The federal government has set an ambitious target of doubling its telecommunications industry revenue by 2027, as outlined in the Blueprint unveiled by Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. This revenue encompasses income from telecom operators in the form of Company Income Tax (CIT), as well as Value Added Tax (VAT) generated from their services.
Additionally, the government has been generating income through the sale of spectrum licenses to telecom operators, with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) contributing N189 billion to the government’s coffers as revenue from spectrum sales in the previous year.
The approach to achieving revenue growth
To attain the projected revenue increase, Dr. Bosun Tijani, in the Blueprint, outlined a strategy that involves a comprehensive revision of the National Policy on Telecommunications. This policy, last updated in 2000, will undergo a substantial overhaul to accommodate shifts in technology, industry standards, and market dynamics.
This revised policy will serve as a blueprint for guiding the trajectory of the next phase in one of Nigeria’s most rapidly expanding sectors.
He said that in response to the dynamic evolution of the telecommunications sector driven by advancing technology and emerging opportunities, there is a pressing need to revamp the national approach. This adaptation should prioritize the placement of broadband development at the forefront of national policy for the next two decades.
Also, key areas such as spectrum management, convergence, universal access, broadband penetration, net neutrality, and Quality of Service (QoS) have undergone significant transformations since the last policy update.
Furthermore, he said that the transition toward a digital economy demands an intensified effort to extend telephony and broadband services to those currently underserved and unserved. The Ministry is committed to leading the revision of the Telecoms Policy to address these pivotal issues.
Ministry set to increase net GDP
In pursuit of these goals, the Minister announced that the Ministry has established an objective to achieve a year-on-year increase in investments in Nigeria’s telecommunications sector by 15%. Additionally, among the outlined objectives is the aim to diminish the percentage of unconnected individuals in rural areas, reducing it from the current 61% to below 20% by the year 2027.
Recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicates that during Q2 2023, the ICT sector witnessed a year-on-year growth rate of 11.64% in real terms. This growth was predominantly propelled by activities within the telecom industry sub-sector, which made a substantial contribution of 16.06% to the GDP in real terms.
It’s worth noting that the telecom industry, characterized by prominent mobile network operators such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile, along with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), is also a pivotal driver of economic activity across various sectors of the economy.
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