The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, says telecommunications companies in Nigeria can successfully list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country, barring the challenges confronting operators in the sector. He said an enabling business environment, policies that promote ease of doing business and market forces in line with best practices, were key factors that could encourage telcos to list on the bourse.
Ogunsanya said this while making a presentation entitled, “Creating an Enabling Environment for Public Listing of the Economy’s Commanding Heights: The Case for Telecoms Sector” at the 2017 Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers annual national workshop held in Abuja. Ogunsanya noted that following the liberalisation of the telecoms sector in 2001, the nation had benefitted in terms of employment creation, attraction of foreign direct investments and social-economic development. The Airtel boss said, “The sector currently accounts for 10 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and therefore makes it a critical national infrastructure. “In addition, connectivity among Nigerians has been enhanced with the 145,350,702 active lines as at May 2017, investments in the sector as at Q1 2017 stood at $68bn with Foreign Direct Investment contribution amounting to $35bn, while over 10,000 direct jobs and 1.3 million indirect jobs have been created.”
Ogunsanya stressed that telcos were committed to providing qualitative world-class telecommunications services and in turn contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. However, he said operators were still being faced with challenges which stifle growth and inhibit services delivery. He, therefore, urged government to address lingering industry issues such as multiple taxation, prohibitive right-of-way fees, broadband spectrum pricing/ availability, among others.