$68bn telecoms investment under threat

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By Olabisi Olaleye

Despite  a recent positive assessment of the Nigeria telecoms sector by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as the fastest growing industry, emerging economic trends appear to be working against an estimated $68 billion investment by stakeholders.
Among its many challenges, stakeholders in the industry believe that dollar instability may spell doom for the almost established industry, if care is not taken.
They expressed concern over the rate at which the dollar is fluctuating, saying it is affecting network expansion and resulting in many more dropped calls, adding that undirected and congested data traffic  may be experienced by subscribers. They also noted that there is a decline in telecommunications subscribers as against the monthly growth.
One of the stakeholders who is also the Managing Director, Pinet Informatics Ltd, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, said the  major challenge is undefined galloping of the dollar against the naira, which has  affected the industry adversely, among other fundamental challenges.
“Multiple taxation is there, problem of getting Right of Way (RoW) has not been addressed while the auction of 2.6Ghz spectrum is still being delayed by the regulator. The number of telephone lines are decreasing instead of increasing and the growth is gliding towards being stunted.”

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