Nigerian Communications Commission says over $70 billion has been invested in telecoms sector

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) confirmed that investments in the Nigerian telecoms sector have reached $70 billion (25.2 trillion naira).

Speaking at the maiden edition of Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit which took place in Lagos, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Garba Danbatta said the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product in Q4 2018 was 9.85 percent, which translates to about 1.9 trillion naira.

Danbatta said Nigeria had over 63 million subscriptions on broadband and 173 million lines in the voice segment as of March 2019, representing 91 percent teledensity. However, the sector requires an additional $30 billion worth of investment to extend telecom services to unserved areas, as well as to resolve other challenges.

According to to Doyin Salami, an Associate Professor at the Lagos Business School who was present during the presentation, additional investments will help fully launch Nigeria into the Fourth Industrial Revolution by improving the quality of telecom services in the country.

He commended the sector for performing well by emerging the fourth largest sector of the economy, but emphasised the country must resolve the multiple taxation bottleneck swiftly in order to woo investors to the sector.

Also speaking at the event, Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said operators were faced with 39 different taxes and levies restricting the expansion of infrastructure in the country.

Reacting to the issue, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, assured that the next level agenda would focus on making the business environment friendlier.

Osinbajo, who was represented by Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser on Political Affairs, said President Buhari is passionate about bridging the digital divide in the country with the new policy direction.

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