According to media reports, telecommunications operators in Nigeria fear that the sector will end up in the same situation as the Nigerian aviation sector, which is experiencing a crisis aggravated by the country’s foreign exchange problems.
Gbenga Adebayo, chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), explained that “Access to foreign currencies has been difficult for Nigerian telecom operators since January 2022. This situation is slowing down investment in network infrastructure.”
“Virtually everything we use in the sector is import dependent. You talk about the base station equipment, generating sets, and batteries. But the inability to get a foreign exchange is impacting not only development but also upgrades of existing infrastructure,” Adebayo added.
According to reports, ALTON members are calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prioritize their Access to foreign exchange. The country’s currency supply shortage is worsening, affecting every economic sector, and the numerous taxes operators pay are increasing operating costs.
According to figures from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country had 210 million mobile subscribers in August 2022. Operators must, therefore, continuously invest in upgrading and expanding their telecom infrastructure to meet the growing demand.