Telecoms and IT

Etisalat Gets Reprieve Over ₦541b Debt

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have secured a reprieve for Etisalat which is facing a N541.8 billion debt crisis.

The company is threatened to be taken over by its creditors because of it has defaulted in repaying the loan.

Mr Tony Ojobo, the Director of Public Affairs of NCC, said in a statement on Saturday in Lagos, that the reprieve came following a meeting convened by CBN and NCC to find a quick resolution to the crisis.

Regulators Push for Deal in Etisalat Debt Talks

Nigeria's telecoms regulator and central bank governor intervened on Thursday to try to help Etisalat Nigeria resolve debt restructuring talks with its lenders, after the company missed a payment on a $1.2 billion loan.

A banking source told Reuters on Wednesday that the Nigerian affiliate of Abu Dhabi-listed telecoms company Etisalat had given notice to its Nigerian lenders that it would miss a payment in February. Debt talks were triggered 10 days ago but the two sides have not been able to agree on terms.

Peugeot Manufacturer Buys Vauxhall-Opel

PSA Group, makers of Peugeot and Citroen cars has agreed to buy Opel from General Motors (GM) for 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion).

With the buy up of Opel, PSA will become a new regional car giant to challenge market leader Volkswagen.

PSA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares vows to make Opel and its British Vauxhall brand to profit, with an operating margin of 2 percent within three years and 6 percent by 2026.

“We’re confident that the Opel-Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support,” Tavares said in a statement.

Rocket Company to Fly Tourists Around Moon

US private rocket company SpaceX has announced that two private citizens have paid to be sent around the Moon.

The mission is planned for late 2018, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, adding that the tourists "have already paid a significant deposit".

"This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years," he said.

The two unnamed people will fly aboard a spaceship which is set for its first unmanned test flight later this year.

Distracted to Death

Tudor Cobalas nearly crashed his car while driving and texting on his phone.

It was this near-death experience that inspired him to turn the smartphone from a weapon of mass distraction into a tool for safer driving.

Mr Cobalas, 30, from Romania, developed SafeDrive, an app that rewards drivers for ignoring their phones while driving.

Copyright Commission seizes 3 Containers of Pirated Goods worth ₦275m

The Nigerian Copyright Commission’s (NCC) persistent fight against the importation of pirated works into the country has paid off again with the seizure of three containers of pirated goods worth N275, 000, 000. 00) in Lagos.

Director-General, NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude stated this while taking delivery of the seized containers by The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in collaboration with Officers of the Commission in Lagos recently.

The seized containers are as follows:

Airbus CEO sees 'Flying Car' Prototype ready by End of Year

Airbus Group plans to test a prototype for a self-piloted flying car as a way of avoiding gridlock on city roads by the end of the year, the aerospace group's chief executive said on Monday, Reuters reports.

Airbus last year formed a division called Urban Air Mobility that is exploring concepts such as a vehicle to transport individuals or a helicopter-style vehicle that can carry multiple riders. The aim would be for people to book the vehicle using an app, similar to car-sharing schemes.

VW Set to Pay $4.3b for Emissions Cheat

Volkswagen has agreed a draft $4.3bn (£3.5bn) settlement with US authorities over the emissions-rigging scandal.

The German car maker also said it would plead guilty to breaking certain US laws.

VW said it was in advanced discussions with the Department of Justice and US Customs about the deal.

The final agreement has yet to be approved by VW's management and supervisory board, which could happen later on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Tech Giant to Invest $1b in Massive New Development

Apple's latest tech investment may come with the added bonus of getting in Donald Trump's good graces.

Apple has confirmed that it is investing $1 billion in a massive new technology fund from Japan's SoftBank Group, which has recently drawn the attention of the president-elect.

"We've worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple," Josh Rosenstock, a spokesman for Apple, said in a statement provided to CNNMoney.