The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, has said the investment profile in the nation’s telecommunications sector now stands at $75.6 billion as of 2021.
He said this comprises foreign direct investment (FDI) and local ones.
This is contained in a statement issued by NCC and signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Mouka.
According to the statement, Mr Danbatta, a professor, gave the data in Lagos on Wednesday during an interactive session with media managers and executives, where he presented his scorecards since he assumed office in 2015.
He said the developments in the telecoms sector have contributed significantly not only to the country’s revenue growth but the socio-economic development of the people.According to Mr Danbatta, in 2018, the investment profile in the sector stood at $68 billion, which increased to $70.5 billion in 2019 and $72 billion in 2020.
“At the end of 2021, the figure rose to $75,560,563,417.79 ($75.6 billion). The latest figure is the current official investment profile computed in the industry up from the initial $70 billion investment in the last few years,” Mr Danbatta said.
He said the investment in the telecommunications sector in Nigeria is computed by both the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and service providers.
“While the CBN collects and calculates an element of the telecoms sector to include FDI, portfolio and others, the Commission collects investment figures from telecom licensees described as domestic investment arising from capital expenditure (CAPEX) which form part of the total investment in the industry,” the statement reads in part.
He added that through the effective regulatory environment by NCC, “the telecom sector has recorded tremendous growth from an initial investment profile of $500 million in 2001, when the sector was fully liberalised.”
The NCC chief executive also noted that the sector is now a significant contributor to Nigeria’s economy “through an impressive sectoral contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) quarterly, up from about 8.5 per cent in third quarter of 2015, contributing N10.126 trillion to the nation’s GDP in 2022 alone.”
Citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Mr Danbatta said the telecoms sector contributed N10.126 trillion as an aggregate quarterly contribution to GDP in 2022.
He said: “In the first quarter, the sector contributed 12.94 per cent, equivalent to N2.246 trillion, while the second quarter witnessed an all-time high GDP contribution by the telecom sector to the nation’s economy, standing at 15 per cent and valued at N2.593 trillion. The sector’s contribution to GDP in the third was 12.85 per cent, and in the fourth quarter, it grew to 13.55 per cent, which is valued at N2.436 trillion and N2.851 trillion, respectively.
“The growth trajectory continued this year as telecommunications and Information Services sector in Nigeria delivered a handsome N2.508 trillion in terms of financial value contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product, GDP, representing 14.13% in the first quarter 2023.”
NCC also noted that the sector’s contribution to GDP in 2015 was 8.50 per cent and grew to 9.13 per cent in 2016 and 8.66 per cent in 2017.
“In the last quarter of 2018, telecoms contributed 9.85 per cent to national GDP while it added 10.60 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019.”
“Also, in the second quarter of 2020, it added 14.30 per cent to GDP; 14.42 per cent in the second quarter of 2021. The highest quarterly contribution to GDP by the sector to the economy was 15 per cent in the second quarter of 2022.”
The regulatory agency said the telecoms sector has become a significant enabler of economic development in Nigeria, saying it continues to impact all the facets of the Nigerian economy positively. “As the regulatory authority for the telecom sector in Nigeria, we are happy that the sector has recorded phenomenal growth statistics in the past two decades of the liberalisation of the telecoms sector. However, we will not rest on our oars. We will continue to push upward to greater heights by encouraging the expansion of frontiers to put Nigeria’s imprint on the global map of the digital economy”.
Meanwhile, Mr Danbatta said apart from the growth recorded in investment and contribution to GDP, as of May, active voice subscriptions in Nigeria reached 221.3 million, equivalent to 115.91 per cent teledensity, while internet subscriptions rose to 159.6 million.
He said the broadband subscriptions on Third Generation (3G) and Fourth Generation (4G) networks increased to 92.2 million, representing a 48.28 per cent broadband penetration in the country.
“Also, following the issuance of 3.5GHz spectrum licences for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) networks in Nigeria, marked by ultra-high-speed internet, low latency and high capacity, and the subsequent commercial launch by two of the three licence holders, 5G subscriptions have grown to over 60,000 in many cities in at least 12 states of the federation.”
Mr Danbatta assured of the agency’s commitment to give concrete expression to the Federal Government Executive Order 001, which he noted is focused on Ease of Doing Business and other digital economy-oriented policies.
He said NCC will continue to embark on various regulatory initiatives that support a friendly investment climate for investors in Nigeria and enhance value for money for telecom consumers.