MTN Nigeria mobile subscribers declined by 7.6 million to 68.9 million for the half-year ended 30 June 2021, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.
Last December, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) directed the NCC to embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database again.
The regulator directed telecoms firms to stop selling SIM cards while it audits compliance with SIM registration rules. For more read: Regulatory Restrictions On New SIM Sales Bite Into MTN Nigeria Subscribers
The restrictions were lifted on 19 April 2021.
Although the initial run-rate of additions has been slower than usual due to new process requirements, MTN Nigeria anticipates growth to normalise in the short term as more of our acquisition centres are certified for SIM registration.
MTN Nigeria also reported that active data users declined by 52,000 to 32.5 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 27.6% to N417.2 billion.
FinTech revenue rose by 48.2%, driven by increased adoption of Xtratime and the company’s core FinTech services. The company said it continues to expand the MoMo agent network and broaden service offerings.
“Our registered MoMo agents increased by 121,000 in H1 2021 to more than 515,000. Transaction volume increased by 280.8% YoY to 55.6 million in H1 2021, and our active subscriber base is now more than 6.1 million, up 180.0% YoY.”
The company also declared a dividend per share of N4.55 kobo, up 30%.
“We are actively supporting the Government’s NIN enrolment programme with more than 380 points of enrolment active across the country. We are working with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to complete bulk verification of the National Identity Numbers (NINs) collected and increase the enrolment centres to provide an access point for as many Nigerian as possible,” said MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola.
“To this end, we have acquired over 40,000 enrolment devices, which are being configured for this purpose. As of 26 July 2021, approximately 37 million subscribers have submitted their NINs, representing around 54% of our subscriber base and 65% of service revenue. The deadline for NIN verification has been extended to 31 October 2021.”
Toriola added that in line with the desire to plant deeper and more permanent roots in Nigeria, the company has also initiated plans to commission a purpose-built, state of the art MTN Head Office. He said the office was designed to act as a central hub for our network, a catalyst for creativity and innovation, and a showcase for the flexible working structures that are driving efficiency gains in this new normal working environment.
4G Investment and Rural Connectivity
MTN Nigeria continues to invest in improved world-class services and its network, accelerating the expansion of 4G coverage and providing home broadband.
“As part of our rural connectivity programme, we plan to connect approximately 1,000 rural communities to our network this year with additional 2,000 communities in 2022,” Toriola said.
“We are delighted that these are translating into strong operational performance in line with the objectives of Ambition 2025.
“In the next 3 years, we will invest over N600 billion to expand broadband access across the country in support of Government’s Broadband Plan.”