Nigeria wants to regulate OTT services

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Hello there,

Welcome to today’s edition of TC Daily! In today’s digest: Paystack makes another e-commerce play, a small part of its now public commerce roadmap. The Nigerian ICT and digital economy ministry wants to regulate over-the-top services. Finally, we also examine the impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s media publications.

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This week, payments startup Paystack announced the launch of its e-commerce product. “After a lot of consultation, we realized that although a number of commerce platforms exist, they were sometimes not optimized for African creators,” the company told TechCabal.

In a followup to that announcement, the company has made yet another e-commerce play. It has become one of Africa’s first direct payment integrations with e-commerce platform, Wix. The integration allows merchants on Wix in Ghana and Nigeria to accept payments globally in the local currencies, Cedis and Naira.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated digitization forcing merchants and buyers to adopt e-commerce. Paystack like other payment companies; Flutterwave, Remita and OPay have responded by creating social commerce products to meet demand and keep their customers within their ecosystem. Paystack’s Commerce Roadmap suggests the scale of its ambitions; it has about 41 potential integrations and other commerce ideas.


Nigeria’s ICT and digital economy ministry has unveiled a 5-year plan that will enable it to achieve its “digital economy goals”. As part of the plan, the telco regulator will create accelerators, regulatory sandboxes as well as regulate over-the-top (OTT) services. The plan could potentially see the government regulate social media, in some form, a matter that has generated intense debate in the past.

plan which has been called the Strategic Management Plan 2020-2024 (SMP) also hopes to achieve the objectives stated in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), as well as the National Broadband Plan (NBP). The objectives includes achieving 70% broadband penetration and 90% 4G/5G coverage by 2025.

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Nigerian news publications are cutting jobs and slashing staff salaries to stay afloat because of COVID-19. As advertising revenues have dropped, traditional publications have reduced the number of pages of their newspapers in a bid to cut cost. The drop in advertising revenue is a global media problem.

Traditional Nigerian publications are now looking to go digital to make up for lost revenue. While there’s been an uptick in online news consumption, the opportunities for revenue for digital are slimmer. In the absence of funding and a sustainable revenue stream, the bigger problem is the impact on the quality of journalism.

Some solutions that global publications are exploring is to build deeper and stronger connections with their audiences as well as building adjacent services. Local publications, in the nearest future, will need to make tough decisions and make fundamental changes to their businesses.


BBC News has announced a partnership with MTN Nigeria that will see it deliver one-minute news to subscribers in local languages. The one-minute news will be delivered to users of the MyMTN app in Hausa, Igbo, Pidgin and Yoruba. The service will be available for free.

The MyMTN app is the self-care app of Africa’s largest telco which it claims now has 4 million monthly active users in Nigeria. The BBC on the other hand has spent a significant amount of money over the last couple
of years investing in providing news and information in indigenous languages.


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As predicted the coronavirus pandemic has caused a dip in smartphone sales and shipments across Africa. In fact it’s been worse than predicted. According to the IDC, smartphone shipments on the continent was expected to drop by 14.9% in Q1 2020 compared to the
previous quarter instead it dropped by 17.8% to 20.1 million.

South Africa had the worst performance as shipments dropped by 22.9% in Q1 2020. In Nigeria, there’s a slightly different story. While shipments dropped by 13.6% it was better than the 15.4% predicted. The IDC attributed the performance to the resilience of market leaders in Nigeria including Transsion.


About 2 million African households acquired satellite TV between 2018 and 2019 according to a new report by SES Video in Africa. Satellite TV penetration could reach 41 million households in 2022, 6 million more than what it was in 2019. For market specific data,
penetration grew in Ghana by 19% and 23% in Nigeria in 2019.

The report also found that satellite TV is steadily gaining popularity as the TV reception mode of choice in both markets. It highlights that 70% of TV homes in Ghana and 33% in Nigeria opted for satellite in 2019 – an increase from 64% and 27%, respectively, in 2017.

Have a great weekend,

We’ll see you next week.
– Olanrewaju

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