The investment profile of Nigeria’s largest telecoms company, MTN, has further risen by 23 per cent from $13 billion to $16 billion (over N3 trillion) in the last two years.
The investment represents about half of the total assets in the nation’s telecoms industry, which currently stands at over $32 billion, according to data from the nation’s telecoms regulator – the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Also, of the over 152 million active telephone lines in the country, the telecoms network controls over 62 million, representing about over 40 per cent of the market.
“In Nigeria, the revolution in the ICT sector has provided well over $32 billion in foreign direct investment over the last 15 years. As part of that ICT ecosystem and guided by our recognition of the boundless potential of our great nation within the digital economy, MTN has invested over $16 billion (over N3 trillion) to date in fixed assets and facilities nationwide to build the most expansive network in the country,” said MTN Executive, Amina Oyagbola.
Oyagbola disclosed this at the 2016 edition of Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) Summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Communications, Galaxy Backbone and Extensia with partnership from MTN.
She said that Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) continues to attract foreign investments and unleash further world of opportunities for the economy.
Oyagbola said that such investments in infrastructure, as has been made by MTN, have created an ICT backbone that powers various critical sectors of the economy such as banking, e-commerce, insurance, oil & gas.
“Small wonder that mobile and broadband infrastructure has been described as the infrastructure of infrastructures,” she said.
She noted that the theme of the summit: “Harnessing Africa’s Digital Growth,” is apt and timely and presupposes rightly that Africa is at a critical stage of its digital growth and increased efforts should be made to further develop the ICT sector and improve its contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) of African countries.
“Here in Nigeria, we recognise the efforts of our Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, in this regard. His audacious vision to develop our ICT sector towards achieving a ‘SMART Digital Nigeria’ is truly commendable.
“As we start today and continue the discourse over the next few days, I trust that we will interrogate several areas that present blue ocean opportunities as we seek greater competitiveness and productivity for our continent through ICT,” she said.
According to the MTN executive, from education to financial inclusion, agriculture to solid minerals, e-government to mobile health, ICT is a fulcrum for ensuring maximum impact across key elements involving people, processes and productivity.
“ICT can re-tool and upskill people in every sector; upgrade processes for greater operational efficiency and enhance productivity for stronger growth while attracting further investment,” she added.
Oyagbola noted that financial inclusion “as we know, has been fuelled by digital, facilitating the entry of millions of people from the informal sector who did not have access to formal financial services.
“As we continue to celebrate success stories in this regard such as Mpesa Mobile Money in Kenya and Diamond Y’ello Account here in Nigeria, we should be further energised by the figures, which indicate the millions yet to be brought into the greater economic opportunity and socioeconomic mobility facilitated by mobile and digital banking.”