As the global ICT community continues to brainstorm on the future of the industry in Busan, South Korea, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, has given assurances to potential investors in the telecommunications sector on Nigeria’s commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of their investments.
Speaking at the investment forum session of the country at the ongoing ITU Telecom World, Mr. Danbatta told the investors the story of how the NCC, in collaboration with Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), prevented a takeover bid for a telecommunication company by a consortium of banks back in Nigeria.
“The NCC is assuring the investors that our doors are open and that we will do whatever we can within the regulatory mandate assigned to us to ensure that their investment is safe and secure,” he said.
He said the NCC would continue to build a reputation “of a firm but flexible agency”, which provides incentives to operators and potential investors in order to ensure the gains recorded over the past couple of years are sustained.
“We collaborated with a sister agency to successfully stave off the takeover a telecommunication company by a consortium of banks. Banks are not competent to run telecom companies, they should concentrate their efforts in making the financial sector more robust, which I believe they are doing. I have no doubt about it.
“This company is now rebranded as 9 Mobile and is providing services to over 20 million Nigerians. Nigerians are on the pay roll of the company. The message we are sending out to investors is that in the NCC we are always committed to ensure stability in the telecom sector of Nigeria as well as making sure the safety of the investment is guaranteed,” he said.
At the opening ceremony of Nigeria’s pavilion at the ICT fiesta earlier, Mr. Danbatta told the dignitaries in attendance, including the ITU Secretary General, Houlin Zhao, that Nigeria’s engagement with the global community during the event would include creating awareness of the investment opportunities in Africa’s biggest Telecom market, as well as guarantee of adequate Returns on Investments (RoIs).
“In this connection, we are here to tell the ICT community that Nigeria with a population of about 170 million is a preferred investment destination in Africa.
“With over 150 million active subscribers, in the voice segment, over 102 percent teledensity and a little over 92 million internet connections, Nigeria is indeed a place to invest,” he said.
Those who spoke at the investment forum include former Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson; the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku; and the ITU scribe, Mr Zhao.