By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief, Emman Ovuakporie & Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-Total number of ac tive voice subscriptions in Nigeria telecom services sector has reached an impressive 169 million, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has stated.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, gave the figure at a breakfast meeting with editors and Bureau Chiefs of media houses, in Abuja, yesterday.
He also said internet subscription base, as at end of last month, stood at 109 million, up from 107 million in October.
He stated: “As at November 2018, the active voice subscribers’ base grew from 165 million in October 2018 to 169 million.
If you want to give the percentage of penetration, you have to reflect the reality of what the population is and I think from 2019, we are going to start using the figure of 190 million to give the statistics in percentage point but for now, we will give you the actual statistics. The internet subscription grew equally from 107million in October 2018 to 109 million in November.”
Danbatta added that the Commission, in the period under review, exceeded the broadband target it set as part of its eight-point agenda.
He stated further: “As at November 2018, we have a total of almost 59 million Nigerians who have subscribed to broadband services in different part of the country. Therefore the broadband penetration, using a percentage point based on population of 190 million estimates is 30.9 per cent. We set a target of 30 per cent, which means we have exceeded the target by 0.9 per cent.” The NCC boss added that for the purpose of evaluation, the Commission would commence monthly update of its key performance indicators starting from December this year; a development he said, would continue through 2019.
The telecom sector, the he said, has been playing a huge part in the growth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) even as he stated that the sector has contributed about N5 trillion to the nation’s economy between the first and third quarters of the year.
His words, “We normally wait until the nation gives us statistics indicating the performance of the economy for us to do few calculations and one was done recently which shows that the contribution to GDP from telecommunication and other information services, up to the 3rd quarter of 2018, is almost N5 trillion and this is according to the figure released by National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.”
Giving a breakdown of this sum, Danbatta put the quarterly telecom contribution at between N1.4 trillion to N1.5 trillion; an amount that translates to $45 billion, at an exchange of N360 to a dollar.