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Nigeria Witnesses Surge in Active Voice, Internet Subscriptions

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…Alters Telecom Indicators to Reflect Latest Population Figures

The executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Aminu Maida
The executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Aminu Maida.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced a continuous rise in active voice and internet subscriptions in a recent release of updated telecommunications statistical indicators.

This adjustment comes in tandem with a drop in teledensity, aligning with international best practices and incorporating the latest population growth figures.

The NCC’s statistical reports for September, October and November 2023, now available on the commission’s website, incorporate the Nigerian Population Commission’s (NPC) projection of Nigeria’s population, currently standing at 216,783,381 as of 2022. This figure supersedes the previously utilised 2017 projection of 190 million people.

The recalibration, based on the new population estimate, leads to a decline in teledensity from 115.63 per cent to 102.30 per cent in September. Similarly, broadband penetration sees a decrease from 45.47 per cent to 40.85 per cent in the same month. However, active voice subscriptions show marginal growth, edging from 220,361,186 to 221,769,883 in September 2023. Internet subscriptions also experience a slight uptick, rising from 159,034,717 in August 2023 to 160,171,757 in September 2023.

Moving to October 2023, the industry registers a 0.19 per cent growth in active voice subscriptions, while teledensity settles at 102.49 per cent. Internet subscriptions witness a 0.60% increase compared to September 2023.

In November 2023, the trend continues with a 0.46 per cent growth in active voice subscriptions, and teledensity stands at 102.97 per cent. Internet subscriptions grow by 0.57 per cent compared to October 2023.

Teledensity, a crucial index outlined by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), reflects telephone penetration per 100 individuals in the population.

The adjustment aligns with Section 89 Subsection 3(d) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which mandates the Commission to monitor and report on the state of the Nigerian telecommunications industry, providing statistical analysis and identifying trends in services, tariffs, operators, technology, subscribers and competition-related issues.

The executive vice-chairman of the NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida asserted that this recalibration is a vital step to maintain the integrity of data related to the Nigerian telecom industry. He emphasises that accurate measurement is essential for assessing the commission’s progress in achieving goals outlined in the Strategic Plan for the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and digital economy, including increased broadband penetration rates, improved service quality and expanded population coverage.

Maida emphasised that such accurate data not only serves the International Telecommunications Union and other development agencies but also provides valuable information for operators, investors, multilateral agencies and the public at large.

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