How telecom sector depletes forex by $10.8bn in five years


Nigeria lost $10.8bn in the last five years to capital flight in the telecommunications sector amid lingering foreign exchange scarcity in the country.

In its ‘National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector,’ the Nigerian Communications Commission said the annual outflow of forex for the sector amounted to about $2.16bn.

The document said, “According to available statistics provided by the leadership of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, the annual outflow of foreign exchange for the telecommunications sector amounts to approximately $2.16bn.

“A breakdown of the forex spending is as follows: i. CAPEX programmes $750m ii. Network software licensing $250m iii. Management fees $800m iv. Managed services (Tier 2 and 3 support) $157m v. Miscellaneous (international circuits, roaming and terminations reconciliations etc.) $200m.

“The statistics were based on the average annual reports of a sample of industry players in the telecommunications space over a five-year period. This is a significant portion of our average annual budget and it is critical that this trend is reversed.”

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had in October 2020 said as part of efforts to promote indigenous content, the ministry had developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focused on the information technology sector.

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