IFC INVESTS USD100M IN MTN NIGERIA
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided a USD100,000,000 (about N137bn) to MTN Nigeria as a long term debt and equity financing to expand its nationwide GSM cellular telephone network in Nigeria.
The MTN investment, according to its executive vice president, Peter Woicke who handed over a Diamond Bank cheques for the USD100 million loan to Mr. Pascal Dosie, the chairman, MTN Nigeria in a ceremony in Abuja last, is one of IFC’s largest in the telecommunications sector and the second largest investment in sub-saharan Africa.
The investment is part of a USD395 million financing package comprising a local currency syndicate that includes Nigerian banks and senior loans from IFC, standard chartered merchant bank, DEG and FMO. The total financing package, according to IFC officials, has been arranged by Citigroup (London) and Standard bank (London) to support MTN Nigeria’s $1.3 billion capital expenditure programme.
Peter Woicke said IFC was delighted to support the project. He then added: "Linearization of the mobile telephone sector is revolutionizing telecommunications, improving service quality, and expanding access to previously under-served parts of the population. The project clearly demonstrates that successful reforms will attract institutions such as IFC, as well as the private sector," he said.
While expressing optimism over the loan facility, the chairman, MTN Nigeria, Pascal Dozie, said inadequate infrastructure, especially in the area of power generation and distribution has continued to pose a challenge to the deployment of the MTN network.
In consequence, he said, "we must erect generators alongside all of our installations and in addition source diesel for these installations, many of which are in rural communities that are difficult to reach.