A mobile telecommunication company in Nigeria, Barthi Airtel has disclosed that it will invest about $700 million additional investment in Nigeria, adding itt has so far invested $4 billion since the company began operations in Nigeria.
This was even as also expressing confidence in President Bola Tinubu’s administration to take the country’s economy to greater heights.
Speaking with State House Correspondents after a meeting with delegation of Airtel’s top management with President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Chairman, Bharti Airtel Worldwide Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal, hailed the decision by Tinubu’s administration to float the naira, adding that the move will unleash foreign investments in the country.
The Airtel founder who was accompanied on the visit by Dr Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, expressed commitment to offer services in Nigeria, just as he lauded the president for making foreign exchange easier to access.
He said the lack of easy access to foreign exchange hitherto experienced by investors had hampered the company from importing critical equipment needed for its operation in the country.
According to him, the worldwide market has applauded naira devaluation and investors are now ready to come into the country.
While noting that Airtel had made just under $4 billion investment since coming into Nigeria, he disclosed the company’s plan to roll out its 5G services, even as he revealed that it would be making an additional investment of $700 million in the next two years.
Mittal stated: “This country has tremendous future; with 220 million young and energetic people and in the next 10 years, the country will be the 3rd largest in the world and with the current steps taken like the floating of naira and taking fuel subsidy out, as well as organising oil production in a better way, I think the future is going to be glorious for this country,” he said.
“We’re already investing about $400 million a year, which has been going on for the last many years. That will of course continue. That is business as usual.
“On top of that, to roll out the 5G and more fibre into the ground and data centres will require more $700 million to get to that outcome.
“So, while there is no exact number I can give you, all I can tell you is $400 million is what we generally invest every year.
“With 5G, the investment is only going to go up for the next two or three years, before it comes back to the same $350, $450 million a year.
“We have invested just under $4 billion since the time we have come into Nigeria.”
While stating that Nigeria is key in Africa, he also noted the role of the country as an economic power house in the continent.
He said without Nigeria, African strategy will not work.
Mittal said he requested the meeting with the President in order to talk about Airtel and India, adding that he was touched by the speed and clarity of mind that the President has exhibited within a short time.
“We have given a standing ovation to the floating of the dollar,” he said, adding that he saw a President that was deeply committed to removing poverty in the country.” Nigerian Pilot