COVID-19: Nigerian telecoms attract only $417.48 million in investments, 55.7% drop in 2020


The Nigerian Telecom industry attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth over $417.48 million in 2020, down from over N942.86 million in 2019. This represents a 55.7% decrease in the worth of investments attracted by the sector.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) via its 2020 subscriber/network data report.

What NCC is saying

NCC’s report stated, “Capital Inflow (Foreign Direct Investment) into the Nigerian Telecoms Industry in Year 2020 was approximately (USD 417,481,615.30) Four Hundred and Seventeen Billion Four Hundred and Eighty-One Million Six Hundred and Fifteen Million US Dollars Thirty cents.

“This is against USD 942, 863,833.96 (Nine Hundred and Forty-Two Million Eight Hundred and Sixty-Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Three US Dollars and Ninety-Six Cents as at Year 2019.”

What you should know about the decline

The apex regulator attributed this development to the COVID-19 pandemic, which it claimed affected global activities negatively.

“The decline in capital importation was largely attributed by the Operators to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that distorted global businesses and impacted businesses negatively.

“CAPEX (domestic investment) stood at N408, 151,627,158.62 as at Year 2020 based on submissions from responsive Licensees. The CAPEX investment declined by 18.62% due to probably challenges of the global pandemic in Year 2020,” it added.

In case you missed it

The report also stated that Nigerians spent about N1.77 trillion on national calls and short messages in 2020.

NCC had put total outgoing local and national traffic at 150,825,830,687.40 minutes.

The average tariff charged by the mobile networks was N11.5. This puts the total cost of outgoing calls on the mobile networks during the period at N1.73 trillion.

According to the NCC, the total number of national SMS sent was 8,223,933,975.02. The NCC had pegged the cost of SMS at N4. Therefore, the cost of sent SMS within the period totalled N32.89 billion.

The total outgoing local and national traffic was 150,825,830,687.40 minutes, while total incoming local and national traffic was 151,871,687,402.67 minutes.


* MTN Nigeria had the highest total outgoing and incoming traffic of 103,531,547,686 and 105,473,566,557 minutes respectively.

* Airtel had total outgoing and incoming traffic of 41,888,554,009.00 and 41,869,399,065.00 minutes respectively.

* Globacom had total outgoing and incoming traffic of 758,717,879.40 and 128,255.78 minutes respectively, while 9mobile had total outgoing and incoming traffic of 3,522,412,570.00 and 4,415,048,371.89 minutes respectively.

* SMILE had total outgoing and incoming traffic of 328,751,159.00 and 48,532,478.00 minutes respectively. NTEL had total outgoing and incoming traffic of 795,847,384.00 and 65,012,675.00 minutes respectively.


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