Taking a break

Internet Service Providers in Nigeria are taking a break from selling and activating new SIMs, MultiChoice buys stakes from BetKing, Golden Visa gives you more chances to become a foreign citizen

Hello there,

Ghana's sitting president, Akufo-Addo, remains in office by winning the presidential election. Congratulations to the people of Ghana.

And in other positive news South Africa (Africa's largest or second-largest economy) has come out of its longest recession in 28 years. The recession began in Q3 2019 and spanned over a year.

Let’s keep betting

Africans are crazy about betting so multiChoice is helping to scale this reality. 

You don’t say!

Multichoice has bought 20% stake of BetKing  and the Africa's largest Pay-tv group is looking towards increasing the stake if and when Betking follows through with their current strategies. A 20% stake in BetKing cost the video-on-demand platform a whopping  $81m plus a possible performance-related payment of $31m.

The betting market in Africa

Africa currently has over 450million people between the ages of 15-35, most who would rather put their money in betting than open a bank account or an insurance. In 2018, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa generated close to $37billion from betting.

There has been a tremendous increase in mobile phone and internet utilisation in Africa, coupled with other factors including money money that allows for quick deposits and withdrawals, as well as a youthful population with sports enthusiasm and a lenient gambling law in the continent. These factors and more have contributed to the rapid growth of the African betting market.

A 2018 report showed that over 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 are  involved in active sports betting, with almost ₦2billion spent daily on bets, which translated to nearly ₦730 billion in a year. Betting improves viewers’ engagement with sporting content and with MultiChoice’ strategy of  focusing on sports coverage and local content, the TV company says its policy aligns with that of BetKing.

What could come out of this?

MultiChoice claims Sport betting is an adjacent, complementary business that will be very important in the future. With the current high unemployment rate, more Nigerian youth see sporting bet as a means to get their living even without a proper job but on the flip side, this gives more opportunities to gambling and might raise the bar of addiction for young people. 

Got a Visa ?

Image: Sinnott Solicitors

What do you do when you find yourself in the middle of social unrest and political instability in the largest economy in Africa? You get yourself a Golden Visa. 

Every year, thousands of Nigerians make their way to Europe through risky crossings in the Sahara and Mediterranean. Political instability this year in the country is making their wealthier counterparts to explore a different route.

And what’s that?

A Golden Visa is just a fancy name for a person getting a foreign citizenship by investing in a different country. About 92 countries around the world allow anyone to become permanent residents or citizens for about $100k to several million dollars. 

One of the largest citizenships in the world, Henley and Partners, stated that the rush for citizenships started just after October’s SARs protest, with applications increasing by 185% making it the country with the second most applications, just behind India. 


While having a second option is always a safe strategy in most cases, things are quite different in Nigeria. When wealthy individuals take out their money to invest in other countries, there is less investment in the country which makes the poorer Nigerians become poorer because of the lack of business and employment opportunities.  

Looking Ahead: Moving Around

One thing to be positive about is the Visa Openness Index which was created by the African Development Bank (AFDB) to tell us how easy it is for Africans to move around the continent.  It is calculated by looking at three things, whether an African visitor to another country needs to get a visa in their home country before traveling, has the option to get a visa on arrival or can visit without a visa. Currently the index shows that this year, about 20 countries have moved up the index.

This is in alignment with the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement next year which would enable entrepreneurs and other business people to trade goods and services across borders without tariffs.

Taking a Break

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nigeria are taking a break from selling or activating SIMs. While this may seem sudden or absurd, they are actually following regulations by The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) who want to verify if all MNOS have followed the required standards for SIM registration. 

Earlier this year, the NCC had asked all subscribers to get their National Identity Numbers (NIN) and submit to the network operators, a deadline it later shifted to 1st December 2020.   

Deja Vu?

Yes, this looks like it's happened before. In an article from TechCabal, the Nigerian government gave an ultimatum to telcos in 2010 to properly register subscribers on its network or disconnect them. Five years later, it was discovered that MTN still had 5.2 million unregistered and connected subscribers, so the Nigerian government slammed the telco group with a fine of $5.2 billion; arguably the largest in a historical context.


Nigerians have had a hard time meeting the new SIM registration requirements. Although it should take only between 1-5 working days for NIN to be ready after registration, the National identity Management commission has only enrolled about 36 million Nigerians since it started the registration process in 2012. A far cry from the over 180 million network subscribers recorded by NCC. 

What might happen next?

A bunch of stuff. Telcos might be sanctioned again or there could be a new deadline for subscribers to get their National Identity Numbers (NIN) and submit to the network operators.

Zoom out 

The demand for the inclusion of National Identity in the registration process by the NCC, although noble, is beyond the Telcos and citizens. It involves the NCC working together with the National identity Management commission to ensure the NINs are discharged efficiently. Afterall citizens can’t give the telcos NINs they don’t have. Hopefully, the NCC reads this article and finds a way to resolve this😁 

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Quote 💭

“Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads.”

– Erica Jong