Leading mobile phone manufacturers, Nokia and Motorola, would soon establish plants for the manufacturing and assembling of mobile phone handsets and other accessories in Nigeria.The plants were to be established under a special partnership arrangement between the Nigerian government and the foreign investors.

This was disclosed during the 5th International Telecommunications Strategic Conference held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.The country's minister of communications, Femi Anibaba, said the government realised the need to cultivate local content in the sector to ensure rapid growth in Nigeria and other African countries.

A Chinese firm, ZTE, has already established a hand terminal manufacturing plant in Abuja with an initial capacity to manufacture one thousand handsets per day.Anibaba said the conference would serve as an important avenue to showcase Africa's potentials in telecommunications and pave the way for foreign direct investments.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's leading GSM operator, MTN, on Tuesday slashed its major airtime rate cut for its subscribers.The changes included free late night calls and other special offers targeted at all categories of users on the MTN network.