NCC approves two Infraco licences; as MTN Nigeria plans listing this year

The board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued two additional Infrastructure Company (Infraco) licences pursuant to its drive to deepen broadband penetration in the country.

The two new licencees are Zinox Technology Limited for Southeast and Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited for Northeast. With this approval, the number of Infracos licenced so far is now four.

Over a year ago, MainOne Cable Company Limited had been licenced to provide services in Lagos while IHS got its licence to cover the Northcentral geopolitical zone including Abuja.

The Infraco licences are based on the NCC’s Open Access Model (OAM) in line with the National Broadband Plan (NBP) of (2013 – 2018). By provisions of the NBP, Nigeria is expected to attain 30 percent broadband penetration by 2018.

Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, said as part of the initiative to achieve this, NCC, as the driver of this process, has so far licenced a number of companies to stimulate broadband penetration.


Meanwhile the telecoms operator, MTN Group Limited, is planning to raise about N153bn ($500m) from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business during the first half of this year, fulfilling the terms of a deal struck with the country to settle a record fine, Bloomberg has reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.

The sources pleaded anonymity as the details of the listing had not been made public. Most of the shares will be sold to local institutions and individuals, though foreign investors could be brought in to ensure the process is a success, one of the people said.

Discussions are ongoing and a final decision hasn’t been made, they said. MTN agreed to list the Nigerian unit as part of a June 2016 agreement to pay a $1bn fine for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown.

The penalty, originally set at $5.2bn, led to the resignation of the Johannesburg-based company’s then chief executive officer and a slump in the share price that’s yet to be clawed back.

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