• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Tuesday

Beggar’s Crescent

5G subscriptions rise to 500,000, says NCC

Nigeria’s Fifth Generation (5G) network subscriptions have reached half a million, according to Umar Danbatta, the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Broadband penetration has also risen to 47.01 percent as of July 2023.

Danbatta noted the telecom industry’s significant growth since 2015, with 5G subscriptions surpassing 60,000 in July. The country aims for 50 percent broadband penetration by the end of 2023 and 70 percent by the end of 2025.

The telecom sector’s contribution to the GDP has increased from 8 percent in 2015 to 16 percent quarterly in Q2 2023.

Investments have surged from $38 billion in 2015 to $75 billion, and the NCC generated over $847.8 million from 5G C-Band Spectrum sales.

Nigeria services 108 World Bank loans valued at $14bn—Report

Nigeria is currently managing a substantial debt load of approximately $14.12 billion in World Bank loans, as reported by The Punch.

These loans encompass a total of 108 approved projects, spanning from a loan approved in 1989 during Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s era to loans granted in 2018 under the administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

Some loans, like the $100.9 million Multistate Agricultural Development Project, aimed to boost food production and small farmers’ income.

Notably, loans from 2018 are actively being serviced, including the $125 million fiscal governance and institutions project, with over $40 million disbursed.

Nigeria is expected to repay these loans over several years, benefiting from concessional financing terms.

FG re-opens old MMA terminal to ease travel disruptions

The Nigerian Federal Government has officially reopened the D Wing of the old international terminal at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

The move aims to address flight disruptions and improve efficiency in air travel. Foreign airlines had previously been relocated from the international terminal to a new adjoining terminal in March, creating challenges for travellers and airlines.

Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation, announced the reopening, emphasising the government’s commitment to enhancing the aviation sector.

The move is expected to ease passenger facilitation through the airport, complement the new international terminal, and address recent disruptions caused by a baggage hall fire and power supply issues.

US, Iran release prisoners in $6bn swap deal

In a significant diplomatic development, the United States and Iran conducted a prisoner exchange, with each nation releasing five detainees, marking one of their first deals in years.

The freed American prisoners, including one held for eight years, departed Tehran on a Qatari jet after $6 billion in frozen funds were unfrozen and deposited into accounts managed by Qatar.

Some of the released prisoners will undergo medical check-ups in Washington. The White House expressed gratitude for President Biden’s role in the release, while Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasised the administration’s commitment to freeing US citizens. Iran affirmed its full access to the unfrozen funds.

Bankrupt drugmaker Mallinckrodt considers sale of opioid business – WSJ

Bankrupt pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt is exploring the sale of its business units, including the possibility of exiting the opioid industry. Some major investors, set to gain control during the bankruptcy process, are proposing a breakup of the company.

Mallinckrodt, based in Ireland, filed its second bankruptcy in the U.S. last month, aiming to reduce its liabilities related to the opioid crisis by $1 billion.

The company faced litigation over its opioid marketing and drug pricing disputes. In 2022, it agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle lawsuits accusing it of deceptive marketing. Additionally, it’s now facing a federal subpoena regarding opioid order reporting.