Noting that Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market in Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday charged the telecommunications services provider to review downward the price of data and other services in view of its large market in the country.
President Buhari gave the charge in his remarks during an audience with the Chairman of MTN Group, Mr. Mcebisi Jonas and President/CEO, Mr. Rob Shuter at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“I would like to start by thanking you all for making this visit and for your kind words and prayers. I also wish to congratulate the new Chairman of MTN and wish you a very successful tenure.
“I am happy to hear of the role that you are playing in Nigeria and the reconfirmation of your commitment to the Nigerian economy. We look forward to the successful deployment of your proposed rural telephony projects to ensure that Nigerians in unserved and underserved areas are able to connect and enjoy the benefits of digital technology. It is also important that we have greater 4G penetration across the country.
“Your desire to promote financial inclusion is also a welcome development as we seek to use innovative digital technologies to integrate the unbanked across the country.
“On our part, we are also committed to ensuring that you are given the right business environment to thrive in Nigeria. For example, the lingering Right of Way (RoW) issue has finally been resolved on the 22nd of January, 2020 after a meeting between the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Governors, under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. This resolution will make it easy for MTN and any other operator to roll out fibre across the country for a maximum amount of N145 per linear metre.
“We are in the process of releasing an Executive Order on Critical National Infrastructure to ease your concerns regarding the security of your equipment. I have also directed the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy to liaise with the Inspector General of Police to ensure the protection of critical telecom infrastructure across the country.
“We urge you to continue to support our efforts by improving the Quality of Service (QoS), downward price review of data and other services in view of your large market in Nigeria. We note that Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market in Africa, accounting for approximately one-third of your total annual revenues and we want you to take this into account when creating a pricing structure for our market.
“We seek greater investment in unserved and underserved areas and collaboration with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to bring down the cost of smartphones.
“I unveiled and launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria on the 28th of November, 2019. In line with your plan to support to assist in digitizing the economy, we urge you to lend your support in the implementation of the Policy.
“I therefore seize this opportunity to request that you continue to partner with Government at all levels to ensure that Nigerians in every part of the country experience the benefits of digital technology.
“I have taken note of your proposals. May I ask that you submit them in writing to the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. I wish you all a very prosperous 2020. Thank you and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Buhari remarked.