MainOne Cable Television Business Nigeria Limited recently commemorated 10 years in business of bridging the digital divide in West Africa.
As the supplier of the very first independently owned, open access 7,000- kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine connection in West Africa, MainOne continues to bring in the interest of people, corporate bodies and government organizations across the continent.
Nevertheless, MainOne was among 6 telecom operators just recently mandated by the Nigerian Communications Commission ( NCC) to send their yearly financial statements, within 7 months after completion of their fiscal year.
The company, though renowned, is not without its obstacles, which its financial statements would make clearer. However as we await the submission of the statement, Nairametrics checks out MainOne in this week’s Business Profile to understand what makes it tick.
How it began
Funke Opeke returned to Nigeria in 2008, where she was faced with ridiculously bad internet connectivity, so she decided to do something about it.
She began Mainstreet Technologies, the developers of MainOne Cable in the same year, to act as a service and network solutions company, not just in Nigeria however in West Africa.
What is now acknowledged as one of Africa’s greatest cable television companies started with all of Opeke’s savings as start-up capital. She came across stiff difficulties connected to raising more capital to look after the fundamental works, expediency studies, company strategies, and technical plans. The business was able to pull through.
On April 28, 2008, Main Street Technologies granted a turnkey supply contract for the MainOne Cable Television System to Tyco Telecom. After completing and commissioning the job, MainOne went reside on July 22, 2010.
The business has actually because grown in leaps and bounds from its little starts. Its connections extend from Portugal to West Africa, with Cable Landings Stations along the route in Accra (Ghana) and later to other nations in Africa like Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), and Lagos (Nigeria).
The Phase1 cable television system covers 6,900 kilometres. Extra connection encompassing Angola and South Africa happened in the Phase2 of the job.
In 2015, the company started operations of MDXi, said to be Nigeria’s largest Tier III Data Center, and extended a submarine cable from Lagos to Cameroon.
Operations and unmatched glitch
MainOne remains in business of providing telecommunication services and offers wholesale broadband services through a system of cable networks and fiber optic infrastructures.
With its services acclaimed to come at fair charges, MainOne Cable television has in its clientele, telecommunication operators and companies, governments, large enterprises, and schools across 10 West African nations.
The business claims that its choice to offer its services at rates that are less than the current global bandwidth rates in the region is to encourage regional content development by means of abilities transfer of vital networking technologies and task production, with the area of the network functional center (NOC) in Nigeria.
Main Street Technologies is likewise backed by prominent financiers such as the Africa Finance Corporation, the Pan-African Facilities Development Fund (PAIDF), and a number of Nigerian banks.
In 2018, the business taped a 74- minute problem during a network upgrade that triggered some Google international traffic to be misrouted through China. This short-term disruption drew in immediate responses from critics, however the company ensured that strict processes had actually been put in location to avoid a repeat of such failure in the future. To its credit, there has been no other record of such.
In an interview with Nairametrics in 2017, Opeke stated that the business was yet to attain profitability, however was making strategic financial investments that would pay off in the future. However, with the last openly readily available declaration being that of 2014, there is no chance to ascertain what level of development has actually been made in the last 6 years.
The 2014 monetary declaration was investigated by KPMG Expert Provider at the time when Babatunde Dada was still CFO. The report revealed progressive development in the business’s fortunes from 2011 to2014 All of the company’s expenses went up, despite the numerous cost optimization programs implemented.
Profit prior to tax grew from N1468 million in 2013 to N1896 million in 2014, while total profits grew from N1.1 billion in 2013 to N1.7 billion in 2014.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and other occurrences likewise took their toll on the business’s financial resources. Throughout the business’s 10 years celebration recently, Opeke pointed out that the expense of the business’s services had actually ended up being slightly expensive due to power challenges and the currency volatility in the country.
Nevertheless, she said that the business was working towards releasing smarter policies to additional realise its vision. She likewise noted that the company was in the procedure of winding down its foreign financial obligation responsibilities and increasing exposure to Naira loans, to protect itself from the effect of the fluctuating currency exchange rate, since its clients paid for services in naira.
A decade after its facility, Opeke still runs MainOne Cable as the President, while Anil Verma serves as the Chief Technical Officer.
Solanke Abimbola, Chief Financing Officer; Tinuola Ipadeola, Head of Corporate Solutions and Development; Gbenga Adegbiji, Chief Operations Officer MDXi; Abayomi Adebanjo, General Counsel; and Olawale Fayose, Company Secretary.
Heading the Board of Directors is Fola Adeola as Chairman, while Dapo Oshinusi, Taiwo Okeowo, Bennedikter Molokwu, Innocent Ike, Souleymane Keita, Banji Fehintola, Sipho Makhubela, George Olaka, Sandeep Fakun, and Praveen Beeharry, are all Directors.
With this calibre of skills and skilled professionals on its management group, the mystery shrouding its financials ends up being uneasy.
The over $400 million infrastructural investments in West Africa have made noticeable impacts throughout the economy and earned MainOne a variety of acknowledgments and awards.
In 2019, MainOne was granted the Datacloud Africa Award for Quality in Data Center (Africa) and Africa Cloud Service Provider of the Year, Nigeria Business Leadership Award for Connection and Data Centre Service Provider of the Year, and BoICT Award for Finest Tier III Data Centre in Nigeria– MDXi.
Others are NTITA Telecoms Wholesale Company of the Year (2017), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Market Award for Quality in Broadband Facilities (2016), Frost & Sullivan Best Practices winner for the Nigerian Data Center Customer Worth Leaderships Award (2014), Ghana Telecoms Awards: Telecom Wholesale Carrier of the Year (2013), and Nigerian Telecoms Awards: Broadband Business of the Year (2011), African Telecom Hall of popularity– Finest Telecoms task of the year (2010), amongst others.
Besides acting in line with the new NCC policy, the Management of MainOne will have to do something about making the financial reports readily available to the general public. Not only will this satisfy stakeholders’ interest, but it will likewise keep interested and possible investors abreast with the development made so far and assist them identify where assistance is needed.