If Telecoms Sector Crashes, Other Sectors Will Follow, Rewane Warns, Calls For Government Intervention

If Telecoms Sector Crashes, Other Sectors Will Follow, Rewane Warns, Calls For Government Intervention

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane, has called on the Nigerian government to intervene in the Telecoms sector, saying that the fall of this industry will cause an economic fallout in Nigeria.

Rewane said this during a breakfast session hosted by the Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University on June 5, 2024, where key figures from the private sector convened to deliberate on the theme, “Telecom Sector: The Fulcrum for Economic Dynamism in Nigeria,” as he, as the keynote speaker, cautioned that without immediate government intervention, the repercussions could extend far beyond the telecom industry, potentially jeopardising the nation’s economic stability.

In his presentation titled “Nigerian Economy on the Brink, Adapt or Collapse?” Rewane outlined numerous challenges besieging the telecom sector, inclusive of rising inflation, high operating costs, limited access to foreign exchange, regulatory burdens, multiple taxations, and local government extortion.

He then cited MTN’s reported financial loss in 2023 as a stark indicator of the sector’s struggles.

Rewane stated that the situation is having a significant impact on the growth and development of the telecoms sector, and that this may cause the revenue potential from telecoms to begin to drop, which will in turn affect other sectors.

Rewane said, “Big push theory posits that growth in one sector can stimulate growth in others through backward and forward linkages. The telecom sector has both forward and backward linkages to various sectors. This linkage to other sectors is vital for economic growth, innovation, and productivity across various industries making it a key enabler and driver of development in modern economies. If the telecom industry collapses, all other sectors will follow.”

Rewane’s comments were echoed by other notable speakers, including Professor Ali Bongo, who stressed the necessity of government support and deregulation to ensure the sector’s survival. They emphasised the sector’s growth potential, highlighting its 8% outperformance of the GDP growth rate between 2019 and 2023.

The event examined the telecom sector’s indispensable role in Nigeria’s economic development.

Stakeholders urged the government to create an enabling environment to foster the sector’s growth. They warned that without such support, the sector’s decline could severely impact Nigeria’s economic dynamism, innovation, and productivity.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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