• Features
  • Updated: June 08, 2023

Nigeria's Mixed Economic Fortunes And Effects On Mobile Subscriptions

Nigeria's Mixed Economic Fortunes And Effects On Mobile Subs

Mobile Subscriptions Shrink

Recent qualitative surveys have shown how Nigeria’s mobile subscriptions shrank by 3.49 million in the last three months, leaving a dent in the country’s march toward mobile inclusion for all.

Recall that mobile subscriptions hit an all-time high of 226.84 million in February of this year and have been on a steady decline ever since.

Financial literacy pundits have attempted to link these dwindling fortunes to turbulence in both the economy and polity occasioned by the recent CBN's cash swap policy and the vagaries of the recent presidential and gubernatorial elections' results in the country.

First, it dropped to 225.82 million in March, before slumping further to 223.34 million, according to new industry data from the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Again, recall that since June 2021, this is the first time that mobile subscriptions have fallen consistently.

Strangely, between 2020 and 2021, a Federal Government policy to link SIMs to National Identification Numbers affected the mobile industry and caused a steep decline in mobile subscriptions.

However, since then, subscriptions have improved, and risen to record highs.

Although MTN Nigeria is the only telecommunication firm to have lost mobile subscriptions in the period under review, however, it still retains its spot as the largest mobile network operator in the country.

Nigeria’s mobile population is the largest in Africa and the prior steady growth in the number of mobile subscriptions had been attributed to increased productivity and efficiency in other sectors.

Possible Reasons for the Decline in Mobile Subscriptions

According to an anonymous source, "whichever angle you choose to view these statistics, one thing is certain: this is a reflection of the times we are in."

And the views of this commenter may not be far from it.

Based on financial literacy snippets, there comes a time to take stock of one's assets (those things that contribute to money in your account) and liabilities (those things that suck money out of your account in unjustifiable ways).

The latter case is one indication of subscribers classifying phones as liabilities, especially when such phones are mere status symbols.

Moreover, many subscribers have several simm cards also domiciled in multiple phones and they only need one.

Naturally then, they are likely to let go of 'unproductive phones and simm cards.'

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Eben Duru
Eben Duru

 My name is Eben and I am from Lagos, Nigeria. I am currently a writer at AllNews Nigeria. I’m...

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