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Operational shutdown affects revenue growth of Airtel Africa amid Nigeria’s rising terrorist threat

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Airtel Africa’s Nigerian operation negatively impacted the revenue generation of the telecommunications company for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2021.

Airtel Nigeria‘s earnings was hit by shutdown of some sites operation in some Northern states. The telco closed these branches as a result of rising insecurity in the region.

Several terrorist attacks in some part of the Northern region had been reported by Ripples Nigeria in 2021, as the armed men kidnapped and killed motorists, as well as residents, and in a bid to stop rising attack and their communications link in the area, the Nigerian government directed shutdown of telecom sites.

This slowed the growth of Airtel Africa’s Q3 2021 voice turnover, according to its Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya, hence, slowing its revenue for the 2021 nine months financial period, which stood at $3.49 billion, against earnings of same period of 2020, which recorded $2.85 billion.

“There are some issues in the Northern part of the country with some terrorist activities being heightened in the last quarter, so for security reasons the government asked all operators to shut down a number of sites.” Ogunsanya explained.

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He added, “that affected our outgoing voice revenue and it did impact the voice revenue that came out of Nigeria despite the fact that we managed an increase in the net addition”.

Breakdown of Airtel Africa’s revenue segments

Voice revenue for 9months 2021 was $1.74 billion, above the $1,53 billion reported during the corresponding period of 2020, the financial results disclosed.

Data and mobile money segments were its highest grossing business, with the former posting $112 billion in nine months of last year, surpassing the $842 million reported during the same period in 2020.

Airtel Africa’s mobile money generated $406 million last year, during the period under review, far from the $291 million that the telecommunications company grossed in nine months 2020.

However, despite Nigerian subsidiary weighing negatively on Airtel Africa’s revenue, the country’s turnover was up 29.0%, ahead of East Africa’s 24.4% and Francophone Africa reporting 19.0% revenue growth.

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