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Nigeria’s power sector is in a near-comatose state – Chinedu Amah, Founder, Spark Limited



Chinedu Amar

What are your expectations from the government and other operators?

When you say government I want to see it in two parts and these are: The executive which continues to fund electricity subsidies and continues to stifle the implementation of cost-reflective tariffs for political gains, I am sure the politicians know it is not in the best interest of anyone, not the citizens and definitely not the government. They should evolve policies that drive energy efficiency and profer positive impacts on the users as efficient appliances reduce expenses by citizens while they derive the same value.

The regulator needs to evolve faster and in the following ways employ technology or insist on the use of technology to monitor every node of the distribution chain so that they are able to immediately determine reasons for service disruptions at the micro-level, imagine that there is a regulation on service-based tariff yet the regulator cannot determine if the DISCO has kept its part of the bargain by providing the requisite hours of supply to the customer as designated by their bands.

Increase enforcement on infractions at all levels as the continued failure of the sector is impacting our collective quality of life negatively.

What are the cheaper alternative sources of energy available and plans you have to make it affordable for consumers?

It is important to note that the key thing is not necessarily about pricing but about reliability, Spark not seeking to compete against the grid but to provide the reliability that is needed when the grid is unavailable. We want the customer to unfriend their generator and hopefully reduce demand created on fossil fuels for backup power, that is made possible because while installing solar devices is expensive Spark is offering the service on a pay as you go basis thus you do not need to procure the entire infrastructure, once we confirm your details we will onboard you in less than a week.

What solutions does Spark NIGERIA offer to ease the burden of the irregular power supply?

Spark is offering its customers affordable and reliable metered solar energy, this eliminates the need to shell out a fortune to acquire the inverter, battery and panels.

How do you help the Agro-processing segment of the economy in aiding their productions?

Our focus for agro partnership is a model which we call Rural Economic Clusters, in this model we are interested in providing power for productive use in rural communities as a means of re-engineering the economy of rural Nigeria. Our solution involves providing power for agro-processing and preservation as a means to increase the disposable income of the rural farmer, this will improve his ability to pay for energy supply at his home because his agro produce losses are reduced with the availability of efficient processing and preservation equipment which is powered by Spark using clean energy.



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Ethereum Has Destroyed $8.10 Billion in Ether, ETH Scarcity to Increase After The Merge




According to current metrics, the Ethereum blockchain has burned 2.35 million ether since the implementation of Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559. The $8.10 billion in value was burned over the course of nine months and during the last seven days, 18,110 ether worth $34.9 million was destroyed.

Approximately 288 days ago, Ethereum developers implemented EIP 1559, a ruleset upgrade that basically changed the algorithm tied to the base fee per gas in the protocol and the network now burns the base fee per gas.

Since the August 5, 2021 London upgrade, after EIP 1559 was codified into the codebase and live, 2.35 million ether worth $8.10 billion in USD value has been destroyed forever.

The day after EIP 1559 was implemented, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin explained that the change was “definitely the most important part of [the] London [upgrade].”

During the last 24 hours, 2,396 ether worth $4.63 million has been burned. On May 1, 2022, the network saw the largest daily burn rate ever with 71,718 ether worth $138.78 million. The second highest burn rate daily record was on January 10, 2022, as 19,424 ethereum worth roughly $37.5 million was destroyed that day.

The biggest ethereum burner today is Opensea as the marketplace has burned 229,925 ether over 14,639,327 transactions. Gas used for ether transfers has burned a total of 207,072 ETH, and Uniswap V2 has burned 131,457 ether.

While the London upgrade’s EIP 1559 was a big protocol change, the next big shift will be when The Merge is applied. At that time, Ethereum will transition to a full proof-of-stake (PoS) network from its current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm.

Ethereum proponents are already getting prepared for The Merge as they suspect the change will be codified at some point this summer. Just recently, on May 17, the Ethereum-focused software firm Consensys launched an early access version of “Bonsai Tries” which aims to be a few steps ahead of the official Merge transition.

Furthermore, at the recent Permissionless conference, Ethereum developer Preston Van Loon said the public may see The Merge implemented by August. Ethereum developer Tim Beiko recently explained The Merge will likely go live by the third quarter of 2022. Beiko further explained that he “strongly suggests” that miners do not invest in more mining rigs going forward.

Despite the upcoming changes, Ethereum’s PoW hashrate has been at the highest point in the network’s lifetime on May 13, at block height 14,770,231. Burning ethereum has become simply part of the protocol and many crypto proponents believe ethereum will be ‘ultra-sound’ money with the deflationary mechanism.

A simulation of The Merge indicates that after the transition, ethereum will become scarcer. Currently, Ethereum’s issuance rate is 5.4 million ethereum a year, and after The Merge, the issuance rate will be around only 500,000 ether per year. While current supply growth is 3.7% annually, after The Merge, it will be roughly about 0.4% per year.

Amid all those changes, Ethereum’s burn rate will be the same, which is estimated to be around 900,000 ether per year. However, significant spikes like the 71,718 ether burned on May 1, can change estimations a great deal.

What do you think about the 2.35 million ether burned since August 5, 2021? How do you feel about The Merge approaching? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons



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MTN Nigeria now more valuable than all Nigerian Banks, Insurance Companies combined



MTN Share price e1559806857880

Nigeria’s telecommunication giant, MTN Nigeria is now worth N5 trillion making it more valuable than all banks, insurance companies, and the entire financial services companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange combined.

This is according to market valuation data as of May 20th, 2022, tracked and compiled by Naijaonpoint from the Nigerian Exchange.

As of Friday, MTN Nigeria closed with a total market capitalization of N5.068 trillion making it the third most capitalized stock on the Nigerian Exchange. MTN Nigeria now joining Airtel and Dangote Cement, all members of the SWOOT to be worth more than the financial services sector.

MTN was briefly the most capitalized stock two weeks ago when the share price was trading at N264 per share valuing it at N5.3 trillion. However, Airtel and Dangote Cement prices have since risen while MTN shed some of its gains.

MTN Nigeria belongs to a category of companies termed SWOOTs by Naijaonpoint which means Stocks Worth Over One Trillion Naira. Other members of the group include Airtel Africa (N5.5 trillion) Dangote Cement (N5.1 trillion), BUA Cement (N2.5 trillion), Nestle (N1.1 trillion), and BUA Food (N1 trillion).

MTN now more Valuable than all Financial Services Companies

Shares of MTN have been on the rise since the beginning of the year starting from about N197 to as high as N270 last week.

  • The share spike which is also largely driven by MTN’s blistering 2021 FY results and 2022 first-quarter results took it past N5 trillion during the week joining Airtel and Dangote Cement as the only three stocks worth over N5 trillion in Nigeria.
  • The entire Nigerian Financial Services sector which includes banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions is valued at a combined N4 trillion.
  • With an over N1 trillion gap between MTN’s valuation and that of Financial services companies, the telecom giant is now firmly more valued than all of them and will have to experience a 20% dip in share price to fall below.
  • MTN’s share price has risen 51.38% in the last year.

While Airtel, valued at over N5.5 trillion is also more valuable than all the financial services firms, MTN is more significant as the company’s financials represent income generated from Nigeria alone, excluding other African countries.

Airtel’s income includes that of other sub-Saharan African countries even though the income of Nigeria is dominant with about 40% of revenues.

MTN vs Banks

Why are telcos more valuable

A combination of factors explains why MTN and even Airtel are more valuable than the Nigerian financial services sector including banks.

  • While banks have been declaring impressive profits telcos have gone further by not just declaring profits but achieving double-digit growth projections for other sectors of their market, especially data.
  • With over 199 million active mobile subscribers, telcos have the customer base and demand that will continue to drive up revenues and profits in years to come.
  • Apart from data, Telcos also have the capacity and funding to veer into other sectors of the economy starting with banking. The recent MOMO license obtained by MTN opens up a new source of revenue for the organization.
  • Asides, from their growth prospects, telcos also have better control of their margins and returns. Unlike the financial services sector, Telcos deliver over 100% return on average equity of about 20%. MTN reported a return on average equity of 134% in 2021.
  • Apart from fundamentals, Nigerian banks also have billions in shares trading with much higher liquidity when compared to telcos.
  • This is due to the high proportion of single owners of the shares of the banks compared to telcos. For example, Zenith has about 643, 965 shareholders compared to MTN’s 10,931 as of the end of 2021. Also, whilst 2 shareholders own 15% of Zenith Bank, one shareholder owns 76% of MTN.

The shift in the size of Nigeria’s economy

We are also not surprised that MTN has now eclipsed the entire financial service sector in market valuation.

  • According to Nigeria’s GDP data, the telecommunications sector had a nominal GDP of N14.1 trillion as of December 2021 compared to N5.3 trillion for the entire financial services sector.
  • 10 years ago (2021), Telecommunication Sector has a nominal GDP of N5.3 trillion while banks had a GDP nominal size of N1.49 trillion.
  • This was not the case before the advent of Telcos.
  • Telcos are also now 12.6% of the country’s GDP.

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