Foreign capital investment into the telecoms industry rose by 725 per cent from 2018 to 2019. The latest capital importation report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that foreign capital investment in the sector grew by $829.62m in one year. Analyses of the report showed that in 2018, the telecom sector foreign investment was valued at $114.43m, the lowest annual investment in the sector in more than five years but it increased to $944.05m in 2019.
A breakdown of the quarter by quarter foreign capital inflow in 2018 showed that telecoms attracted $87.25m in Q1; $11.12m in Q2; $11.42m in Q3; and $4.64m in Q4. However, in the first quarter of 2019, the foreign investors pitched $32.35m in the sector in Q1; $4.5m in Q2; N886.03m in Q3; and $21.17m in Q4. Invest. In 2018, telecoms sectors fell into the ninth place in terms of the value of investment it attracted as more funds were pitched into shares, banking, financing, services, production, agriculture, trading and oil and gas sectors.
The sector had the fifth-highest investment in the country in 2019 after the banking sector, which had $7,658.49m; financing which attracted $6,281.21m; shares with $5,335.30m and production which attracted $1,297.32m in the same year. Industry analysts said the bulk of the investment in the sector went towards the procurement of equipment, which was not readily available in the country.
The President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Olusola Teniola, explained that during periods when the sector experienced mergers, acquisition, and consolidation, there was huge capital inflow into the country.