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Airtel Africa Gets $176.1m for Sale of Tower Assets in Tanzania

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Tower Assets

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The tower assets of Airtel Africa Plc in Tanzania have been sold by the company for $176.1 million, a notice to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Wednesday has confirmed.

A part of the money would be used to offset some of the debts of the organisation and about $60 million would be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the government in line with what was agreed.

Airtel Africa disclosed that the full payment has not been made by the new owners as only $159 million has been received, with the expected upon the completion of the transfer of the remaining towers.

The notice stated that the tower assets were sold to a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, as majority owner, and by Paradigm Infrastructure Limited, a UK company focused on developing, owning and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.

“Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, today announces the first closing of the transaction to sell its telecommunications tower assets in Tanzania to a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, as majority owner, and by Paradigm Infrastructure Limited, a UK company focused on developing, owning and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.

“The gross consideration for the transaction will be $176.1 million.

“Under the terms of the transaction, Airtel Africa’s subsidiary in Tanzania will continue to develop, maintain and operate its equipment on the towers under separate lease arrangements, largely made in local currencies, with the purchaser.

“With first closing, approximately $159 million of the proceeds for the transaction has now been paid, with the balance payable in instalments upon the completion of the transfer of remaining towers to the purchaser.

“Around $60 million from the proceeds will be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the Government of Tanzania, as per the settlement described in the Airtel Africa IPO Prospectus document published in June 2019. The balance of the proceeds will be used to reduce debt at group level,” the full statement read.

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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Technology

Bybit NFT Marketplace to Allow Multi-chain Transactions

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Bybit NFT Marketplace

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

One of the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges, Bybit, has launched its non-fungible token (NFT) platform that aims to streamline digital ownership and support the development of blockchain gaming and the metaverse.

The platform called Bybit NFT Marketplace will allow users to conduct multi-chain transactions, making it easy for them to participate in the exciting NFT, GameFi, and metaverse marketplaces.

Bybit’s secure and reliable infrastructure means that NFT collectors can verify the authenticity and the chain of custody of their favourite NFTs, making it easy for users to authenticate their origin and value.

As a result, users of the exchange will not be required to link their personal wallet addresses to the platform. Instead, they can buy, sell or trade NFTs on the Ethereum ERC-721 standard through their Bybit spot accounts — opening the door to digital ownership to collectors of all knowledge and skill levels.

To further spur interest among the community, Bybit is launching campaigns featuring exclusive NFTs from Monsters Galaxy, ONBD and REALY as its debut into the NFT world.

Inspired by crowd favourites like Pokémon and Monster Hunter, Monsters Galaxy is a social role-playing mobile game developed by Gaia Online that allows players to participate in epic monster battles with their teams of monsters, or capture wild monsters. So far, it has attracted over 25 million players across the globe to be part of its fanbase.

As a curatorial brand and incubator focused on discovering, conceptualizing and realizing NFT projects, ONBD collaborates with crypto-native artists and traditional artists alike to onboard them to the metaverse. The first series from ONBD on the Bybit NFT Marketplace features more than 100 unique NFT artworks from nine artists from around the world.

The REALY Metaverse, also known as KOOOLA virtual city, is a lively metaverse inspired by the street culture where users can meet, trade and play games in a fully immersive experience. Players will get to interact with real-life brands and scenarios in the virtual world as avatars (e.g. purchase and wear virtual clothing by real-world brands).

“While some may be sceptical of the investment value of NFTs, it remains a fact that NFTs not only make it possible for everyone to participate in and appreciate digital ownership but also enable artists and creators to exercise control over the ownership of their work,” said Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit. “We are excited to provide a premier NFT platform for Bybit users, so they can be part of the creation of a new marketplace and new world called the metaverse.”

“The Monster Galaxy series has a rich legacy and an established fanbase in mobile gaming. Our aim is to nurture and grow this community, as we lead them into a blockchain-enabled Web 3.0 ecosystem.

“Bybit’s NFT Marketplace is focused on creating a seamless user experience for new users of crypto, backed by their robust infrastructure and deep exchange liquidity which make them the ideal partners for our maiden NFT collection drop. We look forward to working closely with their team,” said James Cao, founder and CEO of Monster Galaxy.

“ONBD is proud to be building a strong Web 3.0 community of dedicated artists and collectors of the highest calibre. We are very excited to be working with Bybit and their new world-class NFT Marketplace to engage with their community and introduce our internationally renowned artists to a new audience,” said Eva Ren, founder and CEO of ONBD.

“REALY’s goal is to be at the forefront of the street culture metaverse and we are very excited to achieve this milestone with Bybit, which is known for its deep liquidity and their no-downtime commitment. The Bybit NFT Marketplace is a clear choice for us to debut our street culture NFTs,” said George Yang, founder and CEO of REALY.

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Nigerian Developer to Launch New First-person Shooter Game

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NCHE: The Escape

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A Nigerian developer, Mr Okolie Uchechukwu, will launch a new first-person shooter game, NCHE: The Escape, on Monday, March 14, 2022.

A statement from Mr Uchechukwu disclosed that the mobile game, a product of an inquisitive mind, entails the player using the resources available to make his way through lasers and zombies in the quest for survival.

According to him, a test was carried out last year and based upon the feedback, he and a co-developer, Cleec Designs, an indie studio based in Nigeria, improved the skill balance, gameplay experience for both android and IOS devices, and boosted the overall graphics and UI design.

He stated that the online showcase uploaded via his official YouTube channel has gathered interest from fans of the genre across the world.

When officially unveiled in less than two months’ time, game lovers would be able to download and play NCHE: The Escape for free by both iOS and Android users.

Mr Uchechukwu further explained that NCHE: The Escape thrusts players into a mysterious mental facility where escape is seemingly impossible.

“You’ll have to keep your wits about you as you try to find a means to escape. As the perfect icing to the cake, the facility is overrun by bloodthirsty zombies, so making it out of the place alive is indeed a challenge.

“Players will go through a series of eerie levels each time, encountering zombies, picking up defence supplies, and avoiding the lasers. NCHE: The Escape places players in a strange mental facility where the existence of life is unthinkable.

“So, making your way through the facility overrun by violent zombies will be a challenging task. Players can pick up guns and ammo on their way as they move ahead in levels, in search of their way to escape.

“The hitch here is that players have to be critical when using their weapons as ammo is limited. They will come across moving lasers and zombies that can be shot down any moment but sometimes simply dodging them would be a better alternative for players to make it through the advancing intense levels.

“The difficulty level increases with every progress as players will find it more and more challenging to withstand the approaching obstacles,” he added.

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Technology

Nigeria to Launch Another Satellite in Space Soon—FG

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NigComSat

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has disclosed that it plans to launch another satellite through the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) before the end of the year.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, during a tour of facilities at the agency’s base in Abuja.

He said: “That approval of federal government which I have secured has been forwarded to NigComSat. Now, it is on the table of NigComSat to answer that question. I want to make sure that as I said that 2022 is NigComSat year along with NIPOST. I want to make sure that all work in progress must be completed by 2022.

“As I said earlier, 2022 has been dedicated to NigComSat and NIPOST, and I want to do the best I can to improve what we have achieved in the previous years.

“I recently approved two subsidiaries of NigComSat and I am here to supervise what they have been doing, and I discovered some areas where we need to work to improve their performance significantly.”

He also stated that for the agency not to be considered for privatisation again, it must provide quality service and generate good revenue for the federal government.

He added: “Before I was made the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), there was the Oronsaye report which recommended for the scrapping of NITDA. But when I was able to turn things around from a generation of N7 billion to N19 billion in a year, no one talks about scrapping NITDA again.

“So, if you are able to turn things around, render quality service and generate income, no one will talk of privatising your company again.”

On her part, the Director-General, NigComSat, Mrs Abimbola Alike, appreciated the Minister for his immense support.

Mrs Alike stated: “We all know what our budget used to be N200 million-N300m, for a company that needs capital after overhead.

“He stood for us and said there must be something good in NigComSat because he is a man who believes that we can actually turn around NigComSat.”

She assured Mr Pantami of the agency’s readiness to deliver quality service and generate revenue to justify his efforts at revitalising the agency.

According to her, this year, Nigerians would see new significant changes that will make them know that NigComSat is a new company that can compete with its global counterparts.

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