Active Telecom Subscribers Hit 212.2 Million, NCC Reveals

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has revealed that the total number of active telecom subscribers in the country had increased to 212.2 million.

The EVC disclosed this virtually on Thursday while delivering a keynote address on “Influence of Communication Policies on Digital Revolution in Nigeria”, at the 2nd International Conference of the Association of Media and Communications Researchers of Nigeria (AMCRON).

According to Danbatta, “today, the active telecom subscribers have grown significantly to 212.2 million from about 400,000 aggregate telephone lines in the country as of 2000, on the eve of liberalisation. This represents a teledensity of 111%.

“Basic Internet subscriptions grew from zero ground to 152.7 million currently while broadband subscriptions stand at over 86 million, representing a 45.09% penetration as of July 2022”, he said.

Danbatta who spoke through the Director, Research and Development, Mr. Ismail Adedigba said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry had contributed 18.94% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of the second quarter of 2022 based on the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“The industry has also become a major contributor to our national economy with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry contributing 18.94% to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of the second quarter of 2022, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). From this, the telecommunications sector alone contributed 15% to GDP.

“The ICT contribution to GDP is, by far, the second largest contributor to the national economy aside from the agricultural sector. From less than $500 million investment in 2001, the investment profile in the nation’s telecommunications sector has also surpassed $70 billion.

“The telecommunication sector has also created direct and indirect jobs for millions of Nigerians to date,” he added.

He further stated that, “with all these indices of growth in the telecom sector, arising from the effective implementation of various telecommunication policies and strategy documents, the sector has continued to redefine the way we carry out our operational and professional activities with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Access to the Internet, and more importantly, broadband, has become very central to our official and personal lives.

“Be it in the media, education, finance, healthcare, transport, governance etc., broadband access has become a necessity. If you think of how the internet has impacted the process of news gathering, production and dissemination by media professionals and the convergence being experienced across media platforms.

“Then, it won’t be difficult to appreciate the impact of telecom, and by implication, the role of policies, across the spectrum of our daily lives, as individuals and as a nation. The digital revolution now has a profound impression on the way we function as a nation”.

He reiterated that the commission, “will continue to strengthen collaboration with the media and mass communication scholars such as AMCRON towards creating an environment where stakeholders can leverage digital infrastructure and technology such as the Fifth Generation (5G) network.

“It is because of the promise of 5G for improved connectivity, better quality of life for individuals, enhanced efficiency for businesses, and quantifiable growth in the economy that the NCC continued to drive the implementation of the 5G policy in Nigeria,” he concluded.

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