Nigerian telecoms sector grosses over $70billion in one year

Despite the current economic challenges, the Nigerian economy recorded a boost as the telecoms sector has hugely contributed well over $70billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.

Citing the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports, Prof. Danbatta affirmed that the industry’s contribution to the GDP stood at $70billion, adding that it is now on track to surpass that figure based on recent investment inflow into the sector.

“The figure we gave last years about telecoms investment in the country was $70billion. And the figure was what NBS released as at last years. Although the bureau has not released statistics for this year, I can confidently say that telecoms investment in Nigeria has surpassed $70billion.”

“This is true based on reliable information we have, that telecoms investments which includes, FDI and portfolio investment, has currently reached 10.5percent, up from 9.5percent in the previous years.”

Still referring to the NBS report, Prof. Danbatta disclosed that telecoms quarterly contribution to Nigeria’s GDP was $5billion and this has risen by two percent per quarter.

“This of course is a steady quarterly growth, and when you calculate the four quarters in the last one year after the $70billion figure was released, it becomes clear that telecoms contribution to GDP has surpassed $70billion,” the NCC boss said.

Speaking further Dambatta hinted that the figure released by NBS was conservative as it does not tell the entire story. According to him, investments in the sector, in human and material resources, have continued to soar. He disclosed that the Value Added Services (VAS), segment of the telecom market in Nigeria was worth $200 million and is estimated to grow to $500 million by 2021. He added that the industry has provided both direct and indirect employment opportunities, accentuated growth and expansion.

Furthermore, he noted that the steady growth the country has recorded in voice and data service offering as well as broadband penetration, when put together in monetary terms, reflects the immense value the sector has added to the local economy.

Up until 2001, investment in Nigeria’s telecoms sector was at its base level with only 400 000 connected line. But that changed quickly when the Federal Government liberalized the sector and encouraged foreign investment. MTN was the first to respond with a $500million investment in 2001 and other followed.

As at the last NCC report, there were 150 million active subscribers, internet penetration has reached over 90 million and over 102 per cent teledensity has been achieved. The Nigerian telecoms sector has also been described as one of the fastest growing in the world.



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