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From a Whopping Sum of N7.05bn to N2.3bn, How GLOBACOM Resisted Corporate Bullying by MTN

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The raging disagreements between Nigerian owned telecoms giant, GLOBACOM, and the near-monopolistic South African behemoth, MTN, seems to have reached a crescendo.

According to impeccable industry sources, MTN had tried to intimidate and blackmail GLOBACOM on its own soil but the telecoms company stood its ground by challenging MTN to prove whatever case it had instead of engaging in cheap blackmail.

It turned out to be a fight worth fighting. From experience, GLOBACOM was used to being harassed by those who failed to realise that its promoters built its business conglomerates in an organic fashion and never through the surreptitious processes.

MTN had slammed a whopping sum of over N7.05 billion on GLOBABOM, covering interconnect charges of N1.6 billion (which was already paid before the controversial publication), VAT of N1.7 billion allegedly paid on behalf of GLOBACOM, and a compounded interest of N3.6 billion, which GLOBACOM considered preposterous since it is the absolute prerogative of companies to pay its own interests and never through proxies. Thus it was bizarre that MTN paid VAT on its behalf when it was already an established fact that GLOBACOM met all its obligations to FIRS.

To establish that GLOBACOM was not short of funds but only fighting for its fundamental rights and integrity in the industry, the company posted a payment guarantee of N3, 489 ,961, 881. 48 and also issued seven bank cheques each of N500m making a total of N3.5 billion. But MTN later opted for the bank guarantee. GLOBACOM then requested for the commencement of a reconciliation exercise. The earlier threat to disconnect GLO was obviously in bad faith and poor taste since it had even paid the N1.6 billion before the publication and was only seeking transparency in the MTN claims. After the parties sat down for due diligence with the Regulators at NCC offices in Lagos, it was clearly established that contrary to the MTN insistence on claiming the earlier published sums, the interest element of the interconnect debt due from GLOBACOM to MTN stands at N2, 368, 290, 400. 81.

In view of this painstaking reconciliation, MTN can now go ahead to call up the First Bank payment guarantee dated 17th January 2024. This shall represent the full and final payment.

GLOBACOM insists that MTN should never have been pampered to the extent that it wields the power of life and death over home grown competitors. According to checks on MTN operations elsewhere, this is the same modus operandi that led to several major telecoms companies collapsing and fleeing from Ghana.

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CBN Releases 16 Banking Transactions Not Affected by Cybersecurity Levy

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Following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive that all banks should commence charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions within the country, below are 16 banking transactions that are exempted from the CBN’s new cybersecurity levy:

  1. Loan disbursements and repayments
  2. Salary payments
  3. Intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer
  4. Intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank
  5. Other Financial Institutions instructions to their correspondent banks
  6. Interbank placements,
  7. Banks’ transfers to CBN and vice-versa
  8. Inter-branch transfers within a bank
  9. Cheque clearing and settlements
  10. Letters of Credits
  11. Banks’ recapitalisation-related funding – only bulk funds movement from collection accounts
  12. Savings and deposits, including transactions involving long-term investments such as Treasury Bills, Bonds, and Commercial Papers.
  13. Government Social Welfare Programmes transactions e.g. Pension payments
  14. Non-profit and charitable transactions, including donations to registered non-profit organisations or charities
  15. Educational institutions’ transactions, including tuition payments and other transactions involving schools, universities, or other educational institutions
  16. Transactions involving bank’s internal accounts such as suspense accounts, clearing accounts, profit and loss accounts, inter-branch accounts, reserve accounts, nostro and vostro accounts, and escrow accounts.

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CBN Directs Banks to Charge 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transfer

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks and other financial institutions to implement a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers.

This is contained in a circular signed by Chibuzor Efobi, Director of Payments System Management and Haruna Mustafa, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation on Monday.

The directive was issued to commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, as well as mobile money operators.

CBN said the policy would take effect in two weeks and charges would be described as ‘Cybersecurity Levy’.

According to the apex bank, the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

“Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024 and under the provision of Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act, “a levy of 0.5% (0.005) equivalent to a half percent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the second schedule of the Act, is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), which shall be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA),” CBN said.

CBN said the charges would be remitted to the national cyber security fund, which would be administered by the office of the NSA.

“Deductions shall commence within two (2) weeks from the date of this circular for all financial institutions and the monthly remittance of the levies collected in bulk to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the 5th business day of every subsequent month.”

CBN said failure to remit the levy is an offence which attracts a fine of not less than 2 percent of the annual turnover of the defaulting business, amongst others.

“Finally, all institutions under the regulatory purview of the CBN are hereby directed to note and comply with the provisions of the Act and this circular.”

Meanwhile, earlier, banks announced the reintroduction of 2 percent charge on deposits above N500,000.

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Naira Slumps to N1,399/$1 in Official Window, N1,430/$1 in Parallel Market

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The Naira continued its slump against the American dollar for the seventh consecutive day on Friday, in both the official and parallel windows.

The domestic currency traded at N1,399.23/$1 and N1,430/$1 respectively.

This is according to data sourced from the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) window.

At the end of trading on Friday, the Naira lost N89.35 against the dollar when compared to the previous exchange rate of N1,309.88/$1 on Thursday, April 26, 2024.

The intra-day high and low recorded during the day were N1,410/$1 and N1,05/$1 respectively, representing a wide spread of N359/$1.

Similarly, the Naira slumped against the dollar at the parallel section of the market for the seventh consecutive day to trade at N1,430/$1 representing a loss of N10 when compared to the N1,420/$1 it traded the previous day.

However, the Naira gained against the pound. The domestic currency appreciated by N50 against the British Pound to trade at N1,650/£1 as against the previous trading price of N1,700/£1 representing a gain of N50 for the local currency,

The Canadian dollar however closed flat against the Naira to trade at N1,000/CA$1 same as the previous trading day rate.

The Euro also slumped against the Naira to trade at N1,450/€1 as against the rate of N1,500/€1 the previous trading rate indicating a gain of N50 for the Nigerian currency.

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