The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in the latest data revealed that the telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria gained 2.5 million new users in March, 2022. 

Driving the news 
The recent addition takes the country’s broadband internet connection users to 80.6 million from 78.1 million in the preceding month of February. This also brings the broadband penetration in Africa’s most populous nation to 42.27%. And a milestone achieved in implementing the National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025), a plan to bring 4G broadband penetration to 70% by 2025.

Why it matters 
The implementation of NBP 2020-2025 is expected to tackle socio-economic challenges in the country including stunted economic growth, low tax base, digital illiteracy and much more.

What you should know 

  • The world bank in a report showed that for every 10% rise in broadband penetration in a country, there is no less than a 4.6% growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 
  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Q1 2022 rose by 3.11% year-on-year, showing a sixth consecutive quarter of growth in the country’s economy.
  • The major challenge with Nigeria’s broadband distribution according to NCC data is that most of the internet service providers in Nigeria are concentrated in the country’s top cities, such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
  • Another challenge is that newer telecommunication operators in Nigeria lament that the market dominance of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile are impeding their popularity in the retail data market. The former claim to be the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the telecoms market.
  • The federal government played a role in the loss of 9.9 million broadband subscriptions from November 2020 to October 2021 as a result of the ban on the purchase of SIM cards and SIM-NIN registration
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