By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, says the regulatory action taken by the Commission to facilitate the listing of MTN Nigeria on the country’s stock exchange market has started yielding economic gains to Nigeria.
A market analysts report released by the NCC on Monday indicates that MTN investors have raked in approximately N1 trillion in price appreciation and dividends since April 2020.
According to the report, Nigerians are all joined in reaping from the investment in terms of boosting market capitalization and yielding dividends to shareholders.
It will be recalled that the listing of MTN was as a result of NCC’s proactive regulatory action taken during the mobile network operator’s fine settlement agreement in 2016, which compelled the telco to, among other things, list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The listing was one of the outcomes of the NCC’s stringent regulatory posture, which served as tonic for other telcos such as Airtel to follow suit.
As an independent telecoms regulatory authority, the NCC, working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), facilitated the landmark listing of the country’s largest telecommunications operator on the bourse.
According to EVC, the action was in line with its mandate to promote investment, create a level-playing field for all licensees, ensure compliance to existing telecoms laws and facilitate delivery of top-notch quality of service (QoS) to consumers.
‘‘Through this proactive regulation and timely intervention by the NCC, which lead to the listing of MTN on the NSE, a new vista of opportunity has been created in the history of telecommunications industry in Nigeria.
“That important regulatory action enabled Nigerians, consistent with the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, to partly, own, manage and control MTN. This bold and courageous regulatory action is now transforming lives and boosting the economy,” the EVC said.
Danbatta also stated that the listing has helped to translate into action, an important objective of the Commission, which is to promote local investment and ownership in the telecom sector.
“With MTN shares available in the capital market, it is expected that Nigerians will buy shares and by purchasing the shares of MTN, they will be financially empowered and be socially transformed,” he added.
On the potentials of the investment, Danbatta said the listing will enable the telecoms companies to raise capital for the expansion of their networks.
“Also, one of the benefits of listing on the NSE is that telcos have enormous opportunity for raising more capital for network expansion, which will, in turn, bring about improvement in the quality of service delivery and quality of experience for telecom consumers.
“|Today, the capital market regulator and shareholder bodies have commended the effort of the NCC in making the capital market more resilient through the Commission’s regulatory action in facilitating telcos listing,” Danbatta said, adding that the listing in the stock exchange will promote liquidity amongst operators, enhance their value as well as promote transparency.
He reiterated the Commission’s commitment to creating the right environment that will attract both Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) and local investment into the telecom industry for increased economic prosperity for Nigerians, through its regulatory policies and actions.