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More Africa NewsActive mobile subscriptions in Nigeria grew by around 14% to reach 222 million in 2022

January 24, 2023by myles0

Nigeria is Africa’s largest telecommunications market. Despite the high penetration, the country is expected to continue adding new subscribers over the next few years thanks to its young and large population. 

The latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) indicate that Nigeria had 222.23 million active subscriptions to telecom services as of December 2022. This figure represents a growth of 13.89% from the 195 million subscriptions the country had in December 2021.

According to the NCC, MTN added 15.4 million subscribers to reach 89.01 million subscribers from 73.59 million in December 2021. Airtel Nigeria’s subscriber base fell from 53.93 million to 60.07 million subscribers; that of Globacom from 54.82 million to 60.29 million subscribers. 9mobile’s subscriber base grew from 12.85 million subscribers in December 2021 to 12.79 million subscribers in December 2022.

This growth in mobile phone subscriptions in Nigeria came despite a difficult year 2022 for the various players in the sector. It was notably marked by a considerable increase in operating costs; the soaring price of diesel; shortage of electrical energy; the weakening of the naira; lack of foreign currency; multiple taxation; the impossibility for telecom operators to increase the prices of their services; the deactivation of millions of unidentified SIM cards…

Despite all these challenges, the information and communication technology (ICT) sector was one of the main drivers of the Nigerian economy during the year. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), ICT contributed 16.20% to Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter; 18.44% in the second quarter and 15.35% in the third quarter. The telecoms sub-sector remained the engine of growth in the sector.

In terms of subscribers, Nigeria should continue its growth trend thanks in particular to its large population. According to the GSMA, the country is expected to add 18 million new subscribers by 2025, the highest growth in sub-Saharan Africa. The region is expected to add an additional 100 million subscribers over the same period to reach 613 million.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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