Mobile phone group MTN announced on Wednesday plans to invest $1.6 billion(R23 billion) in Nigeria over the next three years to strengthen and expand its network and operations in the country.
In December, MTN received good news after the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice has withdrawn a $2 billion tax demand against MTN Nigeria. Late December 2018, MTN reached an agreement with Nigeria’s central bank when the $8.1 billion claim was reduced to $53 million.
The news of the investment was shared during a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari, whereby he reaffirmed that the Nigerian government is committed to providing an enabling environment for businesses.
An MTN delegation represented by Chairman of MTN Group, Mcebisi Jonas; Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe; MTN Group CEO, Rob Shuter and MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman met with President Buhari. They also met with key government officials including Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami.
Buhari went on to say that the government is also looking at ways to increase the level of security across critical national infrastructure, noting that it would guarantee seamless service delivery and also facilitate investments throughout the country.
Jonas said in a statement, “We are steadfast about our investments in Nigeria, particularly over the next three years as we aim to strengthen and expand our network and systems. We are fully aligned with the strategic agenda of the Nigerian government and are committed to strengthening the digital economy of the country.”
Shuter said: “Financial inclusion and access to funding and digital services all become easier when our continent is powered by connectivity. The benefits of a connected continent are far-reaching, making a positive impact across Africa. We cannot achieve this goal on our own, and are working on strengthening relationships with our key partners to extend access to comprehensive and affordable solutions to all.”
MTN is now the second biggest Nigerian company listed on the NSE. Dangote Cement Plc owned by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, remains the biggest company listed in the Lagos House.