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Telecom records 0.5% growth to GDP, nets N1.4trn in Q1

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta has given kudos to the performance of the nation’s telecommunications industry in the first quarter of 2016 which recorded over N1.4trillion, representing 0.5 percent growth, adding that he is optimistic it would improve in the subsequent quarters of the year.

Danbatta made this disclosure while receiving a consortium of international investors led by UBS South Africa, stressing that the commission would soon meet with operators over the recent auction of 2.6GHz spectrum, which saw only MTN Nigeria, bid for 6 out of 14 available slots.

“I think we are happy with the level of compliance to regulatory stipulations in general, minus the MTN incident, which cast some sort of shadow in our regulatory drive to ensure sustainability and stability of the industry.

“I am happy, we are putting that one behind us, and this is attested to by recent statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that the industry recorded a growth of 0.5 per cent to GDP in comparison to the same period last year.

“In monetary terms this is going to translate to over N1.4 trillion, only in the first quarter of this year.

“While other sectors of the economy are recording negative growth, the telecom industry has been recording positive growth and I think it is poised to grow even further in the subsequent quarters of the year,” he emphasized.

The EVC while fielding question on the 2.6.GHz spectrums auction, said: “We are doing a post mortem.  And we have not yet met with the operators to find out why they did not bid, except one operator.

“The intention is to be able to know their reasons, and to know in what way the regulator can come in to relax some of the conditions in the process, if this relaxation can lead to more operators going for the remaining eight.

“I am sure the commission will be disposed to looking at the reasons that prevented other operators from coming forward to bid, except only one”.

According to him, the commission incorporates elements of flexibility in its dealing with operators, in order to continue to sustain the growth in the sector, stressing that “it has the potential to provide an alternative to oil and gas”.

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