MTN Nigeria has said it is planning to invest N640 billion (approximately US$1.5 billion) over the next three years to expand broadband access across Nigeria.
The South African telecom company said in a statement on Monday that its new expansion plan is in line with the federal government of Nigeria’s 2020-2025 National Broadband Plan and in support of MTN Group’s strategy, Ambition 2025: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.
“Nigeria is one of our most important markets. We have a proud history of partnering with Nigeria and Nigerians to drive faster and more inclusive growth through digital transformation,” the MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita was quoted by the statement to have said.
Mupita had paid a three-day visit to Abuja and Lagos, in which he met a number of key Nigerian officials including President Muhammadu Buhari; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; and Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Pantami.
Others he met were the Executive Vice Chairman Prof Umar Garba Danbatta; as well as Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele and some key stakeholders in telecom industry.
The MTN Group President – who was accompanied by MTN Group Chief Financial Officer Tsholo Molefe, MTN Nigeria Chairman Ernest Ndukwe and MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola – reiterated MTN’s support for Nigeria’s plans to secure 90% broadband population coverage by 2025.
“This aligns with MTN Group’s belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life and our work to extend digital and financial inclusion across Africa’’, the company added in the statement.
The statement added that the delegation welcomed Nigeria’s plans to auction 500MHz of 5G spectrum: five blocks of 100MHz in the 3500MHz band, which Mupita said would facilitate accelerated broadband access.
He said MTN Group’s plans to sell down 14% of MTN Nigeria to Nigerian investors were well advanced and this would happen as soon as conditions were conducive.
MTN Nigeria, in which MTN Group has a 78,8% stake, sought to have the largest retail shareholder base on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, where it has a market capitalisation of N3.4 trillion (US$8.2 billion).