MTN has announced plans to invest about US$1.5 billion in Nigeria over the next three years to expand broadband access across the continent’s most populous country.
A statement from the company says the Nigeria move is in line with the government’s 2020-2025 National Broadband Plan and in support of MTN Group’s strategy, Ambition 2025: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.
At a meeting with key stakeholders in Nigeria including President Muhammadu Buhari, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita said “Nigeria is one of our most important markets. We have a proud history of partnering with Nigeria and Nigerians to drive faster and more inclusive growth through digital transformation.”
Mupita reiterated MTN’s support for Nigeria’s plans to secure 90% broadband population coverage by 2025 saying, “This aligns with MTN Group’s belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life and our work to extend digital and financial inclusion across Africa.”
MTN welcomed Nigeria plans to auction 500MHz of 5G spectrum: five blocks of 100MHz in the 3500MHz band, which Mupita said would facilitate accelerated broadband access.
Mupita further said MTN Group’s plans to sell down 14% of MTN Nigeria to Nigerian investors were well advanced and this would happen as soon as conditions were conducive.
MTN Nigeria, in which MTN Group has a 78,8% stake, sought to have the largest retail shareholder base on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, where it has a market capitalisation of US$8.2 billion.
“To mark the 20th anniversary of MTN’s operations in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria plans to build a new flagship headquarters in Lagos,” concluded Mupita.