New Telegraph

Nigeria’s broadband subscription increases by 0.84% to 92m

Between December 2022 and January 2023, the number of broadband subscribers in Nigeria rose to 92,011,259, pushing up broadband penetration by 0.84 per cent to hit 48.20 per cent. This is according to the data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The data indicated that broadband penetration rose from 47.36 per cent in December 2022 to 48.20 in January 2023.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier claimed that with the deployment of Starlink in Nigeria, the country has achieved 100 per cent broadband penetration. However, the NCC’s statistics has indicated the true state of broadband penetration in Nigeria. The government had anticipated that the commencement of service by Starlink in Nigeria would spur broadband penetration and reduce the cost of internet.

Though in January 2023, more people connected to the internet, it was observed that the introduction of cashless transactions forced many people to move online for online banking transactions; people lamented the poor online banking services though. Experts said that higher broadband penetration has positive impacts on the economy, believing that it would help fast-track cashless policy in any country.

The World Bank had stated that a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration could lead to a 1.2 per cent real per capita GDP growth in developed economies, and between 0.9 and 1.5 per cent for developing countries. Meanwhile, Nigeria has set 70 per cent broadband penetration at the cheapest prices to be achieved by 2025. This means that the country is targeting an additional 21.8 per cent in the next two years, between now and the year 2025 to be able to achieve its national broadband penetration target. The broadband penetration was 40.9 per cent in February 2022 but increased by 8.8 per cent to reach 44.5 per cent in July 2022, a figure considered hopeful for achieving the national broadband target of 70 per cent in 2025. The country’s broadband penetration increased from 21.21 per cent in April 2017 to 40.66 per cent in April 2021, and up from that to 44.5 per cent in July 2022. The data by the NCC indicated that in April 2021, 77,605,500 million Nigerians were connected to the Internet, up from 40,481,570 million in April 2017. The broadband penetration as of July 2022 stood at 44.5 per cent with about 90 million internet subscriptions in the country. It rose to 47.36 per cent in December 2022 and 48.20 in January 2023. The Commission said the strides were outcomes of the regulatory management of the industry as well as its focused implementation of policies and strategies of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Industry players said broadband is expected to increase astronomically in the next two years with the deployment of 5G. According to them, the new technology will fast-track the penetration if only the needed infrastructure and policies are put in place. The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said emerging technologies and advancements in the sector demanded that the Commission is prepared to match these developments with appropriate regulations and guidelines. “With the technological advancements anticipated in the coming years, it is expected that there will be a proliferation of devices in the industry. It is, therefore, essential for the Commission to ensure that the right regulatory frameworks can accommodate such eventualities,” he said.

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