Federal Government has reiterated commitment to providing an enabling environment for businesses to succeed, saying that partnerships between the public and private sectors remain the most viable means of bringing prosperity to the masses.
President Muhammadu Buhari, gave the assurance Tuesday as he received the Chairman, MTN Group, Mr. Mcebisi Jonas, and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, at State House, Abuja.
The President said, “I am pleased to hear of the progress you are making in Nigeria, especially in supporting our digital inclusion programs. Your proposed projects, such as the rural telephony project, will surely complement our economic diversification and financial inclusion programs by connecting the producers based in rural areas to consumers located in our major towns and cities”
He said government was looking at ways to increase the level of security across critical national infrastructure, noting that it would guarantee seamless service delivery and also facilitate investments 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 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”