L-R: Executive Vice President of Communications, Mr Colby Synesael; President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and IHS Towers’ Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Mr Ayotade Oyinlola in a private session at a side event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
IHS Towers, one of the largest independent owners, operators and developers of shared communications infrastructure in the world, has said its operations have earned Nigeria a very strong foothold in the global telecommunications market. The company made the assertion after the meeting it held with His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), New York recently.
The Executive Vice President (EVP), and Chief HR Officer, Mr Ayotade Oyinlola of IHS Towers, said the company’s story epitomises the potential of Nigerian companies on the global stage.
“In an era where connectivity serves as the lifeblood of societies and economies, IHS Towers stands as a beacon of success, demonstrating how a company that started in Nigeria can expand to become a global powerhouse. In a little over two decades, IHS has evolved into a multinational telecom infrastructure giant with operations in 11 countries across three continents and impacting the lives of over 750 million people.”
He noted that, despite the company’s expansive global footprint, which includes a remarkable global tower count of nearly 40,000 across Nigeria, Brazil, Cameroun, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Kuwait, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Zambia, the company proudly maintains its Nigerian identity.
The EVP of Communications, Mr Colby Synesael further informed President Tinubu that IHS Towers plays the role of a global corporate ambassador building investor confidence internationally.
“As the fifth-largest independent multinational tower company globally in terms of tower count, IHS exemplifies efficiency and scale. The company made history by becoming the first Nigerian-rooted company to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2021, which symbolises Nigeria’s immense potential on the world stage, fostering global investor engagement, and playing a significant role in educating international investors on the advantages of investing in Nigeria,” he stressed.
Mr Synesael listed some of the achievements the company has recorded which have made it a significant bedrock within the telecommunications value chain in the country to include lowering entry barriers and enhancing cost-effectiveness for telecommunications stakeholders.
“IHS’s substantial investments in passive infrastructure, including leasing tower space to providers, such as mobile network operators and internet service providers, has effectively lowered entry barriers and enhanced cost-effectiveness, enabling these providers to expand their operations. Also, with the ownership of over 16,000 towers in Nigeria and the deployment of 6,500 kilometres of metro optic fibre across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), IHS has facilitated the expansion of telecom services, ensuring that more Nigerians have access to connectivity than ever before.”
According to him, these giant strides have led to a diverse portfolio of services including optic fibre connectivity, rural telephony, and cutting-edge solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Edge Data Centre thereby bridging the digital divide and ensuring connectivity for all.
Mr Oyinlola noted various other contributions the company is making towards the growth and development of the country. Some of these contributions include being part of the telecommunications sector’s 16.06 percent contribution to the country’s GDP, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics; job creation including over 1,100 direct employees and an additional 40,000 indirect employees, including contractors spanning diverse sectors like power/energy utility, logistics, real estate, oil and gas, civil engineering, and core telecommunications in Nigeria.
On the corporate social responsibility sphere, the IHS Towers’ Mission T project has provided digital learning opportunities to over 550,000 students, equipping them with essential digital skills for the future. Furthermore, its collaboration with UNICEF on the School Connectivity project has impacted the lives of 70,000 Nigerian students across 187 schools in 15 states.
Also, according to the company, it has been at the forefront of advocating for sustainable, green energy solutions. In 2022 alone, the company dedicated a substantial investment of over $100 million to its Project Green initiative. This initiative is geared towards reducing carbon emissions across IHS Towers’ extensive network of over 16,000 sites in Nigeria by a commendable 50 percent by the year 2030.