Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Communication (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has invited the Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) to invest in the country’s broadband infrastructure.
Addressing the investors, who were in the country to understudy Nigeria’s investment policies, with the aim of investing in the telecoms sector, Danbatta said that investing in the country’s broadband sector has high prospects for quick return on investment.
Represented by the Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Mr. Abdullahi Maikano, the EVC said the country, through its regulatory and legal framework, would offer conducive environment for foreign investors.
Danbatta, explained that investing in Nigeria’s telecommunications broadband infrastructure is the next frontier needed to push service delivery to the consumers, stressing that two InfraCos have been licensed to deploy broadband infrastructure in Lagos and North-central zones of the country.
According to him, “Right now, these two companies are mobilising to commence their deployment. The subsidy that we shall be given to them will be on milestone basis, depending on what they are able to deploy. The subsidy will be made available only after the project has been verified by the commission.”
While calling on the investors to consider investing in the remaining five zones, he said the commission is in the process of licensing the remaining five zones. “We are hoping that good companies will come onboard so that we can achieve that broadband vision for the country,” Danbatta said. He further explained that the process of licensing the remaining five InfraCos would be concluded in the early part of 2017, since the deadline for the submission of application of interest is November ending.
The leader of delegation, Mr. Ang Eng Seng, explained that his company is ready to invest minority stake in telecoms outfits with the intent to grow and expand their capital base with time.
“We are financial investors, we are not operators so the investment style is much more that of minority stakes.
We provide growth capital to the companies that have good business plan that we believe in and so we will not be bidding on new project on our own. Our focus is to find the right local companies with good business model that have minority investment, and invest in them.”
Speaking on the investment opportunities in Nigeria’s telecoms sector, he said the country’s huge demographic statistics makes it an investment destination on the continent.
If you look at all the other countries in Africa, Nigeria given its size and its demographics, ranks very high in terms of the list of target countries that we are focusing on, Seng said.