MTN Nigeria to Boost Operations With $1.6bn

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By Dipo Olowookere

Chairman of MTN Group, Mr Mcebisi Jonas, has disclosed that the telecommunications giant will take nothing less than $1.6 billion from its operations in Nigeria to strengthen its network and systems.

Mr Jonas, during a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, said the leading GSM network provider was interested in boosting the nation’s economy through various investments.

“We are fully aligned with the strategic agenda of government, and are committed to strengthening the digital economy of the country,” Mr Jonas informed his host.

He explained that the visit along with top executives of the telecoms company was to show appreciation to President Buhari “because most of the issues we raised during your visit to South Africa have been addressed, and there is progress on the remaining ones.”

Recall that some days ago, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, withdrew the $2 billion tax demand against MTN Nigeria.

At the visit today, Mr Buhari said Nigeria is Africa’s largest telecommunications market, and MTN’s largest market, adding that, “Our hope is for operators like MTN to continue to focus on delivering quality service at reasonable prices. If we put our minds together, such win-win positions are achievable.”

He assured that government was committed to providing an enabling environment for businesses to succeed, as partnerships between the public and private sectors remain the most viable means of bringing prosperity to the masses.

“I am pleased to hear of the progress you are making in Nigeria, especially in supporting our digital inclusion programs. Your proposed projects, such as the rural telephony project, will surely complement our economic diversification and financial inclusion programs by connecting the producers based in rural areas to consumers located in our major towns and cities,” the President said.

He said government was looking at ways to increase the level of security across critical national infrastructure, noting that it would guarantee seamless service delivery and also facilitate investments across the country.

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