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NCC wants operators to double telecoms sector’s investments to $136b

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Galaxy Backbone seeks collaboration among stakeholders
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has asked telecommunications operators in the country to double their investments in the sector from the current $68 billion to at least $136 billion.

With a 10-year timeline handed the telecoms operators, NCC said $68 billion investment as at 2018 was no longer sustainable in the face of global developments in the sector, stressing that the sector needed over $136 billion investments by 2029.

NCC insisted that the need for fresh investments have become necessary if the about 40 million unserved and undeserved Nigerians must have access to basic telephony services.

Speaking in Lagos yesterday at Telecoms Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF), organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, represented by Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, Mohammed Babajika, noted that the $68 billion investment in Nigeria was huge, “but it is by no means adequate for one of the fastest growing telecommunications market in the world.”

He said roadmap for broadband had created new frontiers for ventures. He said the quest for data, social media and increasing value added services create new frontiers for investments. Other speakers at the forum agreed that there must be collaboration between the private and public sectors to witness new developments in the sector.

However, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Yusuf Kazaure, said getting funds was essential in addressing the gaps and challenges experienced in the industry, adding that dialogue among stakeholders was key to bridging the gaps.

Chief Executive Officer, HD Tech, Aminu Buhari, said there was need for the country to be realistic in the amount being suggested, stressing that it should realistic on what the public and private sectors were capable of achieving.Managing Director, Pan African Towers Limited, Wole Abu, said sourcing funds, country risk and security go together, as lenders would want to be recoup their funds.

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