According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos, Abuja and other states in the top 5 tech states in the country have about 65 million subscribers. This represents about one-third of Nigeria’s total mobile subscribers.
Generally, the telecom data report shows that the total number of mobile subscribers increased by 19.9 million subscribers from 184.7 million recorded in 2019 to 204.6 million in 2020.
Similarly, the total number of internet subscribers grew by about 30.2 million subscribers from 126.07 in 2018 to about 154.3 million in 2020.
The significant increase in both mobile and internet in 2020 can be traced to the increase in usage of gadgets and the internet due to the work from home policy induced by the covid-19 lockdown.
Recall, that we reported companies like Carbon, Andela and BuyCoins implementing remote working following the outbreak of the pandemic last year. A closer inspection shows that most of the companies that first implemented remote working policy were based in either Lagos and Abuja with others following much later.
The restriction in movements caused the use of voice, video call and mobile data to increase exponentially as it was the safest means to reach out to colleagues, relatives and friends.
According to a report by the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, Internet subscribers in Nigeria consume over 80,000 terabytes of data per month in 2020.
Crunching the numbers by States
In terms of states, Lagos State has the highest number of Voice and Internet subscribers in 2020. The state recorded about 24.88 million voice and 18.94 million internet subscribers during the year.
Kano and Ogun States followed respectively with 12.67 million and 12.01 million voice subscribers.
On the other end, Bayelsa had the least amount of subscribers – 1.45 million during the year. Ebonyi follow closely with just 1.81 million subscribers.
Based on the analysis, the big difference between Lagos and Bayelsa does really translate to a lack of mobile penetration in Bayelsa or South-South in general. A more valid reason is the huge difference in population. According to the report, Lagos has a population of about 12 million while Bayelsa has just 2.2 million.
Subscriber base by Geo-political regions
According to the report, the South West (SW) region has the largest amount of subscribes by geo-political zones. The six states in the region contributed about 58.34 million voice and 44.69 million internet subscribers.
This accounts for about 28.5% of the total mobile subscribers in the country. Unsurprisingly, Lagos State tops the list in this region with a total of 24.88 million subscribers. Ogun State follows with a total mobile subscriber base of 12.01 million, while Oyo State recorded 10.45 million total mobile subscribers during the year.
Other states in the region include Osun (4.67 million), Ondo (4.49 million), and Ekiti State with 1.85 million subscribers.
The North West region follows the SW with a contribution of about 19.5% to the total subscriber base. The 7 states in the region have a total of 39.5 million subscribers.
Kano State tops the region with a mobile subscriber base of 12.67 million mobile subscribers. Kaduna State follows with a total subscriber base of 8.71 million subscribers, while Katsina State stood at 5.69 million at the end of 2020.
Others include; Sokoto (3.93 million), Zamfara (3.02 million), Kebbi (2.94 million), and Jigawa (2.56 million).
The North Central region, which the Federal Capital Territory and 6 other states contributed about 37.03 million subscribers after adding 6.58 million new mobile subscribers in 2020.
This accounts for about 18.09% of the total subscribers in the country. The Federal Capital territory tops the list with a total subscriber base of 9.01 million. Niger State followed with a total of 6.52 million subscribers
Benue State recorded 5.03 million at the end of the year.
Others on the list include; Kwara (4.54 million), Nassarawa (4.12 million), Plateau (3.92 million), and Kogi State (3.91 million).
As of the end of 2020, the total mobile subscribers in the 6 states in the south-south region stood at 29.59 million. This accounted for about 14.46% of the total mobile subscribers in the country.
Rivers which houses the tech of Port Harcourt tops the list in the region with total mobile subscribers of 7.45 million. Edo State followed closely with 7.1 million subscribers and Delta State with 6.91 million subscribers.
Others include; Akwa Ibom (3.91 million), Cross River (2.8 million), Bayelsa (1.46 million).
South East & North East
The South East (SE) and the North East (NE) region had the lowest contributions in terms of geopolitical zone. The 5 states in the SE contributed 9.78% of the total mobile subscribers in the country while the NE contributed about 9.73%.
In the SE, Anambra State leads with 5.78 million mobile subscribers. Imo State followed with a total mobile subscriber of 4.53 million and Enugu State completed the top 3 with 4.16 million mobile subscribers. Others are Abia State (3.77 million) and Ebonyi (1.82 million).
Bauchi State tops the list of mobile subscribers in the NE with 4.02 million. Borno followed with 3.96 million subscribers then Adamawa State (3.54 million), Taraba (2.73 million), and Gombe (2.71 million).
The significant increase in the number of mobile and internet subscribers in Nigeria is a reflection of the impact of the covid-19 lockdown in the country.
The concentration of subscribers around technologically advance state further emphasises the contribution of tech in building a telecom sector and a digital economy at large.
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