Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Telecoms attract $5bn quarterly investment

Investment into the telecom sector in Nigeria has been steadily attracting deals worth $5billion every quarter since the beginning of 2018, bringing total investment in the sector since 2001 to $85billion.

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product rose had risen to 10.5percent as the end of June, 2018, up from the initial 9.1percent in 2016.

The Director of Consumer Affairs at the regulatory agency, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said this in a presentation at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Abuja.

Onwuegbuchulam, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr Ayanbanji Ojo, said investment in the telecoms sector as of 2017 used to be $70billion and this has been growing at about $5billion every quarter.

She said “At the end of August 2018, there were over 160.8 million active voice subscriptions, with over 104 million of this number being used to access the Internet services. These are phone numbers being used by businesses and individual subscribers across the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“Tele-density, which is the number of telephone lines per 100 persons in an area, has hit 115 per cent. Indeed, the growth in the telecoms industry, engendered by a sound regulatory regime, has remarkably redefined the way people live, work and play.”

She said Small and Medium Enterprises’ operations in the agricbusiness were being enhanced by telecom for more efficiency and better delivery, adding that the NCC would continue to support the SMEs.

Also, speaking at the forum, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, said the regulatory agency had directed telecom operators to roll over unused subscriber’s data within a window of 14 days after the period of validity must have elapsed.

Danbatta, who was represented by Head of Public Relations, Mr Reuben Muoka, said no subscriber should lose any unused data for Internet services at the end of the validity period without enjoying a grace period of 14 days.

The NCC boss stated, “On the quality of service issue, including poor reception, wrong billings and deductions, and automatic data rollover, among other issues, we have put the service providers on special notice about our current monitoring of user experience and will call them to account in due course.

“Where the service provider continues to fail to improve services to the detriment of the consumers, the commission will apply appropriate regulatory actions and sanctions against such service provider.”

“On this issue data rollover, the commission has directed all the service providers to give a 14-day window to the subscribers to enable them roll over their unused data, even if they do not renew on the expiration data. In other words, this will stop the current practice where subscribers lose their entire unused data if they fail to renew on the date of the expiration of the current subscription.”



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