Apart from social problems such as theft, vandalism and community issues bedeviling the deployment of telecom infrastructure and ultimately, boost services in Nigeria, a telecom expert, Mr. Wole Abu has also identified the government’s bureaucracy as a challenge.

Mr. Wole, who spoke to BUSINESS METRICS in an interview, noted that while operators can quickly work around and sort out with communities, government agencies who issue permits do not work at the same pace. Thus, slow down the deployment of infrastructure.

“One of the challenges to quick deployment is the government angle. We can work quickly and fast but you have government offices that do not work at the same pace. Even when our customers, for example, really want tower facilities in a particular place, and you manage to go round the landlord issues and the community issues, you still have the Government Issue to deal with because without the government’s permits, you run the risk of sanctions but some of these permits do not come at the right time,” Wole Abu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Pan African Towers Limited, an indigenous infrastructure company in the African telecoms market said.

He also believes that the evils of multiple taxations, unfavourable or harsh government policies, forex scarcity and lack of long-term capital for investment in infrastructure in local currency are notable challenges that have drawn the industry backward.

While asking for a more collaborative effort by government and other stakeholders to address these challenges, Wole emphasized that it is all these challenges that are left to different interpretations in Nigeria that is creating the problem.


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