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Airtel Africa hits speed wobble in Nigeria

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Africa , Nigeria , 17 May 2021

Airtel Africa says the new SIM card registration regulations in Nigeria have negatively affected the growth of its customer base in Africa.

According to the company’s most recent financial statement, while its customer base grew by 6.9% to 118.2 million, new registration regulations impacted the process of onboarding new customers in Q4.

“Natural churn in the national customer base led to a loss of 2.5 million active mobile customers in the final quarter of the year. However, the financial impact has been minimal, with the continued revenue growth in Nigeria due largely to the significantly lower Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) of the churned base and increased usage by the active base,” reads an excerpt from the statement.

According to the company out of its 42 million active customers, it has collated NIN information for 23.2 million active customers, adding that it has opened enrolment centres in collaboration with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to assist customers.

Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said connecting underserved mobile markets and improving financial inclusion across its footprint provides the company with sustainable profit growth potential.

He said the company has also agreed to sell more of its tower portfolio, yielding yet more cash for the business.

“Our performance has been strong with the reported growth of 13.6% in underlying revenue. Contributions to this growth came from all regions, with particular improvements in Francophone Africa and across all our major services with mobile money, data and voice each posting double digits revenue growth,” said Mandava.

Airtel Africa has a presence in 14 African countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda.

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