MTN to spend $1.5bn on broadband expansion

Communication giant, MTN, is to spend $1.5 billion (N640billion) on broadband access in Nigeria in the next couple of year.

Mr Karl Toriola, CEO of MTN Nigeria, disclosed this plan when Nigeria embassy official visit MTN Group office in Roodeport, Johannesburg.

He said this was in line with the Federal Government’s 2020-2025 National Broadband Plan and in support of MTN Group’s strategy.

Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Amb. Muhammad Manta and the Consul General Malik Abdul led a delegation to the MTN group.

Toriola said that a new state-of-the-art headquarters would be erected soon in Nigeria.

He also disclosed that the MTN would reconstruct the Enugu-Onitsha expressway in lieu of tax remittance to the Federal Government, in a special arrangement to enhance the quality of road infrastructure in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MTN Group sold off parts of its shares in the Nigerian subsidiary in February with the aim of availing local investors the opportunity to become shareholders in the leading telecom giant.

Eventually, a total of 661.25 million MTN Nigerian shares were allocated, as against the 575 million units that were initially planned.

Mr Ernest Ndukwe, Chairman MTN Nigeria, underscored the importance of MTN Nigeria to the group’s operations, noting that Nigeria is one of their most important markets.

He expressed satisfaction that the government was implementing several policies and programmes to ensure a conducive environment for doing business in Nigeria.

Ndukwe added that government has emphasized the development of Nigeria’s digital economy to be the next fastest growing sector.

In response, High commissioner Manta lauded the group for their interest in Nigeria and promised that Nigeria would ensure that conducive environment is created for the likes of MTN to thrive in Nigeria.

The Consul General called on MTN to partner with the Missions in South Africa to develop a coherent strategy to tackle future threats of Xenophobia.

“We have identified projects in respect of community engagement to rebuild trust and confidence in one another and to retell the story of the Nigeria and South Africa relations.”

Abdul urged MTN to partner with the Mission to create programmes and contents that would promote peace, social cohesion and deepen socio economic development between the two countries.

He encouraged them to engage with the government to find a lasting solution to the unnecessary attacks on Nigerians.

“Nigerians are not Xenophobic but the tales of victims and the videos of incidence in South Africa instigates attacks on SA Companies in Nigeria.”(NAN)