MTN plans to invest $1.5 billion (R21 billion) over the next three years in Nigeria to expand broadband access across the continent’s most populous country. The company said today that this is in line with the federal government’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,” said MTN Group CE0 Ralph Mupita after a three-day visit to Abuja and Lagos, in which he met a number of key stakeholders.
These included President Muhammadu Buhari; Vice President Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Pantami; Executive Vice Chairman Prof Umar Garba Danbatta; as well as Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele.
Mupita – 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 group’s belief that everyone deserves the benefits of modern connected life and our work to extend digital and financial inclusion across Africa.
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 the company plans to sell down 14% of the Nigerian operations to local investors were well advanced and this would happen as soon as conditions were conducive.
The Nigerian operation, 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 R117 billion ($8.2 billion).
“To mark the 20th anniversary of MTN’s operations in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria plans to build a new flagship headquarters in Lagos,” concluded Mupita.