The telecom sector in Nigeria has attractedÂ over $18 billion investment in the last eight yearsÂ on account of predictive regulatory environment and supportive government for a deregulated telecom industry.
Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, told a cross section of journalists yesterday at the ongoing ITU World 2009 Forum and Exhibition taking place at the Palexpo Hall, Geneva, Switzerland, that the country is keen on attracting more investments so as to expand the needed services in the areas ofÂ Internet and broadband services across the country, having made a remarkable inroad into voice telephony services.
Ndukwe said the current investment figure is made up of about US$12 billon from foreign direct investment while the balance is from investments made from and within the country since 2001.
He said Governmentâ€™s invitation to the private sector for participation in the industry has paid handsomely and led to the current success indices in the sector.
â€œThis tells me that the decision by government to liberalize was a very good oneâ€, he said, indicating that this is why the current 68 Million active subscriber lines recorded in the industry over just eight years in Nigeria has been variously described as a revolution.
He saidÂ that the decision by Nigeria to implement a technologically neutral regulation has resulted in investments in both the GSM and CDMA based services and made diverse services available in Nigeria with investors attacking services from different points thereby providing choices for the Nigerian consumer. He said Nigeria is today dominated by wireless services delivery, not just in the mobile sector but also in the fixed wireless services.
He said notwithstanding the achievements recorded in the mobile and wireless sector, there are efforts to improve connectivity through programmes such as the Wire Nigeria Initiative, WIN, to ensure that the Nigeria is fully connected with optics fibre cable, an initiative said to have become very successful and that the operators have made substantial inroad in connecting several cities across the country with fibre cable facilities.
He told the journalists that Nigeria is a fairly a large country with a lot of potentials for new investors and existing ones and that the nation is determined to be fully connected with affordable and high quality services.