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Airtel Nigeria joins MTN and 9mobile to introduce eSIM in Nigeria

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Telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has introduced eSIM (embedded SIM) – a digital SIM that enables customers to access the same functionality as someone using a physical SIM.

With this, the telecom operator has joined MTN and 9mobile, who introduced the service earlier.

On Tuesday, Airtel released a statement explaining that the eSIM service is now immediately available on its network.

Customers who wish to switch their current physical SIM cards for eSIMs will need to ensure they have a compatible device, obtain the required QR code, and be guided through a SIM Swap process by Airtel service personnel.

Airtel said it has developed a simple and flawless process to activate the eSIM service for all its customers just as it believes that the digital SIM will significantly improve the productivity of Nigerians, helping its stakeholders to achieve personal and professional goals.

Commenting on the eSIM, Ag. Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja, said,

“Airtel Nigeria is always at the forefront in championing technological advancement and creating innovative platforms and opportunities that will make life better, more exciting, and more enjoyable for all those in our stakeholder value chain.

With eSIM, we are not only bringing the latest technology to the fingertips of our customers, but we are also focusing on our Sustainability goals of digital inclusion and environmental best practices as no plastic is involved with eSIM.


“It is therefore our commitment to continue to create offerings that will expand and deepen our digital footprints in line with our positioning as the network of first choice in Nigeria for everything mobile Internet, digital and home broadband.”

Benefits of eSIM: The eSIM offers several benefits over the traditional SIM cards as it is quick and straightforward to set up online, planet-friendly, plastic-free/zero carbon emission, and provides an easy extra line as you can use two numbers without needing two phones/handsets.

With eSIM, travellers, tourists, or consumers relocating to other countries can easily switch operators from country to country without the need to get a new device, another SIM card or roam their lines.


Local customers also have the advantage of switching from one mobile carrier to another for reasons like a better deal or better network coverage in an area.

This means less time speaking with carriers, and ordering and waiting for a new SIM; all of which can be done from your phone settings via the eSIM software,


eSIM in Nigeria: The eSIM journey in Nigeria started in 2020 with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) approving MTN and 9mobile to commence a trial of the technology.

The trial was to run for one year and it involved testing 5,000 e-SIMs by the two networks, subject to compliance with some regulatory conditions.

The two operators have since fully launched the service, which allows their customers with compatible phones to do away with physical SIMs.

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Stallion Nigeria debunks owing GTB N13 billion

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Stallion Nigeria Limited has denied owing Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) N13 billion.

Reacting to reports in a statement signed by Samar Sapre, chief financial officer of Stallion Nigeria, the company said: “Our attention has been drawn to an article circulating around in the media alleging that Stallion is indebted to GTB to the tune of N13 billion. The publication is false and the works of mischief makers as no such debt exists.

“Stallion has been in court with GTB since 2019 over allegations and claims with Stallion winning against GTB at the Court of Appeal, Nigeria. The matter is yet in court and to that extent remains subjudice.

“As a law-abiding corporate entity with faith in the Nigerian judiciary, we refrain from commenting on a matter that is subjudice except to clarify that the publication is false, mischievous and a ploy to smear the unblemished reputation of Stallion.

“We implore the general public to ignore the publication as there is no such court verdict existing anywhere as alleged in the publication. The matter is still pending in court.”

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Kaduna CAN chairman calls for arrest of bank officials over cash scarcity

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Joseph Hayab, chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has called for the arrest and prosecution of bank officials hoarding the new naira notes.

His statement came amid the scarcity of the new naira notes across the country — a situation that is heightening tension and causing hardship for Nigerians.

Hayab, who spoke in Kaduna on Sunday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the direction of the policy aimed at deterring vote buying.

The cleric said the Central Bank of Niger(CBN) should do everything possible to make the currency available to end the hardship.

“Notwithstanding CAN believe that despite the temporary pains Nigerians face, the citizenry is prepared to support the president on the matter of the deadline, especially if it would assist to ease the tension in the country,” he said.

“Therefore, managers of banks who are found to hoard the new naira notes to create artificial scarcity, but are behind the public arena helping money-bag politicians to get the new notes, set the public up against the CBN’s new policy.

“Such banks and bankers should be investigated, and if found culpable, be made to face the wrath of the law.

“CAN will continue to sensitize and mobilize our faithful to support any programme which results could bring about good service delivery for a better nation.”

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‘Bank officials sell naira notes to us’ — PoS operators explain increase in charges

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Point of sale (PoS) operators have claimed that bank officials sell cash (both old and new naira notes) to them.

In separate interviews with NAN in Abuja on Friday, some of the operators said they pay an exorbitant fee which depends on the amount withdrawn.

To make up for the extra expense, they explained that they had no choice but to increase the charges paid by customers.

They further appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to penalise banks involved in the act.

An operator along Nyanya-NNPC road, who preferred anonymity, said she paid the extra charge to keep her business going.

”I paid a very high amount to get this money that I am giving to customers. If you look around here, other operators did not open,” she said.

”The woman (bank official) that I collect money from even increased the money today because she said that cash is scarce and she kept it for me because I called her earlier to do so.

”I pay according to the amount I collect. Sometimes, I pay as high as N5,000 for N50,000 to N70,000 that I collect from her.

”I charge N500 for every N5,000 withdrawn and N1000 for every N10000 withdrawn for me to recover what I spent to collect the money.”

Also speaking, Nnedi Ikonye, a PoS operator along Lugbe, said she paid N3,000 for withdrawing N65,000 in a bank.

”I was asked to pay N3,000 for the N65,000 that I withdrew from a bank and that is because I know someone in that bank,” Ikonye explained.

“That is just a token compared to what my colleagues are paying. They pay more because they don’t know people in the bank.”

Alphonsus Idah, a PoS operator at Mararaba market, urged the CBN to impose sanctions against banks who persist in selling cash to their customers.

This, he explained, would stop the untold hardship faced by citizens.

Another PoS operator, who pleaded anonymity, alleged that bank officials usually withdraw money for their clients.

“In some banks, ATM will not work even though they are loaded with cash,” the operator said.

“During close of work, the bankers will turn the machine on and queue to withdraw from the machine.

“The annoying thing is that one banker can hold like 10 different ATM cards and will withdraw from all of them. This is frustrating.”

In a bid to address long queues at automated teller machines (ATMs), the CBN had directed banks to commence payment of redesigned notes over the counter, with a daily limit of N20,000.

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