The Nigerian government on Thursday lauded the performance of the nation's telecommunications industry in the first quarter of 2016, which it said would even improve in the subsequent quarters of the year.
Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) told a consortium of international investors led by UBS South Africa in Abuja that the telecom industry has been recording positive growth, while other sectors of the economy is recording negative growth.
He said the commission would soon meet with operators over the recent auction of 2.6GHz spectrum, which saw only MTN Nigeria, bid for 6 out of 14 available slots.
"I think we are happy with the level of compliance to regulatory stipulations in general, minus the MTN incident, which cast some sort of shadow in our regulatory derive to ensure sustainability and stability of the industry," he added.
"I am happy, we are putting that one behind us, and this is attested to by recent statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that the industry recorded a growth of 0.5 percent to GDP in comparison to the same period last year," the expert said.
"In monetary terms this is going to translate to over 1.4 trillion naira (over 70 billion U.S. dollars), only in the first quarter of this year," the NCC chief told his audience.
"I think it is poised to grow even further in the subsequent quarters of the year," he said.
He said the commission incorporates elements of flexibility in its dealing with operators, in order to continue to sustain the growth in the sector, which the NCC chief said, has the potential to provide an alternative to oil and gas