With less than 50% broadband penetration, Nigeria is seeking Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in its growing telecommunications sector.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, who invited international telecom companies and potential investors to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Nigeria’s population of over 200 million people to invest in its telecom sector, especially in infrastructure provisioning for broadband spoke at the inaugural edition of the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2023, which ended in Marrakesh, Morocco recently. He said Nigeria presents a stable political and economic conditions for investors.
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Morocco, Mansur Bamalli, also spoke in the same direction and commended the Commission for its regulatory prowess, which has made Nigeria the next investment destination in Africa.
Danbatta, who was represented at the conference by the Team Lead, Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS), Babagana Digima, said the Commission has a mandate to facilitate the development of the telecom industry in Nigeria, adding that one way through which this can be done is by attracting foreign investors that will further enhance the growth of the economy.
He informed the global stakeholders at the event that the Nigerian government has been very supportive of the telecom industry which has achieved an upward growth with over 220 million active mobile voice subscriptions in Nigeria, over 150 million Internet subscriptions and broadband penetration of 48 per cent, the country is yet to be fully connected.
“Our national plan is to achieve 70% broadband penetration by 2025. We still have less than 50% penetration. This means there is huge investment potential for investors. Nigeria’s telecom sector needs more investment in the area of infrastructure deployment,” the EVC stated.
He stated that the telecom sector in Nigeria has become a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), quarter-on-quarter, driving the growth of the digital economy in the country.
“The importance of this event for us as a Commission is to showcase the NCC as a Nigerian brand, a foremost telecom regulator in Africa and beyond and to bring about the much-needed investment that will enhance development of the Nigerian telecom industry,” Danbatta said.
The EVC stated that there is abundant talent in Nigeria that can be tapped by investors to support their business operations. “There is abundant human resources waiting to be harnessed by potential investors for ground-breaking global technological innovations and advancement in providing digital solutions.
“This event provides us with the platform to showcase some of the talents that we have discovered in Nigeria. The Commission has sponsored three indigenous start-ups that are at this event to display their solutions for prospective investors and partnerships,” he said.
The GITEX Africa 2023 was the maiden edition of the GITEX Global Summit held in Africa. It is poised to be Africa’s most influential forum to accentuate the vast potential of the tech-driven digital economy. It aims to be an international platform for cutting-edge technology for all players from both public and private sectors.