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Telecoms business thrived in Nigeria because of Obasanjo - Dangote

Telecoms business thrived in Nigeria because of Obasanjo - Dangote

- Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has said that former president Olusegun Obasanjo's initiative made telecoms business thrive in Nigeria

- He said that the telecoms industry wouldn't have been successful in Nigeria if not for the tax holiday Obasanjo gave the companies

- The businessman said Obasanjo was very creative for such initiative during his administration

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said the telecoms business in Nigeria thrived because of the initiative of ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo.

He made this statement at a business conference organised by the Gateway Partners in Singapore. The video of the conference was posted on Youtube and Facebook on Tuesday, April 10, Punch reports.

Dangote said that government policies could either help businesses to grow or kill them, adding that it took the creativity of Obasanjo to give telecoms companies a tax holiday before they could make profit.

He added: “The telecoms industry wouldn’t have been successful especially in Nigeria when they came in. In Nigeria, we have a tax rule in which we don’t offer any tax holiday or any incentive to services but President Obasanjo was very creative. That is the truth, not because he is here. I didn’t even know that he was here.

“There was a claim that there would not be any profitability and he said you know what, ‘I am going to give you a five-year tax holiday’ even though it was not in the tax law but as a president he had the prerogative of approving a tax holiday which he did and that was what even allowed them to come in because the calculation was that the entire country, both land and mobile, we had 500,000 lines in 2000 and today, you are talking about 147 million lines.

“So, it depends on the government of the day, it depends on what you can convince them to do and what they are trying to do.”

Meanwhile, previously reported that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, dismissed media reports that South Africa had overtaken Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy.

The report which downgraded Nigeria’s economy below that of South Africa, stated that the change in status of both countries was attributed to the appreciation of the rand, South Africa’s currency, and the devaluation of the Nigerian naira.

The report added that the rand has gained more than 16 per cent against the US currency since the start of 2016; while in contrast, Nigeria’s naira had lost more than a third of its value.

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