Nigeria’s Overpriced Internet Services & Global Internet Value Index

Sonny Aragba-Akpore
Sonny Aragba-Akpore

Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, has seen significant growth in internet connectivity in recent years, but it still ranks low in the global internet value index. According to the index, which measures internet value in countries and regions from 0 to 1, Nigeria ranks 109 out of 117 countries, with an index of 0.0017, 44 times lower than the global average. The index is calculated by dividing each country’s internet speed by internet affordability to determine which countries are overpaying for their internet.

Nigeria’s internet value index is 56 per cent lower than Africa’s average and ranks 12th in Sub-Saharan Africa. Countries such as South Africa and Ghana, which are also considered overpriced, ranked 70th and 105th respectively. Only 4 out of 10 people in the world get their internet at fair prices, while the remaining 61 per cent, living in countries with indices below the global average, overpay for what they get.

The data from Surfshark’s report also reveals that Nigeria is in 16th place in terms of regional position in Africa, with its index lower than the African average. South Africa is the outright leader in Africa, with Egypt ranking second, followed by Morocco. Zimbabwe and Uganda are the lowest-ranking African countries in terms of internet connectivity.

Despite the low ranking, Nigeria has seen significant growth in internet usage in recent years. According to DataReportal, there were 122.5 million active internet users in Nigeria in January 2023, and the penetration rate stood at 55.4 per cent of the total population at the start of the year.

Internet users in Nigeria increased by 2.9 million between 2022 and 2023, indicating growth in adoption, according to Kepios’ analysis.

However, the data from DataReportal also shows that 98.63 million people in Nigeria did not use the internet at the start of 2023, suggesting that 44.6 per cent of the population remained offline. The complexities associated with the collection and analysis of internet user data mean that it can often take several months before research is ready for publication. As a result, the latest published figures for internet use may under-represent the actual adoption and growth rate.

In terms of social media usage, Nigeria was home to 31.60 million social media users in January 2023, equating to 14.3 per cent of the total population. The country also had 193.9 million cellular mobile connections active in early 2023, equivalent to 87.7 per cent of the total population.

Nigeria is one of the ten countries that stand out in terms of internet connectivity in Africa in terms of internet penetration, with 109.2 million internet users as of January 2022, and a penetration rate of a little over 51.0 per cent of the total population. Egypt, with 75.66 million internet users, had a penetration rate of 71.9 per cent of the total population. South Africa had 41.19 million internet users and a penetration of 68.2 per cent of the total population. Morocco had 31.59 million internet users, and penetration rate stood at 84.1 per cent of the total population. Ethiopia had 29.83million internet users and 25 per cent penetration rate, Algeria 27.28million internet users and 60.6 per cent penetration rate, Kenya 23.35million internet users, with a 42 per cent penetration rate, Ghana 16.99 million internet users and a 53 per cent penetration rate, DR Congo 16.50 million internet users and a 17.6 per cent penetration rate and Tanzania with 15.60 million internet users and a 25 per cent penetration rate.

In conclusion, while Nigeria has seen significant growth in internet connectivity and adoption in recent years, the country still ranks low in the global internet value index, indicating that Nigerians are overpaying for the internet they get compared to other countries worldwide. 

However, the country’s high population means there is still room for growth and adoption in the coming years, as more people come online and benefit from the opportunities the internet provides. 

Aragba-Akpore, a communication analyst, wrote in from Abuja. He can be reached on

Sonny Aragba-Akpore
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