The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has said the 30 per cent reduction in Company Income Tax, which is a pioneer status for prospective investors coming into Nigeria to invest, will boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the telecoms sector.
Danbatta, who made the disclosure in Durban, South Africa, during the 2018 ITU Telecom World conference, where Nigeria showcased its investments potential to the world, advised foreign investors to take advantage of the reduction and invest in the telecoms sector.
Danbatta told investors that the 30 per cent reduction was part of other incentives from the Nigerian government such as the Executive Orders 5 and 6, to create enabling environment for investors.
According to Danbatta, “There are other opportunities for investors in Digital transmission system including microwave, satellite and optic fibre, such as submarine cable communications; digital exchanges for both wired and wireless lines; billing systems; data communications networks; broadband and integrated service digital network (ISDN).”
He said Nigeria needed 120,000km metropolitan optic fibre coverage for ubiquitous network connections nationwide, but that the country had only 38,000km coverage now.
This situation, he said, was an opportunity beckoning on both foreign and local investors to take advantage of, and invest in the country.
“Indeed, the NCC is intensely focused on bringing efficient, qualitative and affordable ICT platforms within the reach of individuals and corporate bodies through the implementation of our 8-point agenda, the federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the ICT roadmap to drive synergies, which will expand opportunities for disruptive technology innovation and global competitiveness,” Danbatta said.
The NCC boss listed the 8-point agenda which NCC unveiled about two years ago to boost investment in Nigeria to include: facilitate broadband penetration; improve quality of service, optimise usage and benefits of spectrum; promote ICT innovation and investment opportunities, and facilitate strategic collaboration and partnership. Others are: to protect and empower consumers; promote fair competition and inclusive growth; and ensure regulatory excellence.
“We have made it a deliberate policy to ensure availability, affordability and accessibility,” Danbatta said, while encouraging investors to invest in Nigeria.
Addressing GDP contribution by telecommunications in Nigeria, Danbatta said the emphasis was to boost broadband penetration as the next major frontier because more access to telecoms and broadband means more contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Secretary-General of International Telecoms Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), Mr. Houlin Zhao, also encouraged investors to take advantage of opportunities offered by Nigeria, especially in the area of her huge population and untapped investments, to invest in the country. Speaking on the issue of security, Zhao said he had visited Nigeria and experienced the security of the country, which he said, was encouraging enough for investors.