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Orange Group seeks to play big in Nigeria’s huge telecoms market

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Nigerian Communications Commission, assures the company the West African country has enabling laws and regulations that engender a highly competitive telecoms market that benefits both service providers and consumers

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

After a closer analysis of the huge potential of the Nigerian telecoms market, Orange Group, an international telecommunications investor-operator, has vowed to play a big part in Africa’s biggest service space, in diversified areas, including mobile, data, fixed and financial technology support services.

Six-member team of Orange Middle East and Africa, led by Mrs. Victoria Adefala, delivered this message to Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),  during a business visit to his office in Abuja, FCT, at the weekend.

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, noted Mrs. Adefala disclosed the group is fully determined to do all it takes to get a slice of the Nigerian telecoms market.

Photo: Universfreebox

She stated: “We are here to ensure steady investment for a long term. We also want to support the vision of the Commission in driving broadband penetration for a robust digital economy and leverage local content development initiatives.”

The delegation, who also include Mr. Jean Chalhoub, Africa Director of Regulatory Affairs at Orange, sought clarifications on several regulatory and policy issues that will engender the company’s speedy entry into the country’s telecoms space.

Adefala said Nigeria is missing in Orange Group’s portfolio of combined network of over 140 million subscribers across 18 countries of its operations.

“The large market potential buoyed by the huge population, impressive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figure, proximity to our operations in the neighbouring African countries, as well as the appreciable friendly operating environment are great motivators for our expansion plan into the Nigerian telecoms market.”

Prof. Danbatta, who welcomed the Group’s quest to invest in Nigeria, reassured the delegation of a robust policy and regulatory environment that provides quality enabling environment.

The NCC EVC/CEO stated the company has the full support of the Federal Government, as evidenced in the contents of such instruments as the Executive Order 001 on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in business, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), and the Federal Government’s Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with ample provisions to protect investors in the country’s economy.

The Commission has also taken several other regulatory steps aimed at improving the operational environment, such as the ongoing collaboration with Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to reduce Right of Way (RoW) charges on telecoms infrastructure deployments; signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with various government and institutional stakeholders across the country; developed guidelines and regulations to promote colocation of infrastructure; and upheld a fair competitive operating environment, among others, said he.

Danbatta further told the team: “We welcome more investments into the Nigerian telecoms sector. “We have enabling laws and regulations that help us to engender a highly competitive telecoms market that benefits both the service providers and the consumers.

“The NCC is here to ensure we support our licensees to thrive while also ensure that they comply with Quality of Service (QoS) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set by the Commission because Nigerians will patronise an operator that provides them with affordable services at highest quality.

The NCC Chief, who hosted the delegation with the two Executive Commissioners of the Commission, Engr. Ubale Maska (Technical Standards) and Barrister Adeleke Adewolu (Stakeholder Management), and some Directors, said the successful auction of the 5G spectrum is a clear indication of investor confidence in the country.

According to him, investment opportunities are available in voice, data, upstream and downstream of the sectors with certainty on investment returns.

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