The Nigerian Communications Commission Monday revealed that the country’s active mobile subscribers stand at 209 million as of August 2021.
According to the NCC, the numbers grew from a meagre 400,000 in 2001.
The Commission reaffirmed its commitment to promoting the adoption and deployment of emerging technologies, including telemedicine, robotics and virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, robotics and big data, robotics and virtual reality, robotics and FINTECH.
The Commission will not give up on making sure that emerging technologies are promoted to encourage businesses for the overall growth of the Nigerian economy, according to Prof. Umar Danbatta, its Executive Vice Chairman, who made the announcement at the recently concluded Cyberchain Stakeholders conference in Abuja.
He added that it is encouraging because telecoms have facilitated Nigeria’s economic progress because it significantly raises the Gross Domestic Product.
The Commission also noted that investments in the telecoms sector increased from $500 million in 2001 to nearly $70 billion as of August 2022, reaching a peak of 11% at that time.
Danbatta added that the NCC would continue to put its attention on increasing internet penetration and deploying Fifth Generation technology for Nigeria and its people.
Danbatta was quoted as saying that the telecom industry has been a major driver of the Nigerian economy, changing how people live and work and boosting productivity in other areas of the economy in a statement issued by the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka.
“From $500 million investments in the sector as of 2001, the telecommunications industry has recorded over $70 billion investment till date, while the growth in the sector has been phenomenal, from some 400,000 functional phone lines in 2001 to over 209 million active mobile subscriptions, achieving a teledensity of 110 per cent, as at August 2022.
“The sector has provided over 500,000 formal and informal jobs for Nigerians. From an insignificant contribution to GDP in 2001, the telecoms sector, as of the last quarter of 2021, contributed 12.61 per cent to GDP, while the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector as a group, has also contributed 18.44 per cent to GDP as at the second quarter of 2022,” the NCC’s boss said.
“For us as a country to reap the full benefits of all these emerging technologies in ways that further spur growth in our national economy, NCC prioritises the need to improve and expand broadband infrastructure and the deployment of new technology such as the Fifth Generation of Mobile Communication (5G). Our efforts in diligently driving this will facilitate the actualization of the set targets in the Federal Government’s digital economy policy,” he said.
According to Danbatta, the country will be better positioned to develop a different economy for diversification, innovation, and creativity in e-commerce and digital entrepreneurship as a result of the rapid digital transformation happening through the telecommunications sector. This will empower a sizable portion of the population to become entrepreneurs.