Nigerian Telecommunication Landscape: ONLY PLUS NO MINUS

Gone are the days when we queue at the telephone booth to make phone calls or send one-line messages via telegram to pass information or wait for days for letters to arrive for us to communicate. Communication in Nigeria took a dramatic turn in 2001. Preceding 2001, Nigeria had about 700,000 lines, which could not meet the growing demand for telecommunications services by Nigerians.

Since the entrance of Telecommunication giants and the huge investment in the sector, the Nigerian Telecommunication sector has witnessed an unprecedented growth in all ramifications. One of the players is now listed on the NSE. According to the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) as at December 2019, the Nigeria Telecommunication Industry has 184, 699.409 telephony subscribers with 96.76% tele density, 125,728,328 Internet Subscribers (GSM) 72,153,824 Broadband Subscription and accounts for 9.20% of the country’s GDP


The growth and impact of the Telecommunication industry has been enormous, the most visible has been in the mobile payment space. Telecommunications has been an enabler to the payment industry and if the trends, both locally and globally, is anything to go by, it looks like we have just had a tip of the iceberg. Data seems to be the air we breathe in now, everything we do now seem to be dependent on data. Even though voice call is still high, it has experienced a drop. Calls over data is on the increase day-by-day. Entertainment, sports, e-commerce, even government activities are driven by data.


The shift towards data has taken regulatory disputes into the arena of mobile payment services. Mobile operators are increasingly arguing that mobile money services will be a critical pillar for long-term growth, pushing for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to open the industry to telecoms companies.


In March 2018 the CBN announced new plans to boost financial inclusion in the country to 80% by 2020, with an emphasis on mobile payments and mobile money platforms.


The penetration and delivery of financial services could increase through innovative technology solutions, as well as the further development of the financial technology sphere. The widespread adoption of unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) applications and other mobile solutions to facilitate bank account opening and transaction settlement is testament to the opportunity.

The prominent phenomenon in the industry is the penetration of the internet into homes. Companies in the industry have laid cables and networks to deliver fast broadband internet at the doorstep of consumers. Prices in this space have also continued to crash making even more affordable to consumers. Consumers can now access between 2.0mbps to 11.09mbps at home at a very affordable price.

Nigeria’s Telecommunication industry has grown and it is still growing. From all indications, telecommunication is the next oil.


Muhammed Sanni

Account Executive Technology & Communication department.