IHS Towers, one of the largest independent owners, operators and developers of shared communications infrastructure in the world by tower count, has said its operations have earned Nigeria a 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) in New York recently.
IHS Towers’ Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Ayotade Oyinlola, said the company’s story epitomizes 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 communications infrastructure leader with operations in 11 countries across three continents, which have a combined population of approximately 780 million people.”
He noted that, despite the company’s expansive global footprint, which includes a remarkable global tower count of nearly 40,000 towers across Nigeria, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Kuwait, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zambia, the company proudly maintains its Nigerian identity.
IHS Towers’ Executive Vice President of Communications, Colby Synesael further stated that IHS Towers plays the role of a global corporate ambassador seeking to build 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 one of the largest Africa-related IPOs on US capital markets through its listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2021.”
Synesael listed some of the company’s recorded achievements which have made IHS a significant bedrock within the communications value chain in Nigeria.
“IHS’ substantial investments in passive infrastructure, including leasing tower space to providers, such as mobile network operators and internet service providers, has effectively lowered barriers to entry and enhanced cost-effectiveness, enabling these providers to expand their operations. With the ownership of over 16,000 towers in Nigeria and the deployment of over 8,800 kilometers of optic fiber across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), IHS has facilitated the expansion of communications services, providing Nigerians with more access to connectivity than ever before.”
According to Synesael, this has pushed IHS Towers to focus on a diverse portfolio of services including optic fiber connectivity, rural telephony and cutting-edge solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Edge Data Centers, thereby bridging the digital divide and ensuring connectivity for all.
In his remarks, Oyinlola noted various other contributions the company is making towards the growth and development of Nigeria. Some of which include being part of the telecommunications sector’s 16.06% contribution to the country’s GDP, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics. IHS Nigeria directly employs over 1,100 individuals throughout the country and an additional approximate 40,000 employees indirectly, including contractors spanning various sectors such as power/energy utility, logistics, real estate, oil and gas, civil engineering, and core telecommunications in Nigeria.
In terms of sustainability, IHS’ Mission T project has provided digital learning opportunities to over 550,000 students in Nigeria, equipping them with essential digital skills for the future. Furthermore, its collaboration with UNICEF on the School Connectivity Project has impacted the lives of approximately 70,000 Nigerian students across 187 schools in 15 states.
Additionally, according to IHS, it has been at the forefront of advocating for sustainable, green energy solutions. In 2022 alone, the company dedicated a substantial investment of over $200 million to its Project Green initiative, the next significant step in its Carbon Reduction Roadmap. Announced in October 2022, the Carbon Reduction Roadmap provides a comprehensive strategy for decreasing IHS Towers’ emissions, including a goal to reduce the Scope 1 and Scope 2 kilowatt-hour emissions intensity of its tower portfolio by 50% by 2030.