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Airtel: NIN/SIM Regulations Affected Our Subscribers Base

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Airtel Nigeria has stated that the full implementation of the command by the Federal Government on National Identity Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) that barred over 72million from originating calls from their mobile phones took a toll on its subscriber base.

The Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration approved by the Federal Government last year made NIN use mandatory for SIM registration.

Part of the new policy was for subscribers to link their NIN with their SIM. After several extensions of deadlines for subscribers to link their NINs with their SIMs, the Federal Government directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to bar SIMs not linked to NINs from making calls.

In its results for the year ended March 31, the telecom company released yesterday, said: “NIN/SIM regulations in Nigeria impacted customer growth in H1, but then returned to strong growth, adding four million customers in Nigeria during H2’22.”

The report’s highlight showed that revenue grew by 20.6 percent for the year, to $4.714million, and 17.8 percent for Q4. Constant currency underlying revenue grew 23.3 percent for the year and 19.1per cent in

It said constant currency underlying revenue growth was strong in all regions: Nigeria up 27.7per cent, East Africa up 22.7per cent, and Francophone Africa up 17.2per cent, and across all key services, with revenue in Voice up 15.4 percent, Data up 34.6per cent and Mobile Money up 34.9 percent.

Underlying Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) of $2,311million, grew by 29.0per cent in reported currency; underlying EBITDA margin of 49 percent increased by 294 basis points; operating profit grew by 37.2 percent to $1,535million in reported currency; while profit after tax grew by 82.0per cent to $755million.

The operator posted operating free cash flow of $1,655million, up 40.5per cent, with net cash generated from operating activities up 20.7per cent to $2,011million.

Over the last 12 months, the business has repaid nearly $1.4billion of debt at HoldCo as a result of strong cash upstreaming across its OpCos and proceeds from minority investments in mobile money and tower sales, while its leverage ratio improved to 1.3x from 2.0x in the prior year, with $1billion of debt now held at HoldCo (FY’21: $2.4billion).

It posted a customer base of 128.4 million, up 8.7per cent, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 15.2per cent) and mobile money services (customer base up 20.7 percent).

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