Calls for more investment in the sector
By Juliet Umeh
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, yesterday announced that about 40 million Nigerians are yet to access telecommunications services regretting that such fate could be ascribed to one of the fastest growing telecom economies in the world.
Decrying the trend, Danbatta who was the keynote speaker at the Telecom Executives and Regulation Forum, TERF, organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON in Lagos, called for more investment in the telecommunication sector.
He stated that even though about $68 billion investment has gone into the sector as at 2018, it was by no means adequate for one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world.
Danbatta who was represented at the event by Director, Policy competition and economic analysis, Mr Mohammed Babajika said that there was need for service providers to increase capital intensity of the industry, their infrastructure deployment to satisfy the increasing demand, and also create room for double the size of the investment in the next 10 years.
He noted that additional investment into the sector was imperative if Nigeria must accommodate the over 40 million Nigerians yet to be reached with basic infrastructure and services.
He said: “Telecommunications constitute a significant portion of the world economy, as the global market value of the sector passed the USD2.5 trillion marks in 2010. Undoubtedly, everyone should be interested in the sector that generates such figures.
Therefore, robust telecommunications network is important for economic growth, which is achievable through investment.
“Nigeria has invested over $68 billion in the telecom sector as at 2018. Although this is huge, it is, however, by no means, adequate for one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world.
“Now, we have about 40 million Nigerians yet to be reached with basic infrastructure and services. The capital intensity of the industry, the need for service providers to increase their infrastructure deployment to satisfy the ever-increasing demand, create room for double the size of this investment in the next ten years”.
He also added that the NCC roadmap for broadband has created new frontiers for investment, just as the quest for data and social media as well as the increasing value added services create new frontiers for investments.
Danbatta argued that the desire for investment in the sector will continue to grow as the size of the network increases.