Make forex available to telcos – Airtel tells FG – Today

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Airtel Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to assist telecommunications operators in accessing foreign exchange, saying that some manufacturing companies in the country are already enjoying such privilege.

The telecoms company stated this during a reception held in Lagos to honour the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta.

It also urged the authorities to empower telecoms operators to lead in driving mobile money services in the country.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, said, “Manufacturing firms have been given some privileges. We know that foreign exchange scarcity is affecting so many other sectors, but telcos do not want to be disadvantaged in getting access to foreign exchange. Telecoms firms also manufacture airtime, so we should also be given access to foreign exchange as well.”

Speaking on the need to drive financial inclusion in Nigeria, Ogunsanya said Kenya and Ghana showed better penetration in the area of mobile money services because of the models adopted by both countries.

“So there is need to change the model of mobile money in Nigeria,” he added.

Meanwhile, Danbatta said the NCC had been working with state governments to resolve the indiscriminate shutting of base stations and issues concerning Right of Way.

He urged operators to comply with the ‘Do Not Disturb’ directive, improve their quality of services to reduce drop calls, adding that the commission had the capacity to monitor call success and drop calls.

The reception was organised by the Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria and its President, Mr. Olusola Teniola, spoke on areas such as the proliferation of unlicensed and substandard phones, issues of Right of Way, among other factors, affecting the quality of telecoms services in Nigeria.