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Federal Govt Announces Removal Of Excise Duty For Telecoms Services

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Federal Govt Announces Removal Of Excise Duty For Telecoms Services

Rashidat Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Federal Government on Tuesday announced the removal of excise duty for telecom sub-sector of Nigeria’s Digital Economy Industry in line with the recommendations of the Committee it constituted to review the applicability of the Duty to the telecom sector which is considered already overburdened with taxation and sundry levies.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, disclosed this on Tuesday (today) at a press briefing organised to provide updates on the status of the 5 per cent excise duty, whose applicability to the telecom sector was objected to by the Minister in August 2022, following which President Muhammadu Buhari suspended its application to the telecom sector and set up a Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in the Digital Economy Sector.

Pantami, who is the Chairman of the Committee, specifically set up for the purpose of reviewing the proposed excise duty in the telecom sector, said the Committee had carried out its national assignment and accordingly submitted its report to the President, justifying why the sector should be exempted.

The Minister said the Committee’s submissions can be summed up in three arguments put forward to justify why additional burden in form of taxes or any level should not be imposed on the telecom sector to prevent a reversal of the important contribution the sector is making to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Federal Govt Announces Removal Of Excise Duty For Telecoms Services

Left-Right: Jacqueline Olowolayemo, Senior Administrative Manager, Mafab Communications Ltd.; Prof Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau and Anas Galadima, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, MTN Nigeria, during a press briefing by the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in the Digital Economy Sector in Abuja on Tuesday March 21, 2023.

“Our justifications are based on three premises: First, is the fact that operators in the telecoms sub-sector of the digital economy industry currently pay no fewer than 41 different categories of taxes, levies, and charges; secondly, that telecoms have continued to be a major contributor to the Nigerian economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product Contribution (GDP).

“The third ground for contesting the Excise Duty in telecom sector is the fact that, despite the increase in the cost of all factors of production across sector, and naturally leading to increase in costs of products and services, telecom sector is the only sector where cost of service has been stable and in many cases continued to go down over the past years and therefore, adding more burden will destroy the sector,” the Minister said.

The Minister also informed the gathering that the President, having looked into the arguments put forward by the Committee and relying on the provision of Section 5 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended, has therefore, exempted telecom sector from the list of sectors to pay the excise duty as stated in Finance Act of 2021 and other subsidiary legislations, all of which are not as superior as the Constitution which permits the President to grant the such waiver.

Pantami said: “I am happy to report to you that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the exemption of the digital economy sector from the five percent excise duty to be paid and this is because of the strength of the argument presented to him by the Committee that additional burden on telecom sector will increase the sufferings of Nigerians and that other sectors that are not making as much contribution to the economy should be challenged to do more and pay the 5 per cent excise duty.”

The Minister assured Nigerians, who are telecom consumers, that the presidential exemption given to the telecom sector shall be sustained by the incoming administration as “the decision by the President is not about any political party or any administration but about Nigeria and welfare of Nigerian citizens.”

The Minister further noted that the Digital Economy Sector has continued to contribute significantly to the growth of the Nigerian economy, having contributed 14.07 per cent to the GDP in the first quarter of 2020; 17.79 per cent in the second quarter of 2021; and 18.44 per cent in the second quarter of 2022.

He said the sector has also increased its quarterly revenue generation for government from N51 billion to over N480 billion, representing a growth of 594 per cent; while the cost of buying data has also reduced from N1,200 in 2019 to N350 presently, despite the increase in the cost of operations, including the energy challenge that has caused mobile network operators to power base stations with over 32,000 power generating to provide seamless services to their teeming consumers.

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Airtel Africa Appoints Carl Cruz As Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer Of Airtel Nigeria

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Airtel Africa Appoints Carl Cruz As Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer Of Airtel Nigeria

Rahidat Okunlade Writes

Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, has announced the appointment of Carl Cruz as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Networks Limited (Nigeria).

The appointment which takes effect from 5th May 2023, will also see Mr. Cruz join the Executive Committee as the Regional Operating Director reporting to the Airtel Africa Group CEO, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya as well as the Board of Airtel Networks Limited (Nigeria).

Mr. Cruz has over 31 years of business and corporate experience from multiple geographies across Africa and Asia. In his most recent position, Mr. Cruz served as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Unilever in West Africa, with responsibility and oversight of three listed operating companies, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Francophone Africa. He was a board member in the role of Executive Director in Unilever Nigeria Plc and a Non – Executive Director on the board of Unilever Ghana representing Unilever as a shareholder.

Airtel Africa Appoints Carl Cruz As Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer Of Airtel Nigeria

Carl Cruz, Managing Director, CEO, Airtel Nigeria.

Prior to this, he was the Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Sri Lanka, in addition to occupying leadership roles in Unilever Philippines and Hindustan Unilever India. Throughout his career, Mr. Cruz has managed strategic and directional responsibility in sales, distribution, customer and brand development, trade development, and commercial engagement.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from the University of De La Salle, Philippines.

Speaking on Mr. Cruz’s appointment, Airtel Africa Group CEO, Segun Ogunsanya said, “Mr. Cruz brings to Airtel Africa a wealth of business experience, exceptional track record, and strong values. He has a solid record of accomplishment as a strategic and transformational business leader who thrives on problem-solving and building strong teams to deliver business growth. We look forward to working with him to steer our largest region and to deliver on our corporate purpose of transforming lives.”

Mr. Cruz takes over from Mr. C Surendran.

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Airtel TV Celebrates Creativity, Awards Star Winner With Whopping N1,000,000 And Scholarship

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Airtel TV Celebrates Creativity, Awards Star Winner With Whopping N1,000,000 And Scholarship

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

Leading entertainment content streaming service, Airtel TV, announced the winners of its first Super Skit-Makers contest on Wednesday, 3rd May 2023 at Airtel Headquarters, Ikoyi, with prizes ranging from N250, 000 to N1, 000,000.

Launched in March 2023, the Airtel TV Super Skit-Makers competition is an initiative by the fledgling platform, to recognize and reward the country’s outstanding talent in the emerging online skits genre.

An evidently thrilled crowd at the prize presentation ceremony applauded as the star winner, Qudus Shokunbi, received the unprecedented N1, 000,000 cash reward and a scholarship to Del-York Creative Academy, a top film school in Lagos.

Airtel TV Celebrates Creativity, Awards Star Winner With Whopping N1,000,000 And Scholarship

Left-Right: Marketing Manager, Airtel Nigeria, Ismail Adeshina; star-prize winner, Airtel TV Skit-Maker Competition, Qudus Shokunbi; Partnership and Intervention Manager, Del-York Creative Academy, Halima Alawiye; and Managing Partner, Covenant Entertainment Services and Nollywood actor, Deyemi Okanlawon at the prize presentation to the winners of the competition at Airtel Headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday, 3rd May 2023.

Airtel TV Celebrates Creativity, Awards Star Winner With Whopping N1,000,000 And Scholarship

Left-Right: Marketing Manager, Airtel Nigeria, Ismail Adeshina; star-prize winner, Airtel TV Skit-Maker Competition, Qudus Shokunbi; Partnership and Intervention Manager, Del-York Creative Academy, Halima Alawiye; and Managing Partner, Covenant Entertainment Services and Nollywood actor, Deyemi Okanlawon at the prize presentation to the winners of the competition at Airtel Headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday, 3rd May 2023.

Airtel TV Celebrates Creativity, Awards Star Winner With Whopping N1,000,000 And Scholarship

Left-Right: Marketing Manager, Airtel Nigeria, Ismail Adeshina; second runner-up, Akueme John-Paul; first runner-up, Mathias Saidu; star-prize winner, Airtel TV Skit-Maker Competition, Qudus Shokunbi; Partnership and Intervention Manager, Del-York Creative Academy, Halima Alawiye; and Managing Partner, Covenant Entertainment Services and Nollywood actor, Deyemi Okanlawon at the prize presentation to the winners of the competition at Airtel Headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday, 3rd May 2023.

This star award was followed by additional prizes to other winners and contestants. Second and third-place winners were presented with cash prizes of N500,000, and N250,000, respectively, alongside film school scholarships to Del-York Creative Academy. For their notable participation, makers of the top 10 most viewed videos that were entered into the competition also received branded Airtel TV merchandise.

Speaking at the event, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja said, “Airtel Nigeria is excited to host the Skit-Makers and celebrate the incredible contributions of young skit makers to the comedy genre in particular, and Nigerian entertainment in general. We believe in supporting and promoting creativity in Nigeria, and with Airtel TV, we are thrilled to recognize and reward the impact of these talented creators.”

He added: “We hope that the prizes will not only serve as a form of recognition for the winners but also as a source of inspiration to other aspiring skit makers.”

Sharing a similar sentiment, Shokunbi, expressed his gratitude to Airtel TV for boosting the art form. “I am happy that Airtel TV organized this competition and offered this large prize. Their support will go a long way to encourage more youths to produce more creative skits,” he said.

 

 

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Airtel Partners AXA Mansard To Launch Digital Health Plans To Consumers

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Airtel Partners AXA Mansard To Launch Digital Health Plans To Consumers

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

Leading telecommunications network provider, Airtel Nigeria, has partnered with AXA Mansard, to launch a digital health insurance plan that provides access to basic health care consultation and minor treatment for customers on the Airtel network.

This was announced during a press launch at Airtel Headquarters, on Wednesday, 19th April 2023.

The Airtel AXA Mansard health bundle gives Airtel customers the opportunity to approach low-cost health care consolation and treatment for minor illnesses. The bundle plan is said to provide three forms of healthcare services, including telemedicine, pharmacy, and hospitalization reimbursement, and Airtel customers can subscribe by dialing *141*44# to select the service.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja described the bundle as an innovative product that has been particularly designed to make significant difference.

Airtel Partners AXA Mansard To Launch Digital Health Plans To Consumers

Left-Right: Director, Internal Assurance, Airtel Nigeria, Ngozi Akamelu; Acting Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja; Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard, Tope Adeniyi; Chief Customer & Marketing Office, Customer Engagement and Marketing, AXA Mansard, Jumoke Odunlami at the press briefing announcing the Airtel and AXA Digital Health Partnership at Airtel Headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday, April 19th 2023.

 

Airtel Partners AXA Mansard To Launch Digital Health Plans To Consumers

Left-Right: Director, Microinsurance, AXA Mansard, Alfred Egbai; Chief Executive Officer, Truthware Solutions, Deji Macauley; Acting Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja; Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard, Tope Adeniyi; Head, Customer Communications, Airtel Nigeria, Guruman Iwundu at the press briefing announcing the Airtel and AXA Digital Health Partnership at Airtel Headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday, April 19th 2023.

“In line with Airtel’s core value, which is to deliver solutions that enrich the lives of our customers, we are pleased to partner with AXA Mansard, to launch a cutting-edge health bundle that will add value to our customers. This partnership aims to provide easy and pocket-friendly health insurance access to Airtel users, through mobile data service”, he said.

He added that the health bundle will shorten the distance between Airtel customers and healthcare providers such as hospitals and pharmacies.  “With this simple cover,” he noted, “users may now have access to the medication of up to N60,000 and hospitalization cover of N50,000 per year.”

Also speaking during the launch, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard, Tope Adeniyi hailed the partnership between the two companies for deploying technology to make far-reaching impact in healthcare.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Airtel to make health insurance accessible through mobile services, and we believe that this is currently one of the most innovative and relevant solutions that will empower more Nigerians to conveniently access best-in-class health insurance value offerings,” he said.

Some of the other interventions made by Airtel as part of its continuing commitment to health and wellness in Nigeria include the N200 million investment in the refurbishment and outfitting of the infectious disease center at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in addition to a  donation of N20 million from personal contributions by Airtel employees which was described by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as the first of its kind, and many several other projects under Airtel’s award-winning Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, Airtel Touching Lives.

 

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