Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has expressed delight over the decision by Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) to invest 1.6 billion dollars in the Nigerian market.
Pantami spoke when the Board and Management of MTN paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Tuesday, according to a statement by the Director Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mrs Phil Oshodin.
Undoubtedly the leading network provider in Nigeria, MTN has already budgeted the amount, which is about N580 billion, to be invested in the country within the next three years.
He pointed out that Federal Government was committed to provide conducive and enabling environment for all Mobile telecommunications operating in the country to run their businesses without any hindrances in any part of the country.
The minister, who assured that government was working on ensuring that telecommunications infrastructure were protected in the country, said President Muhammadu Buhari had already given security agencies the go ahead to provide security to critical telecommunications infrastructure in different locations of the country.
Pantami said: “I am glad to hear that you have a budget of 1.6 billion you plan to invest in Nigeria in the next three years. “Please, try to get your priorities right. Look at the areas that are underserved and invest.
“I am happy that you also appreciated our modest efforts in addressing most of the challenges being faced by mobile Telecommunications firms in Nigeria. I believe every County has its own peculiar challenge.
“We have achieved a lot in addressing most of the challenges: issues of vandalism, Right of Way (RoW) and several others.
“We are working on strengthening the policy to ensure that telecommunications infrastructure are well protected in the Country,” he said.
The minister, who noted that MTN had the largest market in Nigeria, equally expressed concern at the untapped market and enjoined the telecommunications companies to exploit the market opportunities in the country legitimately.
He urged all telecommunications companies operating in Nigeria to improve the quality of services in order to satisfy their customers.
Earlier, Mr Rob Shuter, the MTN Group CEO, who spoke on behalf of the team, disclosed that MTN has budgeted 1.6 billion dollars to invest in Nigeria market for the next three years. Shuter noted that Nigerian investors’ shares in MTN were growing rapidly and as such the company needed to invest more in the country.
Also on the team were the MTN Group Chairman, Mr Mabisi Jonas, who led the delegation, MTN Nigeria Chairman, Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Nigeria CEO, Ferdinand Moolman and Mr Anas Galadima, among others.