Nigeria to reduce deficit with 5G spectrum sales

07 October 2022

Nigeria’s federal government expects to earn 500 billion naira from telecom frequency spectrum for 5G in 2023, according to Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), during an interactive meeting hosted by the Senate Finance Committee on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Papers.

The funds will be generated from the auction of two 5G spectrums, with the bidding process for the auction starting in 2023. The NCC made 318 billion naira in the second quarter of 2022, up from 257 billion in the first quarter. The growth has been attributed to payments from MTN and Mafab Communications, for financial obligations relating to 5G spectrum that they won back in December 2021.

According to recent reports, falling revenues from oil are being replaced by the telecommunications sector. The ICT contributed 18.44% of Nigeria’s real GDP in the second quarter of 2022. The 500 billion naira expected from 5G spectrum in 2023 should allow the government to significantly reduce the projected 2023 budget deficit. The overall expenditure planned by the government for the 2023 financial year stands at 19.7 trillion naira, for a budget deficit between 11.3 trillion and 12.41 trillion naira.