NIGERIA – The Pan African Towers (PAT) and a Canadian firm, WATT Renewable Corporation, have signed an infrastructure investment financing agreement to address the energy needs of Nigeria’s telecoms industry.
Chief Operating Officer and founder, WATT Renewable Corporation, Oluwole Eweje, said the agreement is an infrastructure based partnership in which WATT will provide power supply to the tower firm, reports BIztech Africa.
Eweje said power accounts for about 70% of the firm’s operating cost (opex), adding that the mandate of WATT is to provide between 40 and 50% savings on opex.
“So part of what we are doing is we are using a combination of technology and conventional energy sources to provide power to offtaker which is PAT,” Eweje said on the sideline of the signing ceremony in Lagos.
He said investors have committed to spending about US$20.06 million on the project that will connect businessess across the country to power.
Sherisse Alexander, Director Investor Relations at WATT Renewable Corporation, highlighted that PAT will benefit not only on its business model but also in terms of providing it with mini-grids that will be deployed.
She noted that this will subsequently result into growth socio-communities growth as businesses operating within the communities benefit from the connectivity.
Additionally, Pan African Towers Limited’s chief executive, Wole Abu, said that this denotes a significant milestone in the firm’s pursuit of innovation, service delivery.
According to him, the investment will steer a reduction in OPEX and improve end user experience of service quality. According to him, 70 per cent of problems associated with service quality could be traced to power related disruptions.
“Quality of service, I am sure you suffer from one challenge or the other. Do you know that 70 per cent those drop calls can be traced to disruptions either they ran out of diesel or the generator has a problem or they stole the generator,” he said.
PAT said it has mapped out a strategic growth plan to acquire and manage to lease over 2000 towers in the next twelve months in Nigeria and three other African countries.
PAT, which prides itself as innovative player in the market has concluded arrangements to grow its initial tower portfolio from an existing 850 towers to 2000 towers across the West African sub-region, with most of the discussions at advanced stages.