Friday, March 1, 2024

Video - Nigeria detains Binance executives

Two senior executives of Binance flew to Nigeria following the country's decision to ban several cryptocurrency trading websites. But they were detained by the office of the country's national security adviser and their passports were seized following their arrival in the country.


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Nigeria detains Binance executives in cryptocurrency crackdown

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Kano Conjoined Twins to Return to Nigeria After Successful Surgery in Saudi Arabia

In a landmark medical achievement, the Saudi Arabian medical and surgical team, has completed the separation surgery of Nigerian conjoined twins, Hassana and Husaina, at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital in King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh.

In a press statement by the Saudi Press Attache in Nigeria, Mohammed Alsahabi said the operation was sponsored by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

“The Saudi Arabian Medical and Surgical team has completed the separation surgery of Nigerian conjoined twins, Hassana and Husaina, at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital in King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh.”

He said the procedure, which began on Thursday morning, marked the culmination of meticulous planning and execution by a dedicated team of medical professionals at Children’s Hospital in Saudi’s capital Riyadh.

Alsahabi further explained that the surgical intervention unfolded in nine planned stages, lasting approximately 14 hours.

“A team comprising 38 consultants, specialists, technicians, and nursing staff specializing in anesthesia, pediatric surgery, urology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, and pediatric neurosurgery collaborated seamlessly to ensure the success of this complex operation.”

“This surgical milestone marked the 60th operation undertaken by the Saudi program for separating Siamese twins, a program that has provided care for 135 conjoined twins from 25 countries over the past 34 years,” Alsahabi stated

“Before the commencement of the procedure, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Advisor at the Royal Court, Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), and head of the medical team, expressed confidence in the success of the procedure, noting a 70% success rate.”

Al Rabeeah commended the Saudi leadership for its unwavering support of the program.” The successful separation of Hassana and Husaina exemplifies the Kingdom’s commitment to advancing medical science and extending compassionate healthcare on a global scale.”

It could be recalled, that the Kano twins, who arrived in Riyadh on October 31, 2023, underwent comprehensive examinations that revealed shared areas in the lower abdomen, pelvis, lower spine, and lower spinal nerves.”

Arise News

Nigeria demands $10 billion from Binance in damages

The Nigerian government has reportedly demanded a minimum of $10 billion from Binance amid the country's crackdown on the crypto exchange and a devaluation of the country's local currency.

The news comes from Bayo Onanuga, special adviser on information and strategy to the country's president, Bola Tinubu, in an interview with the BBC. Onanuga claims Binance profited from "illegal transactions" at the country's expense.

Binance is already under investigation in Nigeria, per multiple reports. “I am confirming that the office of the national security adviser, as part of ongoing operations in the foreign exchange market with the CBN and other law enforcement and security agencies, is coordinating an interagency investigation into the operations of Binance,” Zakari Mijinyawa, head of Strategic Communication at the Office of the National Security Adviser, reportedly told Premium Times.

Binance executives were also reportedly detained by Nigeria earlier this week.

The exchange reportedly removed Nigeria's currency, the naira, from its peer-to-peer service.

The Block reached out to Binance and will update this report.

By Adam James, The Block

Related stories: Nigeria detains Binance executives in cryptocurrency crackdown

Nigeria plans clampdown on Binance, other crypto firms



MTN Nigeria posts ₦137 billion loss amidst naira devaluation

MTN Nigeria faced a challenging year in 2023, as the telecoms giant reported a loss after tax of ₦137.0 billion, a huge contrast to the ₦348.7 billion profits recorded in 2022.

The net foreign exchange loss for 2023 compared to 2022 was N740.434 billion, showing a YoY increase of +804.93%, as opposed to N81.822 billion in the previous year. However, revenue grew by 22.7% from N2.01trn to N2.47trn.

This is contained in the company's audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2023.

According to Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria CEO the telecom giant witnessed a very challenging operating environment characterised by rising inflation, currency devaluation and foreign exchange shortages, complicated by geopolitical disruptions and cash shortages in Q1.

The financial statement revealed that MTN's services revenue grew by 22.4%, driven primarily by data revenue growth of 39.8%. Voice revenue was up by 9.7%.

The company sustained robust commercial momentum in its connectivity business and platforms, fueled by the expansion of its user base, reaching over 4 million subscribers in 2023 and elevating the total base to 79.7 million. Data subscribers for the company increased by over 5 million to 44.6 million, which helped to drive total data traffic growth of 44.9%.

Dividend payment:

On 27 July 2023, the company's Board of Directors approved interim dividends of N117.48 billion for the year ended 31 December 2023 (Interim 2022: N113.99 billion). The interim dividend were paid out of interim profit made during the same period and represents N5.60 kobo per ordinary share on the issued share capital of 21 billion ordinary shares of 2 kobo each for the period ended 30 June 2023.

Given the significant currency devaluation and its impact on the retained earnings, the Directors will not be recommending a final dividend payment, in view of the resulting loss for the year ended 31 December 2023.

Fintech revenue

This increased by 2.4%, led by Xtratime (our airtime lending product), which rose by 2%. However, despite the challenges from the NIN requirement for KYC introduced in Q4 by the CBN, we added 3.3 million active wallets in the year to 5.3 million. This helped to drive MoMo PSB revenue, which rose by 8.1%.

Active mobile money (MoMo PSB) wallets increased by 163% to 5.3 million, powered by 326,000 MoMo agents, and 324,000 merchants in its ecosystem.


MTN says it expects 2024 to be a challenging year due to the rising inflation and devaluation of the naira. In January 2024, the inflation rate reached 29.9%, while the exchange rate has further devalued to N1582/$ as of 26 February 2024. "This is anticipated to put additional pressure on consumers, the cost of doing business and further potential forex losses," it said.

By Adekunle Agbetiloye, Business Insider Africa

Related story: Video - MTN CEO resigns due to $5.2 billion fine imposed by Nigeria

Video - Why Are Multinationals Like P&G, GSK and Sanofi Leaving Nigeria?

Nigeria's currency crisis has triggered an exodus of businesses from the country. At least four multinationals, including GSK, Bayer and Sanofi, have announced they're ending production, as a scarcity of dollars, a naira in freefall and rampant inflation slashes profits. Bloomberg's Jennifer Zabasajja reports.


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