Nigeria Ranks Seventh In Mobile Phone Usage Globally-NCC

Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) has revealed that Nigeria now ranks seventh in terms of mobile phone usage and eleventh in terms of internet penetration globally.

The EVC, Prof. Umar Danbatta disclosed this on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the two-day Emerging Technology Forum for the Telecommunications Industry, titled “Contextualising the Network Readiness Index (NRI) for the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry,” in Abuja.

The EVC who was represented by the Director of Spectrum Database, Engr Abraham Oshadami, said,” Nigeria is a telecommunications powerhouse, with 82% of the continent’s telecom subscribers and 29% of the continent’s internet consumption.

“Our nation rates eleventh globally in terms of internet penetration and seventh in terms of mobile phone usage.

“Despite these remarkable metrics, the fact that our Network Readiness Index (NRI) ranking for 2022 is 109th out of 131 countries is both humbling and challenging.

The EVC said the NRI is a guiding metric that measures the role and impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

He added that “It explores the performances of 131 economies in four key categories: technology (infrastructure), governance, people, and impact. As agents of social and economic transformation in our nation, prioritizing network readiness is not only a strategic necessity but a mandate.

According to Danbatta, the global data collected by the NRI team reveals that digital transformation is a global imperative in order to maximize the social and economic effects of the digital era.

“It can create new inequalities which can hinder the ability of younger generations to engage in the digital economy but also remains a powerful way to do more with less at all levels of income. Formal education is evolving, and metrics are important to support informed policymaking.

“This requires reskilling and upskilling opportunities to be available, accessible, and affordable in order to have more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies,”.

In his introductory remarks, the Executive Commissioner, Technical Service, Engr Ubale Maska said, Nigeria’s NRI is a strong indicator of how the country is adapting to the digital transformation that is happening all over the world.

He added that the NRI will help us access our progress and position on the global digital train.

“We live in rapidly changing times where the proliferation of digital transformation and the use of ICTs is inevitable. With the world becoming increasingly interconnected and our economic activities relying heavily on the digital space, it has become essential for countries to be at the forefront in terms of technology adoption. This is why the Network Readiness Index (NRI) is so important to measure the progress of a country as it relates to ICTs and digital transformation,” he said.

The Head, New Media and Information Security Department, Engr. Chidi Diugwu in his opening remarks said between 2020 to 2022, the country’s performance on the NRI index as reported by the Potulans Institute, indicated a mixture of improvement and challenges that still persist.

“ Thus, applying the Network Readiness Index in the Telecommunication Industry is of paramount importance in our current digital ecosystem. Utilising the insights it brings allows us to amplify our strengths, address our challenges, and propel our nation into a brighter digital future.

“However, despite the importance of NRI in channelling the strengths and opportunities of our tech ecosystem, it is imperative that the metrics are localized to reflect our current realities,” he said.

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