Nigeria's telecommunications industry needs an enabling environment - Experts

Panelists at Nigeria Com event (Twitter/TechEconomyng)
  • Experts decry challenges in Nigeria’s power sector.
  • They lamented how some government agencies exploit the telecoms industry.
  • This was part of the discussions at the Nigeria Com - a two-day event which took place at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday, September 11th.

Experts have called on the Nigerian government to see telecommunications firms as partners and not as an exploitative industry.

This formed part of the discussions on the first day of the Nigeria Com - a two-day event which took place at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday, September 11th.

During a panel session, tagged, "Overcoming power, accessibility and infrastructure challenges," the telco experts decried the lackadaisical attitude of the government in attending to the public power problems.

"Energy is one major problem for us as an industry, if not solved, it will remain a major threat to the industry and the nation's economy," Gbenga Adetayo, acting Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said.

Adetayo told Business Insider SSA that the association is awaiting responses from the federal government on various Executive Orders that will help the telecoms industry.

He lamented on how some government agencies see telecoms as an extractive industry where they can take taxes and fines.

“We think the approach should be different, we should be seen as infrastructure that supports other infrastructures and so the kind of interference that we have from the government should not be there. 

“We support the economy and drive economic growth with the kind of services that we provide," he said.

Adedoyin Adeola, Vice President, Network Operations at Airtel Nigeria, emphasised on the importance of power supply in the telecoms industry, saying telco consume 40 million litres of fuel per month to run operations.

He said for the economy to grow, the government needs to find a solution to Nigeria's power problems.

Wole Abu, CEO of Pan African Towers (PAT), decried the high-cost cost of running telecoms companies in Nigeria. He said power-related resources cost 50% of the company's capital expenditure (CAPEX).

“This cost is used to put in power to serve customers.

"Everything dovetails into power," he said.

Abu advised Nigeria to overhaul and integrate the energy ministry to make it full functional.

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