Leading telecoms services provider, MTN Group Limited, said it plans to invest an additional $1.6 billion to strengthen the infrastructure of its Nigerian subsidiary. The company’s group Chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, stated this on Tuesday when he paid a courtesy call to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
As Nairametrics previously reported, President Buhari had urged MTN to key into Nigeria’s digital economy strategy. It was in response to this that the MTN boss said:
“We are fully aligned with the strategic agenda of the government and are committed to strengthening the digital economy of the country.”
Part of this alignment is the proposed investment of a fresh $1.6 billion. Nigeria is a major market for the South Africa company, which had in recent past, faced many regulatory challenges in Nigeria. Despite these challenges (most of which have reasonably been resolved), MTN has continued committed to the West African country.
In the meantime, President Buhari has assured MTN of the government’s support in terms of providing enabling business environment. While referring to a press statement by President Buhari’s spokesperson, Daily Trust quoted him to have said:
“I am pleased to hear of the progress you are making in Nigeria, especially in supporting our digital inclusion programs. Your proposed projects, such as the rural telephony project, will surely complement our economic diversification and financial inclusion programs by connecting the producers based in rural areas to consumers located in our major towns and cities.
“Our hope is for operators like MTN to continue to focus on delivering quality service at reasonable prices. If we put our minds together, such win-win positions are achievable.”
The visit by MTN Group’s Chairman can be seen as the company reaching out to thank the Nigerian leader after the office of Nigeria’s Attorney General withdrew a $1.2 billion tax demand it made from MTN Nigeria.
Mr Jonas even told President Buhari that he was grateful because “most of the issues we raised during your visit to South Africa have been addressed, and there is progress on the remaining ones.”