Airtel Africa Plc on Friday reported a quarterly pretax profit of $167.4 million from $80.2 million a year earlier.
The Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava said the pretax profit, which more than doubled its 2018 figure was boosted by double-digit growth in Nigeria and East Africa.
The firm’s pretax profit for the first quarter ended June 30.
“The business continues to show momentum and we are confident of delivering sustained growth across voice, data and mobile money, underpinning our medium-term aspirations for revenue and profit growth,” Mandava said in a statement.
The company, which debuted on the London Stock Exchange last month, is backed by investors including SoftBank Group Corp, Warburg Pincus and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.
It operates in a region that has a large untapped market, while its European peers have been suffering.
Total revenue rose 6.9 per cent to $795.9 million in the three months, boosted by a 9.3 per cent rise in the company’s customer base to 99.7 million despite a hit from currency translation.
Airtel Africa said devaluation of the Zambian Kwacha, Malawian Kwacha and Central African Franc largely drove a $23 million hit to revenue in the quarter.
Up to Thursday’s close, the company’s London-listed shares had risen 3 per cent since debut.
UNICEF, Airtel partner to provide remote learning for children in Africa
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says it has partnered with Airtel Africa to provide access to remote learning for children in 13 sub-Saharan countries.
Fayaz King, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Field Results, who made the disclosure on Wednesday said they would also provide cash assistance for their families via mobile cash transfers.
King said that UNICEF and Airtel Africa would use mobile technology to benefit an estimated 133 million school age children currently affected by school closures in 13 countries across sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The partnership aims to benefit children and families in Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
“The adverse effects of school closures on children’s learning are well documented. Education experts warn that gains made in increasing access to learning in the previous decade are at risk of being lost or even reversed completely.
King noted that Airtel Africa would zero-rate selected websites hosting educational content, which would provide children with remote access to digital content at no cost.
He said that children not going to school could lead to a number of increased vulnerabilities and setbacks.
“UNICEF is partnering with Airtel Africa to deliver better outcomes for children and families affected by widespread closures.
“The partnership will also provide UNICEF with a means to facilitate vital cash assistance to alleviate financial barriers for some of the most vulnerable families across the region.
“This includes many affected by the growing socio-economic hardships resulting from suspension of income-earning activities.
Similarly, Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa, Chief Executive Officer, said that some effective ways to cushion families from the effects of the crisis was by providing free internet access to selected educational websites.
He said this would help children keep up with their learning during the school closures.
“Alongside various other COVID-19-related initiatives and support that we are providing to governments and the community, we are glad to also collaborate with UNICEF to support children,” Mandava said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Lockdown: Airtel Nigeria partners FG to offer free online education
Its Director of Corporate Communications and CSR, Mr Emeka Oparah, said this on Friday in Lagos.
Oparah said the company had decided to waive data charges for all its users who visit Schoolgates.ng, the federal government approved portal and online resource for learning during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
“Schoolgate.ng, is a robust educational online resource that provides quality education for everyone and currently collaborating with the government of Nigeria to offer subscription-free education during the pandemic facing the global community,” he said in a statement.
Commenting on the partnership, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Educational Interventions, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said Airtel’s support to the initiative would go a long way in assisting the Nigerian students during this period.
”I want to say a big thank you to Airtel for its promptness and professionalism in response to the partnership request.
“As a major stakeholder in Nigeria, we believe that our kids must continue to learn despite the threat of COVID-19.
“We will continue throwing our resources and expertise to support and empower young Nigerians who are the leaders of tomorrow.
“We believe that this partnership with FG will benefit many kids as well as deepen qualitative learning across Nigerian homes,” he said.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Salif Atojoko (NAN)
Court orders NUC, Airtel to pay media outfit N703m for copyright infringement
Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, in Wednesday ordered the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Zain Nigeria Ltd (now Airtel) to pay N703 million in damages to a media company, TV Xtra Production for copyright infringement.
Delivering judgment, Justice Ekwo, held that the actions of the defendants contravened the Copyright Act.
TV Xtra Production’sChief Executive Office(CEO) and General Editor Arise News, Christian Ogodo, had designed and registered a quiz programme, titled: “University Challenge” with the National Copyrights Commission.
Zain Nigeria, in its defence, contended that TV Xtra was not the original owner of the programme, explaining that the idea was picked from a similar programme, “the British Universities Challenge.”
But the judge ruled that the defendants misunderstood the case of plaintiff who was seeking remedy for his work not in any other part of the world, but registered in Nigeria and which existed at the time it was aired in Nigeria.
He added that airing the programme on African Independent Television (AIT) and Nigeria Television Authourity (NTA), without the permission of the author violated Sections 2(a) (1), 6 (1) (a) (1) and 8 of the Copyrights Act.
“The law is that a work in Nigeria is the exclusive right of the owner to control the reproduction of the work in any material form and making adaptations of the work going by Section 6(1) (a) (1) and 8 of the Copyright Act.
“I find that the case of the plaintiff succeeds on the merit i make an order entering judgement on the terms of the claims”, Ekwo said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that TV Xtra, through Festus Keyamo Chambers, had, on Dec. 18, 2009, filed the copyright infringement suit, demanding N500 million as special damages for the infringement.
It also demanded N200 million as general damages for airing the programme titled: “Zain African Challenge” in Nigerian televisions which infringed its rights.
The company, in addition, demanded the sum of N3 million as cost of the suit.
The media outfit also demanded an order of the court compelling the NUC which was the first defendant in the suit, to endorse and approve the programme called ‘University Challenge’.
The firm sought the court to issue a perpetual injunction restraining Zain Nigeria from “producing, airing, marketing or exercising any right in respect of the programme called “Zain African Challenge.”
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Kwara Govt lauds donations from CACOVID, Unifoam, NMA, Airtel, others
The Kwara Government has commended the private-sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) for donating 100 beds to the state’s Isolation Centre.
Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, in a statement on Saturday, urged other well-heeled individuals and institutions to rally round the government at this time.
He also commended some other corporate organisations and individuals, who have been donating to the state, including those earlier acknowledged for their humanitarian gestures to the counter-COVID-19 efforts of the state.
“We specifically thank the United Foam Products of Nigeria Limited (Unifoam) for the additional gift of 150 pieces of mattresses, members of the National Youth Service Corps in the state for donating 100 bottles of hand sanitisers and 20 pieces of liquid soaps.
“We have also received 1000kg of frozen chicken from Valentine Chickens, 1000 bags of 5kg rice and 260 bags of Garri from Eco Bank and 200 digital thermometres from the Nigerian Medical Association, Kwara State Chapter.
“Also received are 40 pieces of locally-made nose masks from 2 Star Fortune Couture, 400 bags (2kg) of Semovita, 400 bags (5kg) of Rice and 400 packs of Spaghetti from Bovas and Company Limited
“The government commends Chief Peter Olorunnisola (SAN) for offering to dig a borehole at any of the isolation centres, Airtel Nigeria Limited for giving us two toll free telephone lines (09010999937 & 09010999938) and Aromokeye Pharmacy Limited for the donation of N200,000 to the cause.
“We also thatnk the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) for the gift of 2,500 bags of 5kg Rice, 3,000 bags of 1kg Semovita, and 1,500 cartoons of Noodles
“Flour Mills Nigeria for giving us 4000 cartons of Golden Penny Noodles, Tan Fashion and Lifestyle for donating white bedsheets – 335, blue bedsheets – 200, blue scrub uniform – 100, hospital gown – 465 and cartons of sperian 5311-FFP3D face mask,” said the CPS
He also commended Kwara Rotarians District 9125 for donating 500 pieces of disposable gowns, 3 packs of face masks, 25 packs of safety gloves, 2 packs of shoe cover, 1 pack (500ml) hand sanitiser, 6 packs of medical face masks, two packs of examination gloves and 10 packs (100ml) of hand sanitisers to the anti-COVID-19 campaign.
He equally acknowledged the support of Ibigbemi Oloruntobi, for offering to provide daily meals for security officers attached to the isolation centres.
The Kwara Government also thanked the Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, Ilorin for donating 15 bags (10kg) of Semovita, Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, for donating two water dispensers and Viersa Farms Nigeria for the donation of 21 bags of Rice (50kg), five cartons of vegetable oil and 10 cartons of tin tomatoes.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Airtel commits over N1.9bn to combat COVID-19
Airtel Nigeria, on Sunday announced a commitment of over N1.9 billion towards the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Mr Segun Ogunsanya , the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria made this known in a statement.
Providing a breakdown of the pledged sum, Ogunsanya noted that N200 million would go towards the provision of an Isolation Centre and another N120 million for buying over 100,000 respiratory masks for health workers across the country.
He said that Airtel has also partnered with leading e-learning platforms to offer data-free access to their sites, empowering young Nigerians to benefit from quality education during the COVID-19 period.
“These e-learning platforms include the Oyo State Government’s e-learning portal and services; ULesson, a platform offering lessons for SS1-SS3 in the STEM subjects of Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry).
“Others are Myschool.ng, PASS.NG, which are exam preparation platforms for SSCE, JAMB, NECO, Common Entrance, ICAN, JSCE and also Screenclass, an emerging learning platform offering tutorials in key subjects for Junior and Senior Secondary School, Common Entrance.
“Our priority during this COVID-19 period will be the wellbeing and safety of all employees, customers, their family as well as every Nigerian.
“At the same time, our hearts go out to those at the front line: medical staff and caregivers who put themselves at risk to do all it takes to serve others, “Ogunsanya said.
The managing director also noted that Airtel staff voluntarily contributed N20 million to be donated to Lagos State Government during the week for provision of food items to needy families.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
COVID-19: Airtel donates toll-free lines, bulk SMS in 36 states, FCT
Airtel Nigeria on Friday said it had donated toll-free lines and free bulk SMS in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to support the fight against Corona virus.
The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya made this known in a statement.
Ogunsanya said that the donation would facilitate faster response to citizens across the states and also help create more awareness about safe practices, personal hygiene and other precautionary measures.
“We are reaching out to government at all levels and also committed to leveraging our core competence, technical expertise and digital resources in putting a stop to the spread of the virus.
“We believe that Nigeria will surely win the battle against this virus if we all come together to offer our sincere support,” he said.
“Recently we donated mobile phones with a Closed User Group (CUG) to the Port Health Services, an arm of the Federal Ministry of Health to support its effort to track and verify passenger information at the country’s local and international airports.
“We further launched an awareness campaign to sensitise Nigerians on the importance of taking precautionary measures in preventing the spread of corona virus through the use of traditional and social media,” he said.
Ogunsanya said that the company had also recently provided zero-rated visits to the websites of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and changed its network ID on customers’ handsets to read, “Be Safe”.
Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Wale Ojetimi
COVID-19: Airtel introduces attractive bundles for video conferencing
Airtel Nigeria says it has introduced attractive data bundles on video calls to enable subscribers conduct meetings and conferences remotely to ease pain of quarantine.
Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, made this known in a statement on Friday in Lagos.
“Although Africa is one of the last regions to be hit, there is still a lot we do not know and the uncertainty weighs in on all of us.
“Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the virus either directly or indirectly.
“At this point, we know that our first priority must be you and your family’s health and well-being.
“Our hearts also goes out to those at the front line: medical staff and caregivers who put themselves at risk to do all it takes to serve others,” he said.
Ogunsanya said that in order to help in the fight against the virus, the telco would also be providing an essential service to keep subscribers and the country connected.
He said company knew that there was a great responsibility on it as network providers, to do all to make sure everything worked at this time of stress.
“The Airtel 4G Mifi and Routers connect up to 32 devices, connecting people to their clients, associates, friends and loved ones.
“To ease the pain of quarantine, we’ve introduced attractive data bundles on video calls, so you can conduct meetings and conferences remotely and also double the data every time you top-up a 4G connection.
“While you are at home, you can entertain yourself with the Airtel TV App.
“It brings a world of entertainment straight to your phone and is free for all Airtel users with no subscription fees,” the managing director said.
He noted that the organisation would continue to assess the situation and take appropriate action so that subscribers would have no disruptions and could stay connected with their loved ones.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Donald Ugwu
COVID-19: Airtel donates mobile phones to health personnel, commences awareness campaign
COVID-19: Airtel donates mobile phones to health personnel, commences awareness campaign: Airtel Nigeria on Monday said that it had donated 40 mobile phones complete with a Closed User Group (CUG) to the Port Health Services.
Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, said in a statement that the donation was to support efforts to track and verify passenger information at the country’s local and international airports.
According to him, Airtel has commence a national awareness campaign on coronavirus to curb the spread of the deadly disease.
“The nationwide awareness campaign will go live on March 24 and will be heavy on both traditional and social media.
“It will be with simple and creative messages that will be translated into Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo and broadcast across radio, billboard, press, phones devices and digital media,” he said.
Ogunsanya said in addition to the national campaign and donations to the Port Health Services, Airtel has also zero-rated visits to the websites of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and Federal Ministry of Health.
He said the network ID on customers’ handset had been changed to read, ‘Be Safe.’
He, however, said the phones donated to the port health services, would ensure that passengers on incoming flights from the affected countries globally, who may be at risk, could be reached post arrival for further medical checks and quarantine where necessary.
“The phones, airtime and CUG are probably the least we can do in the circumstance to empower the gallant men and women at the forefront of the fight against the scourge.
“It is also our belief that the robust national campaign will deepen awareness and help more Nigerians to take the precautionary measures seriously,” he said.
Ogunsanya added that education was a key element of the fight against the scourge and nothing is too little or too much to do to help people know more and do more to protect themselves and others from the pandemic.
Dr Morenike Alex-Okoh, Director of Nigeria Port Health Services, commended Airtel Nigeria for pledging its support immediately the request was made and fulfilling the promise within a short space of time.
“We are inspired by the show of corporate social responsibility by Airtel and look forward to similar support from other organisations not only to the Port Health Services but to the overall effort to fight the Coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
Ogunsanya recalled that in 2014, Airtel Nigeria partnered with the African Union on the “Kick Ebola out of Africa Campaign’’ by donating mobile phones, sim cards and airtime to all the 290 Nigerian doctors, nurses and other care-givers, who volunteered to join the fight against Ebola.
“As a critical stakeholder in the Nigerian society, Airtel Nigeria is passionate about the safety and health of its citizens as this aligns with our overall CSR theme of touching lives and improving the standard of living in our communities.
“The fight against coronavirus is another opportunity to demonstrate this commitment,” the CEO said.
Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Wale Ojetimi
23-year-old engineer wins N5m in Airtel CashToken reward
A 23-year-old Computer Engineer, Daniel Oladipupo on Monday won N5 million in the ongoing Airtel CashToken reward programme ‘Airtelthanks’.
Oladipupo, who hails from Kwara State and resides at Idiroko, Ipokia Local Government area of Ogun, said he was shocked when he received a call from Airtel that he had won N5 million through the CashToken reward Scheme.
“I did not still believe until they invited me for the presentation of the cheque at Airtel Office at Bannana Island, Lagos.
“This is really a life changing experience for me and I really want to thank Airtel for this wonderful opportunity,” Oladipupo said.
Presenting the Cheque, Veronica Onoja-Babayemi, Director, Customer Experience Airtel Nigeria, said that the gesture was Airtel’s way of saying thank you to its subscribers who had been supportive over the past one decade of its presence in Nigeria.
She noted that CashToken reward scheme ‘Airtelthanks’ was a platform for the company to reward and appreciate its customers.
“When CeLD Innovation Ltd. approached us with the cash token initiative, we felt it was something Airtel could key into for rewarding its customers by giving them cash.
“The CashToken Reward scheme is aimed at giving Airtel customers the opportunity to earn cash back, rather than just airtime and data bonuses.
“Airtel has stepped up the game as airtime bonuses alone are now behind the times,”Onoja-Babayemi.
Mr Taiwo Olashore, Chairman of CeLD Innovation Ltd. said that when they started CashToken Initiative 18 months ago, the major aim was to be transparent so that the project could progress.
“Transparency will help ensure that the process in which winners are chosen is actually independent,” Olashore said.
Mrs Priscilla Onuzula from National Lottery Regulatory Commission, (NLRC) said that they came to ensure that Airtel and CeLD kept their promise to deliver cash to the winner.
“We are here now and can see that winners have emerged and one of them is here to claim his money.
“Transparency is key in lottery, so the commission’s job is to ensure that promises are kept to people who emerge winners in this kind of scheme,” Onuzula said.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Adeleye Ajayi
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