The Nigerian Communications Commission yesterday Durban, South Africa, said new investors into the Nation’s telecoms sector will get 30 percent reduction in company and income tax payment. This is expected to attract more investments to the country and increase Foreign Direct Investment in the telecom sector.
The NCC further said that investors stood to enjoy pioneer status as well as import duty waivers on essential equipment needed for them to setup businesses in Nigeria.
According to NCC Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, the sector attracted $70 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) last year and has been adding between $4 billion and $5billoon quarterly in FDI since the beginning of 2018.
He said that with a population of more than 180m, and active subscriber base of over 160m and internet penetration of over 100m, “Nigeria remains an attractive country for investors who crave for adequate Return on Investments “.
According to him, the steady growth of the telecoms sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) now at 10.5 per cent, bears eloquent testimony to the sector’s resilience and that the non-oil sector has been growing the GDP in line with Federal Government’s Economic diversification blueprint, adding that the telecoms sector has been taking the lead in this area.
“The NCC has put in place incentives for Infrastructure Companies to encourage speedy deployment of infrastructure that will deepen broadband penetration in the Country”.
“So far, six Infraco licences have been issued to cover Lagos, North East, North West, South South, South West and South East zones of the Country. Arrangements are underway to re-licence the North Central zone,” he said. The NCC had earlier assigned 2.3GHz licence to Bitflux Consortium and six of the 14 slots available on 2.6GHz to MTN Nigeria and two slots to Openskys, adding that six slots are still available for assignment.
The NCC Boss further stated that opportunities for investments abount in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the industry, and that while voice appears not to be doing badly, data is the next investment frontier.
“In our modest quest to bridge the digital divide, the board of the NCC has put in place initiatives to fast track internet access and taking services to several unserved and underserved areas of Nigeria
“Although we have 162.3million active subscribers on our various networks, we at NCC believe there is much left to be done in terms of improvement of Quality of Service (QoS), more access to as many people as possible.
“We must admit that the QoS is not where we want it to be yet, but with time and increase of infrastructure deployment, we should be there soonest than later,” concluded Prof Umar Garba Danbatta.