Telecoms Subscriptions Rise to 190.8m

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Emma Okonji

Subscriptions across all telecommunications networks have maintained a steady growth pattern in one year, reaching 190,806,067 in April.

This represented a marginal increase by 0.80 per cent or 1,523,271 as against the 189,282,796 recorded the previous year.

The latest data, obtained from Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) website yesterday, shows that in the past one year, there has been a proportionate increase in the number of teledensity, which is measured by the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area and is expressed as a percentage figure.

However, the data revealed a sharp drop in the number inward porting from 16,046 in March 2020, to 7,148 in April.

According to the statistics, in June 2019, the number of telecoms subscriptions was 174,024,116 with a teledensity of 91.17 per cent, but the figure rose in July to 174,950,011 subscriptions with a teledensity of 91.65 per cent.

Last August, the figure rose again to 176,897,879 subscriptions with a teledensity of 92.67 per cent and jumped in September to 179,176,930 subscriptions with a teledensity of 93.87 per cent.

The figure continued to rise in October 2019 to 180,386,316 with a teledensity of 94.50 per cent and in November 2019, telecoms subscriptions rose again to 182.7 million with a teledensity of 95.7 per cent.

In December 2019, it reached 184,699,409 with a teledensity of 96.76 per cent, before rising to 186,023,609 in January, with a teledensity of 97.45 per cent; 187,435,841 in February, with a teledensity of 98.19 per cent.

According to the NCC statistics, the total number of subscribers that ported from one network to another, in search of better service quality, decreased.

Airtel had only 2,246 incoming porting in April this year, as against 5,594 incoming porting it had in March. 9Mobile, which recorded the highest number of incoming porting, had a total of 3,829 porting subscribers in April as against 8,225 incoming porting it had in March.

MTN had only 985 incoming porting in April as against 1,965 in March while Globacom, which recorded the least number of porting, had only 88 incoming porting in April as against 262 the previous month.

While attributing the rise in telecoms subscriptions to the different initiatives embarked upon by NCC to boost subscribers’ experience and to drive economic development, the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, told THISDAY that during President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term, the NCC positioned telecoms as the baseline enabler for the realisation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 of the government, which is a short-term economic blueprint designed to drive the economic diversification agenda of the government.

He said: “Through deliberate and sustained efforts in driving major initiatives, programmes and necessary regulatory interventions, the NCC has been able to deepen access to telecommunications services- voice and data – across the country, which has helped in positively impacting other sectors of the economy such as healthcare, education, agriculture, finance, transportation, commerce, governance, among others.

“The telecoms sector has witnessed huge growth in terms of the subscribers’ base, earnings to the government, increase in GDP, teledensity and increase in foreign direct investments into the sector.

“The commission has committed millions of naira to driving ICT innovations in the academia and among technology innovators.
“We have also activated and increased the number of operational Emergency Commission Centres (ECCs) being built by the commission to 17 states throughout the federation and the Federal Capital (FCT), Abuja – 18 ECCs in all.

“We have successfully scrubbed over 24 million invalidly-registered subscriber records via Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) in fulfilment of the mandate to establish a credible database of telephone subscribers.”