“I do not think anyone in Nigeria needs persuading of the need for urgent action on the environment. Desertification in the north, floods in ... the centre, pollution and erosion on the coast are enough evidence. For Nigeria, climate change is not about the perils of tomorrow, but what is happening today,” President Muhammadu Buhari said during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in October. And today means Nigerians are finding it increasingly hard to afford basic food items.
After it issued the first set of Payment Service Bank (PSB) licenses to local telcos in August last year, Nigeria’s apex bank has granted an approval-in-principle to Airtel Africa, one of the biggest telecom operators in the country.
This is meant to usher in full participation of telcos in the mobile money market and catalyse inclusion of the rural poor – especially in northern Nigeria – the youth, and women who form the bulk of the country’s unbanked population.
Following the announcement by the CBN, the share price of the telecom giant has significantly grown. On Monday 9 November, the first official trading day after the public announcement on Friday, local media reported that Airtel’s market capitalisation grew by N293.13bn ($711m), from N2.93trn to N3.22trn. At the end of the trading week, its share price had risen by 11.8% to close at N871.70 per share.