BD Insider, Letter 109: Google’s Equiano cable to arrive in Nigeria this month — NCC

BD Insider, Letter 109 covers Standard Chartered Bank's exit from seven African Markets and Google's plan to land its Equiano Cable in Nigeria this month.

BD Insider, Letter 109: Google’s Equiano cable to arrive in Nigeria this month — NCC

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Happy Holidays.

In this letter:

  • NCC said Google’s Equiano Cable will land in Nigeria this month.
  • Standard Chartered Bank will exit from seven African Markets

Let's dive in.

Google’s Equiano Cable is to land in Nigeria this month

Google’s Equiano Cable will land in Nigeria at the end of April, the National Communication Commission (NCC) disclosed this last Thursday after a meeting with Google Global Services Nigeria.

“Google’s investment in the subsea cable, Equiano, which is expected to land in Nigeria by end of April 2022, will be more impactful in driving NCC’s ongoing implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025, aimed at increasing broadband penetration to 70 per cent by 2025.” Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s Director for Public Affairs stated.

The Equiano cable system is the third private international cable owned by Google and the 14th subsea cable invested by Google. Equiano connects Portugal and South Africa, running along the West Coast of Africa, with branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to more African countries.

According to Juliet Ehimuan, Google’s Director for West Africa, demands for internet services have increased the need for more capacity, and sustainable collaborations with all relevant stakeholders within the public and private sectors. She asserted that Google’s commitment of $1billion across five years in various interventions will support digital transformation in Nigeria and across Africa.

Ehimuan stated that research has proven that Africa will have an additional 300 million Internet users and Nigeria will lead in that number, given its current statistics of over 141 million internet subscribers and broadband penetration of over 40.88 per cent as of January 2022. Meanwhile, the NCC believes that the arrival of the Equiano Cable will provide affordable internet services.

“I am hopeful that Equiano will have additional landing points in the hinterlands through collaborative efforts with the licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to reduce retail data prices significantly and thereby complementing the Commission’s efforts at ensuring affordable Internet services are available to boost the Commission’s ongoing broadband policy drive,” Engr. Ubale Maska, NCC’s Executive Commissioner for Technical Services said.

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Standard Chartered to exit operations in seven African markets

Standard Chartered Plc has halted its “onshore operations” in seven African countries and the Middle East so as to redirect resources within regions to areas where it can have the “greatest scale and growth potential, in order to better support its clients.”

The company will fully exit from Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, in Tanzania and Cote d’Ivoire, the consumer, private and business banking businesses will be exited and the focus will turn solely to its corporate, commercial and institutional banking.

The British multinational banking and financial services company disclosed this last Thursday. “The Group remains focused on serving its clients where it can make the most impact. [We] will continue to serve corporate and institutional clients and facilitate cross-border capital flows and offshore business in all the above markets from its international network.” the company stated.

Currently, Standard Chartered is present in 59 markets and serves clients in a further 83. The markets that will be exited generated around one per cent of total Group 2021 income and a similar proportion of profit before tax. Recall that in January 2022, the company closed down half of its physical branches in Nigeria as a pivot to digital banking.

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Thanks for reading.

Have a great week!

🖊 Johnstone Kpilaakaa

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