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MTN announces US$1.6-bn investment in Nigeria

Nigeria , 30 Jan 2020

MTN announces US$1.6-bn investment in Nigeria

MTN Group plans to invest US$1.6-billion into its network and operations in Nigeria over the next three years.

The company's board chairperson Mcebisi Jonas made the announcement during a recent visit with Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari.

Jonas said, "We are fully aligned with the strategic agenda of government, and are committed to strengthening the digital economy of the country."

Buhari expressed the commitment of the Nigerian government towards ensuring the provision of an enabling environment for businesses such as MTN to succeed in the country.

"I am pleased to hear of the progress you are making in Nigeria, especially in supporting our digital inclusion programs. Your proposed projects, such as the rural telephony project, will surely complement our economic diversification and financial inclusion programs by connecting the producers based in rural areas to consumers located in our major towns and cities," he said.

Nigeria's President also revealed ongoing plans by the government to improve security of telecoms installations, regarded as critical national infrastructure.

"Our hope is for operators like MTN to continue to focus on delivering quality service at reasonable prices. If we put our minds together, such win-win positions are achievable," Buhari added.

MTN Group and the Nigerian government are striving to mend relationships that have been strained of late because of industry-record fines, sanctions and threats.

ITWeb Africa recently reported on Nigeria's Attorney General's decision to withdraw a US$2- billion tax demand against MTN Nigeria.

The back tax claim was made in September 2018 resulting in a series of legal actions.

"MTN remains fully committed to meeting our fiscal responsibilities and contributing to the social and economic development of Nigeria and all regions where we operate," said MTN Group chief executive officer Rob Shuter.

Nigeria remains a key market for MTN Group. MTN Nigeria has been listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and has secured a super-agent license which clears the way for the launch of its Fintech business.

Despite complaints of a 'challenging operating environment', MTN Nigeria's profit grew by nearly 30% according to its consolidated financial report for the nine months ended September 30th, 2019.

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