FX scarcity: Telecom operators seek CBN special intervention

Telecom operators in the country under the aegis of Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) have decried the impact of foreign exchange scarcity on their operations, and also seeking for a special intervention from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Speaking recently, President of ATCON, Ikechukwu Nnamani stated that the association is in active collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to hasten the process of securing special consideration from the apex bank.

He said the inability of the telecom operators to source FX from the official window is compelling operators to patronize the black market, leading to increased costs which, under normal circumstances should be passed on to consumers through price increases.

Despite the covid-19 induced economic headwinds which impacted many sectors negatively, the telecommunications sector proved to be a bright spot at the period of uncertainty and even beyond.

The sector recorded real growth of 15.90 percent in 2020 (vs GDP growth of -1.92 percent) and 7.7 percent in Q1 2021 (vs GDP growth of 0.51 percent).

This performance was driven by the increased use of digital channels for daily routine activities from telecommuting to social engagements. On the flip side, the sector has been plagued by several challenges including FX constraints, eroding consumer purchasing power, and insecurity.

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