Telecoms sector needs $30b investments to bridge access gaps
Nigeria’s telecommunications sector urgently requires an additional $30 billion investments to bridge the current access gaps and other challenges in the sector.
Its current investment is estimated at over $70 billion, but that figure has stagnated for over four years now.
But the new investments of $30 billion, if realised, is expected to help the country take telephony services to the underserved and un-served areas.
The Guardian confirmed that the country currently has 195 access gaps, where about 40 million Nigerians have not experienced any information and communications technology services.
Expectedly, the fresh investment would propel Nigeria’s readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and help improve service quality in the sector.
However, the required investment may not come because of multiple taxation and harsh business environment in the country.
Speaking on Implication of Multiple Taxation on Investments in the Nigerian Telecom Industry at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) organised Telecom Leadership Summit in Lagos yesterday, an Associate Professor, Lagos Business School, Dr. Doyin Salami, said multiple taxation has ravaged all sectors of the economy, particularly the telecom sector.
Salami noted that investigations revealed the sector has been phenomenal, as it became the fourth largest sector of the economy in 2018.
He explained that the additional $30 billion investment was needed to bridge access gaps in the country, saying Nigeria must resolve the issue of multiple taxation urgently if investors must come into the sector.
Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, who supported Salami’s argument, said telecoms operators were confronted with 39 different taxes, adding that this has become a hindrance to further expansion of services in the country.
Adebayo challenged NCC to be more proactive and engaging, if multiple taxation must be overcome, saying Nigeria indeed needed more investments.
Responding, Chief Executive Officer, MainOne Cables, Funke Opeke, said the last time a major investment came into the telecoms sector was in 2010.