Etisalat Nigeria vows $1 billion investment over next two years

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An etisalat Nigeria poster. The company says it will challenge a penalty imposed by the country's telecom regulator over bad service. Photo - etisalat Nigeria

Etisalat Nigeria said it is committed to spending $1 billion on its telecoms infrastructure over the next two years, despite getting slapped with a ban by the local regulator due to poor quality of service, its chief executive said.

“We have invested $2 billion since we entered the market in Nigeria over the past four years, and we are investing another $500 million in infrastructure this year,” Steven Evans told on Thursday. “We are going to invest another $500 million next year.”

According to an Etisalat Nigeria spokeswoman, the regulator warned it would charge an additional $15,630 daily until it received the payment $2.25 million.

Earlier this month, Nigeria’s telecoms watchdog handed down fines to etisalat Nigeria citing the poor service quality of operators, along with India’s Bharti Airtel, local operator Globacom and South Africa’s MTN.

Etisalat said the performance targets set by the regulator are unclear and seem willing to risk mounting penalties to put their case. Reports said all operators are yet to pay the fines.

“It’s very important for our shareholders, who are investing this money, to feel that the regime as far as quality of services, is very clear and very well documented. Taking into account the challenges we face due to lack of power,” Evans said adding the company’s other major shareholder is Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi government owned investment fund, which holds a 30% stake. The rest of the company is controlled by Nigerian investors.

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