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Nigeria’s telecom sector attracts $191.5 million FDIs in Q1 2024 – NBS

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Nigeria’s telecom sector attracts $191.5 million FDIs in Q1 2024 – NBS

Nigeria’s telecommunications sector attracted a total of $191.5 million in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the first quarter of this year.

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This was disclosed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in the latest capital importation data released on Monday.

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This indicates a bright beginning for the telecom sector, which has seen a consistent decline in investments over the past few years.

Indeed, the Q1 2024 figure surpassed the total FDI the sector recorded in 2023, which stood at $134.75, according to the NBS data.

Year on year, capital importation received by the sector in Q1 2024 represents a 769% increase compared with $22.05 million received in Q1 2023

Similarly, compared with the $22.84 million received in the preceding quarter, Q4, 2023, this also represents a 738% growth in investments.

The increase in capital importation to the telecom sector may have come as a boost to the country’s ambition to connect at least 70% of its population to broadband by 2025.

Amid the ongoing implementation of the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025) for which the country is relying on more foreign investments, the sector has been recording a consistent decline in foreign investments.

Meanwhile, according to industry experts, the Nigerian telecom industry would require, at least, $3.4 billion in investments in fibre infrastructure to meet the 70% broadband target.

The situation is further worsened by the Naira devaluation, which has significantly reduced the operators’ capacity to invest more in infrastructure for the expansion of their networks.

However, realizing that the needed investments are not coming, the Federal Government recently launched a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the delivery of an additional 90,000km of fibre optic cable to complement existing connectivity for universal access to the internet across Nigeria.

According to the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, working with partners and stakeholders from the government and private sector, the SPV would build the additional fibre optic coverage required to take Nigeria’s connectivity backbone to a minimum of 125,000km, from the current coverage of about 35,000km.

“Building on our existing work with the Broadband Alliance, this increased connectivity will help plug the current non-consumption gap by connecting over 200,000 educational, healthcare and social institutions across Nigeria, ensuring that a larger section of our society can be included in the benefits of internet connectivity,” the Minister said.

He added that that project would also help to increase internet penetration in Nigeria to over 70% and reduce the cost of access to the internet by over 60%.

Through the project, Tijani said Nigeria would achieve the inclusion of at least 50% of the 33 million Nigerians currently excluded from access to the internet. It is also expected to deliver up to 1.5% of GDP growth per capita raising GDP from $472.6 billion (2022) to $502 billion over the next 4 years.

 

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