MTN to deepen investment in Nigeria by over R20 billion

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Telecommunications giant MTN [JSE:MTN] announced on Thursday morning that it would make a capital investment of $1.6bn (about R23.5bn at current exchange rates) in Nigeria over the next three years to expand its operations and network in the country.

MTN Group chair and former SA deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas, recently led a delegation to meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Other members of the delegation included MTN Nigeria chair Ernest Ndukwe, group CEO Rob Shuter and MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman. 

Earlier in January, MTN Nigeria withdrew its legal action against Nigeria's Attorney General Nigeria and the Minister of Justice in a matter that saw the Nigerian authorities seek to recover around $2bn in back taxes from the wireless carrier. MTN said it would be dealing with Nigeria's tax authorities instead.

MTN, in a statement, said the investment was a sign of its commitment to Nigeria. 

"We are fully aligned with the strategic agenda of the Nigerian government and are committed to strengthening the digital economy of the country," said Jonas.

Shuter said MTN would continue working on extending access to consumers in Nigeria. "Financial inclusion and access to funding and digital services all become easier when our continent is powered by connectivity. The benefits of a connected continent are far reaching, making a positive impact across Africa."

On Thursday afternoon at 13:30, MTN shares were trading 0.27% up at R81.93 per share.

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