The year 2019 ended on a high note for the Communications sector of the economy as it contributed 13.8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, according to end-of-the-year report from Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
The report made available to TNTV NEWS on Monday revealed that while there may have been lull in other sectors of the economy, the telecoms sector has remained consistent, recording greater feats as a result of regulatory excellence of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) under the leadership of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.
NCC said telecoms continues to be a major contributor to the nation’s economy, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which indicated that the sector’s contribution to national gross domestic product (GDP) for the 1st Quarter and 2nd Quarter of 2019 stood at 10.11 percent and 11.39 percent respectively, which is in contrast to 9.19 percent and 10.43 percent contribution in the 1st Quarter and 2nd Quarter of 2018 respectively, adding that in general, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) contribution to GDP has increased to 13.8 percent currently.
The Commission added that active mobile voice subscribers has increased from 174,012,136 in January, 2019 to 180,386,316 at the end of October, 2019 (which is the latest data in the industry, as posted on the NCC official website).
It stated that teledensity has also increased to 94.50 percent while internet subscribers increased from 114,306,598 to 123,559,596 during the period under review.
The Commission also hinted that broadband penetration increased from 32.34 percent (indicating 61,732,130 Nigerians on 3G and 4G networks) to 37.87% (indicating 72,289,389 on 3G and 4G networks) between January and October, 2019, adding that various efforts of the Commission in licensing new spectrum bands, re-farming certain frequency bands and driving initiatives for increased broadband infrastructure in the country were responsible for these feats.
With regards to the uptake of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), NCC said 110, 500 numbers were ported between January, 2019 and October, 2019, as against 71, 723 subscribers who ported their lines between the same 10-month period in 2018.
It stressed that the increase in porting activities in 2019 is attributable to increased public education and awareness by the Commission’s head office and its zonal offices, as they intensified awareness on the availability and usage of MNP across geo-political zones.
The statement further noted that with increase in broadband penetration being recorded on a monthly basis, stakeholders have said that the NCC is well positioned and must be supported by the government through relevant policies to drive the actualisation of the country’s digital economy policy strategy, going forward.
“This has become necessary since, as usual, the Commission is expected to take the driver’s seat in the actualisation of the new broadband target being worked on by the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy. Just recently, the new National Broadband Plan Committee was inaugurated to come up with the new broadband target for 2020-2025,” the statement reads.