The Nigerian Communications Commission has said the regulatory action taken by it to facilitate the listing of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange has continued to bring economic gains to the country and Nigerians by boosting market capitalisation and yielding dividends to shareholders.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that through the proactive regulation and timely intervention by the commission, which led to the listing of MTN on the NSE, a new vista of opportunity was created in the history of the telecommunications industry in the country.
The NCC said in a statement on Tuesday that market analysts reported that MTN investors had raked in about N1 trillion in price appreciation and dividends since April 2020.
The commission said the listing of MTN was as a result of its effective regulatory action taken during the mobile network operator’s fine settlement agreement in 2016, which compelled the telco to, among other things, list on the NSE.
Danbatta said, “This is in line with its mandate to promote investment, create a level-playing field for all licensees, ensure compliance to existing telecoms laws and facilitate delivery of top-notch quality of service to consumers.
“That important regulatory action enabled Nigerians, consistent with the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, to partly, own, manage and control MTN. This bold and courageous regulatory action is now transforming lives and boosting the economy.”
He said the listing had helped to promote local investment and ownership in the telecom sector.
“With MTN shares available in the capital market, it is expected that Nigerians will buy shares and by purchasing the shares of MTN, they will be financially empowered and be socially transformed,” he said.
According to Danbatta, telecoms is a capital-intensive industry that requires continuous investment, and listing will enable the telecoms companies to raise capital for the expansion of their networks.
“Also, one of the benefits of listing on the NSE is that telcos have enormous opportunity for raising more capital for network expansion, which will, in turn, bring about improvement in the quality of service delivery and quality of experience for telecom consumers,” he said.
He noted that the listing in the stock exchange would promote liquidity among operators, enhance their value and promote transparency.
“The commission is committed, through its regulatory policies and actions, to creating the right environment to attract both Foreign Direct Investment and local investment into the telecom industry for increased economic prosperity for Nigerians,” the EVC said.