The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed Orange Group is planning to carve out a piece of the Nigerian market for itself despite the country already having four operators, building on the growth it gained in other African units.
In a statement, the NCC detailed that Orange sent a six-person team from its Middle East and Africa division led by non-executive Victoria Adefala to analyse the market opportunities in the country.
“We are here to ensure steady investment for the long term. We also want to support the vision of the Commission in driving broadband penetration for a robust digital economy and leverage on local content development initiatives,” said Adefala.
Nigeria is a missing piece in the Orange portfolio highlighting its potential said Adefala.
“The large market potentials buoyed by the huge population, impressive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figure, proximity to our operations in the neighbouring African countries, as well as the appreciable friendly operating environment are great motivators for our expansion plan into the Nigerian telecom market,” she said.
Orange has over 140 million connections across its 17 African markets and a single Middle East presence in Jordan.
Orange Africa director of regulatory affairs Jean Chalhoub was also present to iron out policy issues to speed up the group’s entry into the country. NCC chief executive Umar Danbatta assured Orange it has the “full support” of the government to enter the market which will be showcased in several government initiatives.
Orange said in a statement to Developing Telecoms: "We are looking to continue to develop our activities on the African continent to strengthen our position as one of the leading operators. As part of this, we are looking at the options available in several markets, including Nigeria. In such a case, we examine a variety of scenarios across all our areas of expertise, however, in the case of Nigeria, no specific project is on the table to date. In line with the Orange Group's prudent acquisition policy, we will study any opportunity that will create value both for the Group and for the local market.”
Nigeria already has four major network operators MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9Mobile. Orange Middle East and Africa division has proven to be a bright spot in financial quarters this year for the group.