Nigeria has recently seen a boost to its economy from increased foreign investments in the telecommunications sector. This is largely due to the successful auctioning of 5G spectrums at the end of 2021 which caused a 129.21% increase in foreign investment from January to November 2022. Leaders in the telecoms industry, such as MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa, have committed significant amounts towards infrastructure development for 4G/5G networks and rural telephony programmes – a total of N613.13bn between them. To roll out 5G across 10 Nigerian cities, these telcos are predicted to need $500m and build 6,000 base stations. The success of this 5G technology has been undeniable, with more investors flowing into the sector as a result. Furthermore, both Federal Government and state level policies aim to create an environment that encourages growth within the industry. It is clear that 5G will be one of the major drivers of economic development and increased investment security across Nigeria in the coming years.
In December 2021, a petition was lodged against 5G tower installation claiming it would be ‘disastrous’ for nearby residents. The tribunal swiftly threw out this petition on grounds of insufficient evidence; further demonstrating how secure investments in this space can be for investors and citizens alike. As 5G continue to roll out across 10 cities within Nigeria, it will bring a host of new jobs and business opportunities along with improved connectivity speeds and quality of service for customers on all telecoms networks. In conclusion, despite initial protestations from local citizens regarding implementation of new 5g towers near their homes, it is evident that widespread implementation of this technology is inevitable; both economically and technologically speaking. The success stories already present within Nigeria’s telecommunications sector demonstrate that continued investment in 5g networks has huge potential for economic development; something which both federal and local governments should continue to strive towards achieving in order to sustain growth over time.
In addition to the direct investment opportunities, Nigeria has also attracted additional foreign investment from tech giants looking to expand their operations in the region. For example, Google is currently working on a $90 million project in Lagos that will create jobs and bring educational opportunities to local citizens. Other large entities such as Microsoft have expressed interest in setting up hubs in Nigeria and investing heavily in the country’s digital infrastructure. With its already thriving tech ecosystem, 5G implementation is set to be a major catalyst for further investments into the Nigerian market by foreign firms. The influx of capital from these companies will no doubt have a positive effect on job creation, economic growth and security of investment within the region.