With total investments in the telecoms sector currently standing at just over $70 billion since 2001, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has declared that the total number of active lines in the voice segment is standing at 173.7 million as at March 2019, while a teledensity of 91% was recorded as at March 2019; there are a total of 63 million broadband users, representing 33.22% of Nigeria’s projected population of 190 million.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Garba Danbatta, confirms that the Nigerian telecommunications sector is “work in progress.”
Speaking at the maiden edition of the ongoing Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit (NTLS 2019), in Lagos, themed “Repositioning the Nigerian Telecom Industry for Future Challenges and Prospects,” the Executive Vice Chairman stated that aside the massive investment in the sector, it contributed 9.85% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2018. He further stated that the sector made a contribution of about N1.9 trillion in cash terms during the period under review to the GDP, according to reports from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Investment As A Challenge To The Industry.
“No such industry with the characteristics can be sustained over a long period of time without the injection of more investments. In a very capital-intensive industry like the telecoms, investors are on the look out for both friendly investment climates and a predictable outcome,” he stated, citing that investors on the other hand are not attracted to business environments where returns on investments are in doubt.
Also at the summit was Mr Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), who spoke on the need for continuous investment in the telecoms industry. He, however, noted that there were several sprouting technologies like the 5G (5th Generation) network for instance, all of which requires investment.
He said that all the restricted accesses hampering investment should be tackled, as investors were watching the environment before they could invest.
What Is The Prospect For The Industry In Nigeria?
“We have looked at the possibilities of emerging technologies, the global drive and demand for expanded frontiers of availability, accessibility and affordability of all the ICT drivers and enablers of economic growth. We have also looked at broadband infrastructure and services, the dynamism of growth, among other things, and reached a conclusion that investments are very critical for our future growth,” Adebayo said.
As part of the combined regulatory atmosphere, the summit offers a unique opportunity for the communications commission to interact with key stakeholders, to discuss relevant issues affecting the industry with a view to proffering answers to address the challenges.
It is also designed to critically evaluate the current state of the industry and to make profound recommendations for supporting a healthy Nigerian telecom industry.
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