Nigeria’s hope of 70 per cent broadband penetration and 90 per cent coverage as enshrined in the New National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020 to 2025) has received a boost with plans by MTN to invest N640 billion ($1.5 billion) over the next three years.
MTN Group President, Ralph Mupita, disclosed this during his team’s visit from South Africa to Nigeria.
The firm, in a statement, said the investment is consistent with its strategy, Ambition 2025: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.
Mupita said Nigeria remained one of the most important markets, adding that MTN “has a proud history of partnering with the country and Nigerians to drive faster and more inclusive growth through digital transformation.”
The delegation met with President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Accompanied by MTN Group Chief Financial Officer Tsholo Molefe, MTN Nigeria Chairman, Ernest Ndukwe and MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola, Mupita restated the organisation’s support for Nigeria’s plans to achieve 90 per cent broadband coverage by 2025.
The move he noted aligned with the group’s thinking belief that “everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life and our work to extend digital and financial inclusion across Africa.”
The team also welcomed Nigeria’s plans to auction 500MHz of 5G spectrum: five blocks of 100MHz in the 3500MHz band, which Mupita said would facilitate broadband access.
He said the group’s plans to divest 14 per cent stake in its Nigerian arm to local investors are at advanced stage and would happen as soon as conditions were conducive.