities, and with them new avenues for digital innovation in our race against time to fulfil the promise of the 2030 Agenda.”   

Uniting around digital to drive sustainable development  

According to UN assessments, progress on half of the 169 SDG targets is either weak or insufficient at the 2030 Agenda’s halfway point. Thirty per cent of the SDG targets have either stalled or gone in reverse.   

With digital transformation demanding joint efforts between the private sector, financial institutions, civil society, the UN, governments and young people, SDG Digital brings together experts, policy-makers and business leaders to explore the achievements, gaps and solutions on how digital technologies can support the 2030 Agenda.  

Scale and innovation accelerate transformation  

The SDG Digital Acceleration Agenda, developed by ITU and UNDP together with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as knowledge partner, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as Agenda supporter, shows how digital technologies kickstart economic and societal transformation by creating scale and efficiencies.  

The Agenda features digital solutions that are already demonstrating how tech can directly benefit 119 of the 169 SDG targets, or about 70 per cent, including in areas such as climate action, education, hunger and poverty.  

“When you look at these game-changing digital solutions, you can see the actual building blocks that can drive us toward universal and meaningful connectivity,” said Bogdan-Martin. “This is how we can – and will – work together to ensure our shared digital future is inclusive, sustainable, and safe and responsible – and to do it in this decade.”  

Data in the SDG Digital Acceleration Agenda suggest that countries which improved their digital maturity—as measured by digital affordability and infrastructure indices—outpaced their peers in SDG progress for selected income levels.  

The Agenda also profiles the opportunities for sustainable development offered by advancements such as generative AI, 5G networks, and blockchain.   

Financing and joint action bring scale and innovation  

Digital transformation requires considerable investment in connectivity infrastructure, building up digital skills, and creating the conditions for job retraining and new opportunities.   

SDG Digital highlights that the funding gap of over USD3.7 trillion for the SDGs should focus international efforts on enablers—such as infrastructure and connectivity—as well as the pooling of resources through collaboration including the private sector and the utilization of diverse financing methods.  

Digital public infrastructure as a catalyst for the SDGs   

The formal opening of SDG Digital is part of the UN’s SDG Action Weekend, a series of High Impact Initiatives focused on mobilizing further leadership and investment to bring progress to scale between now and 2030. This includes the UN High Impact Initiative on Digital Public Infrastructure to scale inclusive and open digital ecosystems for the SDGs.

Today’s decisions by countries on how to build their digital public infrastructure (DPI) will have lasting consequences on their opportunity to grow and innovate, and to achieve the SDGs by 2030.   

As highlighted in a recent G20 publication supported by UNDP, DPI – built on robust governance and strong local digital ecosystems – can deliver value and high impact across all of the 17 SDGs to leave no one behind.    

“Digital public infrastructure represents the ‘roads and bridges’ of our new era on which countries can ‘transport’ a range of vital services to citizens, from e-health and e-government services to online education and social protection,” said Achim Steiner. “As our global community’s shared plan for a better future in the Sustainable Development Goals faces challenges, bold investments in DPI by governments are a tried-and-tested means to get them back on track — an ambition that the UN is matching by empowering 100 countries with a range of now-vital DPI solutions to ensure that everyone, everywhere can build their own digital futures.”  

Continue Reading

IT and Telecomms

How NCC Will Achieve 70% Broadband Penetration Target- Danbatta

Published

on

, SiliconNigeria

The national target to achieve 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025 is receiving renewed attention from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which promises 50 per cent before the end of 2023.

This promise was one of the highlights of the special media chat with executive editors and media chiefs in the northern part of the country, hosted by the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, to unveil his achievements since the resumption of office till date.

At the occasion, where Danbatta informed the media chiefs that Fifth Generation (5G) services subscriptions have already hit half a million in subscription, the various efforts of the Commission to improve broadband penetration are yielding fruitful results with the current estimates as at July 2023 standing at 47.01 per cent.

Using the extant reviewed five-pillar Strategic Vision Plan as building block, the EVC spoke to 119 milestones achieved under the five strategic pillars, including regulatory excellence, universal broadband, market development, digital economy and strategic collaboration.

Danbatta said through effective implementation of NCC’s mandates under his leadership and cooperation of internal and external stakeholders since 2015, telecommunications industry in Nigeria has achieved remarkable milestones under our leadership. “While we acknowledge the challenges encountered by the industry, we have also witnessed explosive growth, improved regulatory standards, and digital innovations that have garnered global recognition,” he said.

While reeling out impressive statistics that have characterized his leadership at NCC from 2015 to date, the EVC said active telephone subscribers had increased from less than 150.7 million to 218.9 million, representing a teledensity growth of 115.70 per cent from 107.87 per cent in 2015.

Through stimulating broadband infrastructure across the country, Danbatta said broadband penetration, which stood at 6 per cent in 2015 has increased significantly to 47.01 per cent as of July, 2023, enhancing over 89.73 million subscriptions on 3G, 4G and 5G networks in the country. Additionally, general Internet subscriptions have reached 159.5 million up from less than 100 million in 2015.

“Also, from 8 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015, telecommunications sector now contributes 16 per cent quarterly to the Nigerian economy as of the second quarter of 2023. besides, following the authorization of more telecommunications companies to operate in the Nigeria’s telecoms sector, the investments profile has increased tremendously from $38 billion in 2015 to $75 billion currently and this keeps growing daily. From the sales of Fifth Generation (5G) C-Band Spectrum, the NCC has generated over $847.8 million for the Federal Government,” he said.

Danbatta, who has received a gallery of awards nationally, regionally and globally in recognition of the outstanding performance of Nigeria’s telecom industry also listed several achievements recorded since 2015.

“Other milestones and initiatives recorded aside the regulatory activities that culminated in the landmark launch of 5G services in Nigeria include the introduction of Spectrum Trading Guidelines, re-farming and re-planning certain spectrum band for efficiency, the emplaced collaborative process for the release of C-Band Spectrum by Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Limited, and introduction of the Expanded Revenue Assurance Solution (ERAS) to address revenue leakages and improve government revenue from the telecoms industry.

“These initiatives also include Licensing of Satellite Earth Stations, issuing of operating licence to SpaceX Satellite, facilitating the landing of additional submarine Cables, such as the Google 2,000km Equiano subsea Internet cable in 2022, listing of MTN on the Nigerian bourse, licensing of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), introduction of new unlicensed millimeter wave spectrum, and regulation of white space spectrum,” Danbata said.

Also as part of NCC’s commitment under Danbatta’s leadership, the Commission has endowed professorial chairs in Nigerian universities and committed over N500 million naira to Research and Development (R&D) in the telecoms sector. “The creation of the Digital Economy Department, the mandate to drive the implementation of the indigenous telecoms sector growth through the operation of the Nigeria Office for Developing Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS), are also important strides made by the Commission,” he said.

Danbatta said other consumer-focused initiatives of the Commission have also centered on the establishment of Emergency Communications Centres (ECCs) in over 30 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). All these centres are operational, as well as the creation of the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT). The EVC said these two initiatives have been helping consumers to  get succour in times of emergencies as well as ensuring effective protection for telecom consumers while online.

The NCC Chief Executive said the Commission has also taken very clear actions on consumer protection, advocacy, information-sharing and education. “These include introduction of data roll-over just before the expiration of subscribed data plans, introduction of the 622 toll-free number for lodging service-related complaints to the Commission, the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code for tackling the menace of unsolicited text messages,  elimination of forceful/deceitful subscriptions to telecom services on mobile networks, tackling the issue of call masking, ensuring effective Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) registration, launching of National Roaming service and reduction of access gaps to telecom services from over 217 to 97, thereby enhancing access to telecom services by more Nigerians,” Danbatta said.

However, Danbatta said while the industry still faces a number of challenges such as vandalism, securing equitable Right of Way (RoW) from governmental stakeholders, as well as multiple taxation and regulation, the Commission has put framework in place to work with necessary stakeholders to overcome the obstacles posed by these challenges and to sustain the growth trajectory which has been the hallmark of telecoms sector as an enabler of socio-economic development in Nigeria.

Continue Reading

Top Stories

NASENI To Partner NITDA On Local Content Capacity Development

Published

on

, SiliconNigeria

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mr Khalil Halilu has visited the Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

The two CEOs emphasized the need to look inward and develop local content (human and material) capacity to transform the economy. Halilu sought to leverage on the long-standing relationship between himself and the NITDA boss, and also between the two organisations, to share experiences and best practices in management and in resource optimization.

Abdullahi disclosed that NITDA’s strategy of focusing on changing both the mind-sets and skill-sets of its staff are two critical factors that have helped the Agency achieve up to 62 percent of its goals and objectives within two (2) years, ahead of its four (4) year projection. He noted that the same approach would work for NASENI, as long as there was a well-thought-out strategic plan, and clarity of vision and goals.

Continue Reading

Popular News