from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – NIGERIA has recorded a 6-percent growth in broadband internet subscription over the past year, indicating broadband penetration rate of 47 percent.
However, on a monthly basis, growth was flat.
The flattish month-on-month (m/m) growth breaks a downward trend that began in March 2023, except for a slight increase (0,3 percent m/m) in May this year.
According to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), mobile internet connection accounts for over 99 percent of Nigeria’s broadband base, mainly due to the ease and low cost of acquiring mobile lines.
“Consequently, the flattish m/m growth in broadband subscriptions can be partly attributed to the slight pick-up in the number of active mobile lines in July 2023,” FBN Quest explained.
One of the objectives of NCC, as stated in the Strategic Vision Plan (2023 – 2025) report is to facilitate the deployment of fixed-line infrastructure to boost extensive broadband services in the West African country.
Additionally, it also plans to ensure internet services are readily accessible and affordable for consumers.
NCC’s drive to deepen broadband penetration in the country was hailed as a positive development, given its potential effects on economic activity, particularly in sectors like e-commerce and finance technology.
For context, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that a 10-percent increase in broadband penetration will lead to additional gross domestic product growth (GDP) of 2 percent and 1,8 percent for low- and middle-income countries, respectively.
However, multiple headwinds, such as, the foreign exchange scarcity, downward adjustment of the naira, and security concerns, especially in rural areas poses significant risks to the actualisation of the commission’s broadband objective.
Moving forward, FBN Quest forecast the continuous roll-out of 5G networks by telecom operators to accelerate broadband penetration in Nigeria, the continent’s biggest nation by population of 220 million, and largest economy.
– CAJ News