By Adedapo Adesanya
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, has lauded plans by telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria, to invest $1.6 billion in the Nigerian market within the next three years.
He expressed this when the MTN Nigeria delegation led by Mr Rob Shuter, the MTN Group CEO, paid a courtesy visit to the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
“I am glad to hear that you have a budget of $1.6 billion you plan to invest in Nigeria in the next three years.
“Please, try to get your priorities right. Look at the areas that are underserved and invest,” a statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Mrs Phil Oshodin, quoted Mr Pantami as saying.
He assured the visiting team that that federal government was committed to providing conducive and enabling environment for all mobile telecommunications operators in the country to run their businesses without any hindrances on its part.
He further said that the government was working on ensure that all telecommunications infrastructure were protected in the country.
“I am happy that you also appreciated our modest efforts in addressing most of the challenges being faced by mobile Telecommunications firms in Nigeria. I believe every County has its own peculiar challenge.
“We have achieved a lot in addressing most of the challenges: issues of vandalism, Right of Way (RoW) and several others,” he stressed.
“We are working on strengthening the policy to ensure that telecommunications infrastructure are well protected in the Country,” he further said.
The Minister reiterated that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration had given security agencies authority to provide security to critical telecommunications infrastructure in different locations of the country.
He, however, used the opportunity to express concerns at the untapped market and advised the telecommunications companies to exploit the market opportunities in the country legitimately.
On his part, Group CEO, Mr Rob Shuter, who spoke on behalf of the team, disclosed that MTN has chosen to invest in the Nigeria market for the next three years because it was the country’s largest telecom service provider.
Mr Shuter further noted that Nigerian investors’ shares in MTN were growing rapidly and as such the company needed to invest more in the country.
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