L-R: Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), MTN Group CEO/President, Ralph Mupita and CEO, MTN Nigeria Mr Karl Toriola presenting a gift to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Abuja.
MTN pledges support for policy to curtail $2.6bn capital flight
The parent company of leading telecommunications company in Nigeria, MTN Gorup has praised the federal government of Nigeria on a recently launched local content policy targeted at stemming $2.6 billion capital flight by telcos in the country.
The company stated this during a three-day working visit in Nigeria by its leadership led by Group led by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Mupita, which culminated in a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
The delegation, which also included the leadership of MTN Nigeria, restated the company’s commitment to expanding investments in Nigeria with a focus on rural connectivity.
While MTN also assured more investments in providing internet access and financial inclusion in its largest market, Nigeria, it praised a new local content policy by the country, saying “it aligns perfectly with our intention to further expand our Nigerian supply chain.”
President Buhari had recently launched the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sectors which is targeted at promoting homegrown solutions in the sector and at the same reduce capital flights to foreign consumption of telecoms solutions.
The president particularly solicited the support of the telecoms company for the successful implementation of the policy.
This is as Mr. President also charged MTN to make available top-of-the-range service to its Nigerian subscribers and at cheaper rates.
Buhari said: “Nigeria is your most lucrative market in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as the source of a third of the income of the entire MTN Group. As such, we urge you to offer top-of-the-range and affordable services to Nigerians.
“As we seek to make broadband widely available and affordable, we urge MTN to continue to support our efforts by expanding high-quality connectivity to Nigerians in un-served and under-served areas.”
“I recently unveiled and launched the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian telecommunications sector. I call on MTN to support the implementation of this policy and, train and engage more Nigerians in your company.
Meanwhile, the President assured his visitors that his administration was doing everything possible to make Nigeria investor-friendly by addressing identified challenges.
“We are implementing a number of policies and programmes to ensure that institutions like MTN have a conducive environment for doing business in Nigeria.
“Our massive jump in the Global Ease of Doing Business Ranking is proof that our efforts are yielding results. We have identified and addressed the key challenges that affected the growth of the digital economy sector.
“I am happy to note that the right of way charges have now been pegged at a maximum of N145/linear metre. I have given directives for the protection of critical national infrastructure and this has addressed the issue of vandalism of such infrastructure,” he said.
He urged service providers should always appreciate the efforts of government and not undermine it,” he said.