Nigeria’s internet subscribers reached 148 million in April 2022, information from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows. According to the latest industry statistics posted on its website, NCC revealed that mobile (GSM) accounted for 147.45 million subscribers with the remaining made up of fixed wired and VoIP.
It will be recalled that the federal government’s directive in December 2020, for telecommunications companies to suspend the sales and reactivation of new SIM cards, stifled the telecoms industry with single-digit growth by end of the first quarter of 2021.
The policy, which hinged on the need to audit the subscriber registration database in the country at the height of security challenges (read banditry and kidnapping) denied new entrants into the country access to purchase mobile lines and made it impossible for existing users to retrieve lost or stolen lines.
The restriction impacted the operations of telcos, leading to a decline in mobile subscriptions, revenue for operators and reduced activities of third parties and suppliers.
The ban was lifted in April 2021 with operators but mandated to use the national identification numbers (NINs) for the issuance of new SIM cards. The federal government in April 2022 directed telecommunication companies to bar outgoing calls on all subscriber identity module (SIM) cards not yet linked with the NIN.
The growth in internet subscribers despite the hurdles is truly appreciable.
NCC records indicated that all mobile networks recorded an increase in internet subscriptions — except 9mobile.