No foreign currency for Nigeria

04 November 2022

Nigerian telecom operators have been struggling to gain access to foreign currency since the start of the year, slowing down investment in network infrastructure. The situation has been criticized by Gbenga Adebayo, president of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

“Virtually everything we use in the sector depends on imports. You talk about base station equipment, generators and batteries, among other things. But the impossibility of obtaining foreign exchange has an impact not only on the expansion, but also on the upgrading of existing infrastructure,” said Adebayo.

ALTON members have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prioritize their access to foreign exchange amid the continuing worsening shortage, which is now affecting all sectors of the economy.

“Now that we are rolling out 5G, operators need access to currencies if the service is to expand. Many members are struggling, they cannot fulfil this obligation,” said Adebayo.