Telecom Sector’s Survival Depends On Gov’t Support — Experts 

Nigeria’s economic experts and stakeholders in the telecom industry have warned that the sector’s decline could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s economic growth and development, if government do not intervene.

Stakeholders gave the warning at a breakfast session hosted by the Lagos Business School at Pan-Atlantic University as leading voices in the private sector gathered to discuss the theme, “Telecom Sector: The Fulcrum for Economic Dynamism in Nigeria”.

Keynote speaker and CEO of Financial Derivatives, Bismarck Rewane, emphasised the telecom sector’s critical role in driving economic growth, innovation, and productivity across various industries.

Rewane, in his presentation titled, “Nigerian Economy on the Brink, Adapt or Collapse?”, highlighted the sector’s challenges, including rising inflation, high operating costs, limited access to foreign exchange, regulatory burdens, multiple taxations, and state and local government extortions.

He stressed that the challenges were threatening the sector’s growth and development, citing MTN’s reported loss in the 2023 financial year.

Rewane emphasised that the current situation was having a detrimental impact on the sector’s growth and development, warning that the revenue potential from telecoms may start falling, leading to a ripple effect on other sectors.

“Big push theory posits that growth in one sector can stimulate growth in others through backward and forward linkages. The telecom sector has both forward and backward linkages to various sectors. This linkage to other sectors is vital for economic growth, innovation, and productivity across various industries, making it a key enabler and driver of development in modern economies. If the telecom industry collapses, all other sectors will follow,” he added.

Other notable speakers, including Prof. Ali Bongo, who echoed Rewane’s sentiments, stressing the need for government support and deregulation to ensure the sector’s survival.

They highlighted the sector’s growth potential, citing its eight per cent outperformance of GDP growth rate between 2019 and 2023.

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