MTN to double spending in Nigeria this fiscal year

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MTN Group said in Johannesburg on Wednesday it would more than double capital spending in Nigeria in the 2016 fiscal year.It said in a presentation posted on its website that it would spend 11.1 billion rand (726.13 million dollars) to upgrade its network in Nigeria.

The figure is substantially higher than nearly 5 billion rand spent last year.

MTN’s plan will see the rollout of 3G network population coverage from 67.23 per cent to about 90 per cent, it said in the presentation.

“The aggressive rollout of fibre to six Nigerian cities by the end of 2016 will enable the connections,’’ it said.

The company also said it expected higher revenues in Nigeria supported by reconnecting subscribers and the introduction of new services in May.

The capital spending is coming days after agreeing to pay a heavily reduced penalty for missing a deadline to deactivate more than 5 million unregistered SIM cards.

Johannesburg-based MTN said on Friday, after months of talks, that it had agreed to pay a heavily reduced fine of 1.7 billion dollars or a third of the initial penalty.

MTN is the largest mobile phone operator in Nigeria with 57 million subscribers, and the country accounts for about a third of its revenues.

Reuters/NAN

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