Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Nigeria’s teledensity drops by 0.79%

Nigeria has witnessed a 0.79percent drop in its teledensity in December 2015, resulting from the visible drop in the number of active customers in the nation’s telecommunications industry.

According to the latest Monthly Subscriber Data from the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the country’s active lines recorded by 1,105,928 drop from the 152,123,172 in November, to 151,017,244 for the month of December.

The teledensity statistics which measures the percentage of a country’s population with access to telecommunications services as determined from the subscriber base, also records a drop in Nigeria’s active subscribers index had dropped from 108.66 percent in November, to 107.87 percent in December.

Approximately 148,681,362 of the total active lines are said to subscribe to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network services, while GSM operators’ active customers reduced by 1,105,758 as against the 149,787,120 subscribers they recorded in the month of November.

The Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA, operators had 2,148,727 active users in December, indicating a decrease of 393 from the 2,149,120 customers they had in November. Also, the monthly subscriber data showed that the Fixed Wired/Wireless networks’ consumers increased to 187,155 in December, as they added 383 customers to their record of 186,772 in November.

In a related development, federal government has assured that its current policies in the ICT sector is targeted at encouraging multinationals invest in the sector.

Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, who gave the assurance at a stakeholders’ forum on the promotion of ‘ICT Local Content’ said Nigeria cannot afford to miss out of the current wave of growth in ICT industry across the world.

He said the government would not protect local original equipment Manufacturers, software developers and local ICT players at the detriment of the foreign companies, adding that government will ensure a conducive level playing field for all players in the industry.

Shittu, who was represented by the director of ICT, Mrs. Monilola Udor, said government will however encourage partnership between local ICT players and foreign investors because of its inherent benefits.

He said, “At the moment, ICT is the fastest growing industry in the world, and Nigeria is not an exception, but what percentage of this industry is actually localised? How much of the investments in ICT that come in are actually retained in Nigeria.”

The forum which was organised by the National Information Technology development Agency, NITDA, seeks to encourage the multinationals to set up plants in Nigeria so as to impact on government’s job creation effort.

The minister acknowledged that ICT sector is presently contributing 8 percent to the GDP, adding that the aim of government is to increase it to 30 percent before the end of 2019.

In his remark, the acting Director-General of NITDA, Mr. Vincent Olatunji, said the agency is working towards creating an enabling environment for OEMs through setting standards and certifications of their factories.‎

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