The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday announced that foreign direct investment (FDI) and local investment in the nation’s telecommunications sector reached 75.6 billion dollars as of 2021.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the announcement officially during an interactive session with stakeholders in the communications media ecosystem in Lagos.
He said this was one of the landmark developments that had shaped the trajectory of growth in the telecoms sector since he became the chief telecom regulator in August 2015.
According to Danbatta, in 2018, investment profile in the sector stood at 68 billion dollars, increased to 70.5 billion dollars in 2019, and 72 billion dollars in 2020.
Danbatta said that, at the end of 2021, the figure rose to 75.6 billion dollars, noting that the latest figure was the current official investment profile computed in the industry, up from the initial 70 billion dollars investment in the last few years.
“Investment in the telecommunications sector in Nigeria is computed from two sources: the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the financial data obtained from service providers by the Commission.
“While the CBN collects and calculates an element of the telecoms sector to include FDI, portfolio and others, the Commission collects investment figures from telecom licensees described as domestic investment arising from capital expenditure (CAPEX), which form part of the total investment in the industry,” he said.
The NCC boss noted that through effective regulatory environment put in place by the Commission, the telecom sector had recorded tremendous growth from an initial investment profile of 500 million dollars as at 2001, when the sector was fully liberalised.
Similarly, Danbatta said the telecom sector had continued to be a major contributor to Nigeria’s economy through an impressive sectoral contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) quarterly.
He noted that this was up from about 8.5 per cent in third quarter of 2015, contributing N10.126 trillion to the nation’s GDP in 2022 alone.
Citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Danbatta said the telecoms sector contributed N10.126 trillion as an aggregate quarterly contribution to GDP in 2022.
“In the first quarter, the sector contributed 12.94 per cent equivalent to N2.246 trillion while the second quarter witnessed an all-time high GDP contribution by the telecom sector to the nation’s economy, standing at 15 per cent and valued at N2.593 trillion.
“The sector’s contribution to GDP in the third quarter was 12.85 per cent and in the fourth quarter, it grew to 13.55 per cent, which are valued at N2.436 trillion and N2.851 trillion respectively.
“The growth trajectory continued this year as telecoms and Information services sector in Nigeria delivered a handsome N2. 508 trillion in terms of financial value contribution to the nation’s GDP, representing 14.13 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, ”he said.
Danbatta added that telecoms contribution to national GDP had grown significantly since his assumption of office as the executive vice chairman of NCC in August, 2015, according to available data from NBS.
He said that from 8.50 per cent in 2015, it grew to 9.13 per cent in 2016 and to 8.66 per cent in 2017, adding that in the last quarter of 2018, telecoms contributed 9.85 per cent to national GDP while it added 10.60 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019.
“Also in the second quarter of 2010, it added 14.30 per cent to GDP; 14.42 per cent in the second quarter of 2021. The highest quarterly contribution to GDP by the sector to the economy was 15 per cent in the second quarter of 2022.
“The sector has become a major enabler of economic development in Nigeria, as it continues to positively impact all the facets of the Nigerian economy.
“As the regulatory authority for the telecom sector in Nigeria, we are happy that the sector has recorded phenomenal growth statistics in the past two decades of the liberalization of the telecoms sector, “he said.
He said the commission would continue to push upward to greater heights by encouraging expansion of frontiers to put Nigeria’s imprint on the global map of digital economy.
According to Danbatta, broadband subscriptions on Third Generation (3G) and Fourth Generation (4G) networks increased to 92.2 million, representing a 48.28 per cent broadband penetration in the country.
He also noted that following the issuance of 3.5GHz spectrum licences for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) networks in Nigeria, 5G subscriptions had grown to over 60,000 in many cities of the federation.