After a closer analysis of the huge potential of the Nigerian telecom market, international telecom investor-operator, Orange Group, has vowed to play a big part in Africa’s biggest service space, in diversified areas including mobile, data, fixed and financial technology support services.
A six-member team of Orange Middle East and Africa, led by Mrs. Victoria Adefala, who delivered this message to the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during a business visit to his office in Abuja at the weekend, said the group is fully determined to do all it takes to get a slice of the Nigerian market.
“We are here to ensure steady investment for the long term. We also want to support the vision of the Commission in driving broadband penetration for a robust digital economy and leverage on local content development initiatives,” she said. The delegation including Orange’s Africa Director of Regulatory Affairs, Mr. Jean Chalhoub, sought clarifications on several regulatory and policy issues that will engender the company’s speedy entry into the country.
Adefala said Nigeria is missing in Orange Group’s portfolio of a combined network of over 140 million subscribers across 18 countries of its operations. “The large market potentials buoyed by the huge population, impressive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figure, proximity to our operations in the neighboring African countries, as well as the appreciable friendly operating environment are great motivators for our expansion plan into the Nigerian telecom market”.
NCC’s chief, Danbatta who welcomed the Group’s quest to invest in Nigeria, reassured the delegation of a robust policy and regulatory environment that provides a quality enabling environment and has the full support of the Federal Government, as evidenced in the contents of such instruments like the Executive Order 001 on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), and the Federal Government’s Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with ample provisions to protect investors.
He said the Commission has also taken several other regulatory steps aimed at improving the operational environment such as the ongoing collaboration with the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF) to reduce Right of Way (RoW) charges on telecom infrastructure deployments; signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with various government and institutional stakeholders across the country; developed guidelines and regulations to promote colocation of infrastructure; and upheld a fair competitive operating environment, among others.
“We welcome more investments into the Nigerian telecom sector. We have enabling laws and regulations that help us to engender a highly competitive telecom market that benefits both the service providers and the consumers. The NCC is here to ensure we support our licensees to thrive while also ensuring that they comply with Quality of Service (QoS) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set by the Commission because Nigerians will patronize an operator that provides them with affordable services at the highest quality,” he said.
Danbatta who hosted the delegation with the two Executive Commissioners of the Commission, Engr. Ubale Maska (Technical Standards) and Barrister Adeleke Adewolu (Stakeholder Management), and some directors, said the successful auction of the 5G spectrum is a clear indication of investor confidence in the country, and that investment opportunities are available in voice, data, upstream and downstream of the sectors with certainty on investment returns.