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HomeBusinessCovid-19: Nigeria's telecoms firms seek government intervention funding

Covid-19: Nigeria’s telecoms firms seek government intervention funding

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The Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has canvassed the creation of telecoms financing by the government to help the sector cushion the negative effects covid-19 on the telecoms businesses.

Nigerian government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced various intervention funds to stimulate economic growth and support various sectors of the economy after the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The newly elected executive members of ATCON led by its President Ikechukwu Nnamani said part of the focus of the new exco, would be to pursue telecoms financing for all members.

He said a lot of members have complained about the challenges of getting debt-to-equity access and foreign exchange for those that require importation of technology equipment.

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“Setting up funds for telecoms financing is one major agenda the newly inaugurated exco will handle.

“We need funds either through a Telecoms Bank set up by government or a dedicated fund outside of Telecoms Bank will suffice.

“Banks say they can finance telecoms operations but they offer loans at high interest rate, which will not help the growth of telecoms business. So we need a dedicated funding of telecoms operations by the federal government, so that both small and big operators can benefit from the funding.

“Again we will position our members in such a way that they can attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to telecoms business.

“It will help them expand their sources of funds and not relying only on local inflow of funds. I am saying this because telecoms operation is capital intensive and we need funds to remain in business,” Nnamani said.

Nnamani said: “We are challenged by the adverse effect of COVID-19 pandemic, but again, the challenge spur us into action to become more innovative and today a lot of technology innovation can be seen in our tech space.

“For example, the COVID-19 pandemic made us to suddenly realise that the services of our initial five years plan are needed now and we have to wake up to that reality. So there is a need to accelerate the timeline to provide the critical infrastructure that is needed in today’s new normal, brought about by COVID-19.”

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