Recently, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that the current number of active mobile subscriptions in the country reached about 222,571 million in December 2022 and a Teledensity of 116.60 per cent as of December 2022.
It was further revealed how the Internet subscribers have exceeded 154.8 million with broadband penetration standing at 47.36 percent as of December 2022.
These cheery statistics were shared by no less than the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who made the disclosure during the NCC Special day at the 44th Kaduna International Trade Fair organized annually by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Industry (KADCCIMA)
Prof. Danbatta who was represented by Banji Ojo, Head of Consumer Protection and Advocacy of the NCC, said over the years, the NCC has continued to be a strategic partner of KADCCIMA, as the Commission leverages the trade fair platform to engage telecoms consumers and business owners, who are based in North and have been relying on digital platforms for carrying out their daily personal and official activities in a more efficient and effective manner.
“The Commission recognizes the fact that the telecommunications sector has been a strategic driver of the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government, as it continues to provide the needed digital stamina to support the economy, especially the activities of the SMEs across Nigeria and beyond.
“Information Communications Technology (ICT) is not only one of the fastest growing industries – directly creating millions of jobs – but it is also an important enabler of innovation and development, as it provides the backbone infrastructure for transnational business.
“Hence, in line with the Digital Literacy and Skills Pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, for a Digital Nigeria, the Commission embarked on digital literacy training for entrepreneurs across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
"The aim was to equip small-scale business owners with the requisite skills and to generate ideas for the development of products and services that can be exported.
“NCC’s regulatory efforts in deepening access to digital services will benefit Nigeria and make it competitive compared with other economies in the areas of job creation; contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth; the emergence of new services and industries; workforce transformation; and business innovation.”
“It is in our response to ensuring that Nigeria is competitive in all these areas that Commission continuously puts a number of regulatory measures in place to ensure seamless access by Nigerians to telecommunications services in order to deepen competitiveness of the Nigerian economy by making our SMEs digitally compliant.
“In Nigeria today, the number of active mobile subscriptions reached about 222,571 million in December 2022 and Teledensity of 116.60 percent as of December 2022.
"Also, Internet subscribers have exceeded 154.8 million with broadband penetration standing at 47.36 per cent as of December 2022.
"In this new environment, the competitiveness of Nigeria’s SMEs, for instance, depends on their ability to leverage new technologies by acquiring the necessary digital skills to do business on an international scale.
“The steady growth of the telecoms sector over the years with its pervasive positive impact on all other sectors of the economy in terms of increased automation of processes and digital transformation in service delivery has been remarkable.
"This, however, would not have been possible without you, telecoms consumers who are using the services daily.
“To sustain this, therefore, the NCC continues to create a conducive environment that stimulates deployment of robust telecoms/broadband infrastructure for improving the quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) for telecoms consumers, be it individuals or corporates.
"This is because, as a country, we need robust telecoms infrastructure that will help our SMEs to transit to becoming Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-driven if we hope to be digitally competitive on the global stage,” he said.
It has been mouthed at various fora that the average Nigerian pays so much to sustain their telecommunication and Internet needs compared to subscribers elsewhere in the world.
At the time of this report, it could not be verified to what extent this allegation is true.
However, one thing that is true is the fact that many Nigerians groan under cut-throat service rates for GSM and data usage.
Elsewhere in the economics of things, demand and supply considerations are usually balanced on the basis of the demand volumes.
All things being equal, applying economy of scale to NCC's 222m and 154m respective active mobile and Internet subscribers ought to drive down the subscription rates drastically.
It only takes the right will and win-win disposition on the part of the service providers to make things right.
The service providers in Nigeria only appear operating from the winner-takes-it-all outlook. This is wrong!
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