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Foreign Investors staked N2tn on Telecom Industry

Foreign direct investors have staked $10bn (about N2tn) on the Nigerian telecommunications industry in the last four years, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said this in a presentation he made at a forum with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

Juwah, who was represented at the forum by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, also said that Internet penetration in the country now stood at 59.4 per cent.

According to him, foreign direct investment in the industry has grown from $25bn at the end of 2010 to $35bn, showing 40 per cent increase within a period of four years.

Juwah said, “The Nigerian telecommunications industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the last four years. Our industry statistics as of February 2015 show an active voice subscriber base of about 142.5 million; a tele-density of about 101.8 per cent; about 83.2 million Internet subscribers (overwhelmingly using wireless access means); Internet penetration rate of about 59.4 per cent; and Foreign Direct Investment of about $32bn; and the telecoms industry contributes about nine per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.

“In 2010, there were 88.3 million subscribers, with a tele-density of about 63.1 per cent and less than 20 million Internet subscribers, and an aggregate investment of about $25bn with a GDP contribution of 4.5 per cent.

“Regardless of this impressive performance, however, the Nigerian telecommunications industry still has tremendous opportunities for growth, especially in the area of broadband infrastructure deployment.”

Juwah said the NCC would continue to encourage the rollout and strengthening of the ICT infrastructure, promote healthy competition in the broadband ecosystem, and promote accessibility and affordability to the entire population.

The NCC boss regretted that the impressive results recorded by the industry notwithstanding, broadband penetration had remained low.