IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is extending US $150 million in syndicated loans to support Helios Towers Nigeria as part of an overall $250 million initiative to improve access to telecommunications in Nigeria. The initiative seeks to help Helios Towers Nigeria, or HTN, increase its network to 2,000 shared tower communication sites nationwide.
The IFC's earlier $100 million investment in the initiative was announced in September 2009.
The $150 million investment includes $76 million in loans syndicated to the African Development Bank, FMO of the Netherlands, Germany's DEG, and Proparco of France. It also includes a $30 million loan to Nigeria's First City Monument Bank and a $44 million loan from Cordiant Capital, the Emerging African Infrastructure Fund, and Nedbank of South Africa.
Nigeria's telecommunications sector has developed significantly in recent years, but the country's 43 percent teledensity indicates that growth potential remains. With the expansion of the HTN network, operators will be able to outsource non-core activities and passive infrastructure, allowing them to focus on further developing their products and services.
"Access to quality, affordable mobile telecommunications is essential to development, both in terms of its ability to ease basic communication needs and to increase access to knowledge and services," said Mohsen Khalil, IFC Director for Global Information and Communication Technologies. "By promoting Nigeria's access to mobile infrastructure through HTN's network, IFC seeks to strengthen the country's efforts to better serve its consumers and businesses."