from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – INTERNET subscriptions in Nigeria have declined significantly over the past year after the government’s temporary ban on the sale and activation of new subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.
Data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows internet subscriptions at 139,9 million in August.
This represents a 6,3 percent year-on-year decline.
However, as pointed out by FBN Nigeria, this represents the first month-on-month increase (0,4 percent).
The increase is the first in eight months.
MTN Nigeria has the largest market share (41,9 percent) with 58,6 million internet subscribers. 9mobile (formerly Etisalat), Airtel and Globacom are the other operators.
The monthly decline began in December 2020 when the ban was announced.
The embargo on the registration of new SIM cards was intended to enable the NCC to carry out a comprehensive audit of Nigeria’s subscriber registration database.
This was to crack down on multiple SIM registrations and fraudulent sales.
The ban was lifted in April 2021.
Nigeria is regarded as the biggest telecoms market in Africa, with a teledensity of 99,18 percent as of the end of August 2021.
FBN noted this is based on a population estimate of 190 million.
Nigeria’s population however is believed to be 212 million, the biggest in the continent.
National accounts show that telecommunications grew by 5,9 percent yearly in the second quarter of this year and contributed 14,4 percent to the GDP of Africa’s largest economy.
President Muhammadu Buhari in September approved the deployment of 5G network. The deployment is scheduled for January 2022.
– CAJ News