About $70 billion investment has been so far been recorded in the Nigerian telecom industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed in a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, made this known on Thursday in Lagos, during the Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit 2019.
The summit organised by NCC has the theme –”Repositioning the Nigerian Telecom Industry for the Future: Prospects and Challenges”. Mr Danbatta said the figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), at the 4th Quarter 2018, showed contributions of Telecommunications and Information Services to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at about N1.9 trillion.
He said the telecom industry was making remarkable contributions to the nation’s GDP as it contributed 9.85 per cent, as at the 4th Quarter of 2018. The EVC said the figures were very impressive and indicative of a very fast-growing and resilient sector of the economy.
According to him, however, no such industry with these characteristics can be sustained over a long period of time without a corresponding injection of more investments.
”Investors, on the other hand, are not attracted to environments where returns are in doubt.
”In a very capital-intensive industry like telecom, investors are looking for both a very friendly investment climate and predictable outcomes.
”They are interested in an environment where the regulator is independent, fair, firm, forthright and where such attributes like professionalism, responsiveness and transparency are part of its core values.
”These are what we are striving to achieve in our regulatory environment in Nigeria.
”But we are not unaware of the daunting tasks ahead. This is why we consider consultations with the stakeholders as critical success factor in our regulatory mandate,” he said.
The Chairman said the approach of consultations with stakeholders had yielded enormous positive results.
He said that the regulatory body had engaged the Governors forum, collectively and individually, to address some of the challenges, in the areas of multiple taxation, regulations and Right of Way.
According to him, the commission is eagerly looking forward to the review of the ‘Resolution of the National Economic Council on the Right of Way’ issues, as it concerns clearing impediments to deployment of telecom infrastructure across the country.
”We are also aware of several emerging technologies, which may continue to drive innovations and investments.
”It is our commitment to follow the trends of these developments, so as to leverage on the best regulatory approaches to optimise their potentials for the benefit of Nigeria.
”The leadership of the Nigerian Communications Commission has taken a deep and predictive look at the financial health of our industry and the aspiration of Nigeria in the context of the 4th industrial revolution.
”We have looked at the potentials of emerging technologies, the global movement and demand for expanded frontiers of availability, accessibility and affordability of all the ICT drivers and enablers of economic growth.
”We have 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,” he said.
Mr Danbatta said the argument for more investments became more compelling, given that the industry was very capital intensive, with the competition for Foreign Direct Investments becoming fiercer among different nations.
Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, said there was the need for continuous investment in the industry.
Mr Adebayo said there were different evolving technologies like the Fifth (5th) Generation, all which required investment.
He said all the bottlenecks hindering investment should be tackled, as investors were watching the environment before they could invest.