About two decades after the liberalisation of the telecoms sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Lagos, said $136billion fresh investment is needed to expand access. It also said over 40 million people still remained disenfranchised across the country in terms of access.
Its CEO, Prof Umar Dambatta, in his keynote at the Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF 2019) organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, said even the so-called served areas are yet to enjoy the full benefits telecoms.
He said so many areas are still covered by 2G while the world is moving towards 5G. Represented by the Director Policy Competition and Economic Analysis Development at the NCC, Mohammed Babajika, the CEO said in 2000, connected lines were 450,000 while investment was $60million.
This investment level moved to about $32billion in 2014 while connected lines moved to over 151million. Last year, connected lines rose to over 172million while investment shot up to more than $68billion. Prof Dambatta said:
“Telecommunications constitute a significant portion of the world economy, as the global market value of the sector passed the $2.5 trillion mark in 2010. “Undoubtedly, everyone should be interested in the sector that generate such figures.