Investments in telecoms rise to $40bn, says BPE

The telecoms sector has so far attracted over $40 billion invest­ments and employed over one million Nigerians, 13 years after its deregulation.

Delivering a lecture on “Ac­countability in Governance and National Development” to Course 23 of the National De­fence College (NDC),Abuja, recently, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enter­prises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki, noted that the deregu­lation of the telecoms sector and the participation of private GSM operators like MTN, Glo, Airtel, Etisalat, Visafone, etc. has resulted in over 123 million active telephone lines available in Nigeria compared to 450,000 lines before the re­form.

Also, he said the sector now employs over one million Ni­gerians and has attracted over $40 billion in investments.

Dikki pointed out the critical role which the BPE played in enthroning accountability and good governance in Nigeria to include formation of PenCom, which ensured accountability of staff pension deductions. He said the sector has accumulated over N4 trillion in stable de­posits for development invest­ment; formation of the Debt Management Office (DMO), which resulted in the continued determination of Nigeria’s total external borrowings and made a concrete case for debt cancel­lation and rescheduling as well as formation of the EFCC that has increased accountability and assisted in reducing theft of government funds now freed for development and the conviction of many corrupt of­ficials.

Other gains, he said, were the unbundling of PHCN into 18 successor companies and the successful privatisation of the power sector. “This has taken the power sector out of government budget and now we can calculate the revenue shortfalls in the power market,” he stated.

“The concession of the vari­ous seaports has taken them off government budget and the pri­vate sector has made massive investments that government could not have contemplated. Today, the quantum of cargo has increased tremendously due to the comparative im­provement in processing time,” he added.


Source : SunOnline

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