Telecom subscribers in Nigeria increased from 143.07 million in Q2 2017 to 199.56 million in Q1 2022, with Lagos and four other states accounting for 56.49 million new subscribers.
According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos, Kano, Federal Capital Territory, Ogun, and Oyo states are the top states leading the nation’s telecommunication subscriber base in the last five years.
From the second quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2022, the five states have contributed the most to the nation’s telecom subscriber population.
Collectively, the states were responsible for 33 per cent (19.09 million) of the total subscriber growth (56.49 million) within the period under review.
The NBS data revealed that ‘Telecoms Data: Active Voice and Internet, Porting and Tariff Information,’ for the periods under review, Lagos leads the other states as 5.35 million new subscribers joined the national network from the state in the period under review.
Lagos is followed by Kano’s 4.39 million, FCT’s 3.48 million, Ogun’s 3.08 million, Oyo’s 2.79 million, Kaduna’s 2.49 million, Edo’s 2.46 million, Delta’s 2.29 million, Katsina’s 2.05 million, River’s 1.58 million, Anambra’s 1.51 million.
Despite the activities of insurgents in the state, 1.46 million new telecom subscribers joined the national network in Borno. This is more than Imo’s 1.32 million, Benue’s 1.30 million, Niger’s 1.29 million, Kwara’s 1.27 million, Bauchi’s 1.23 million, Adamawa’s 1.17 million, Enugu’s 1.16 million, Yobe’s 1.15 million, Sokoto’s 1.09 million, Osun’s 1.09 million, Ondo’s 1.02 million, Kogi’s 1.01 million.
While at least one million new subscribers joined the national network from the aforementioned states, less joined in the following states, Kebbi (994,011), Jigawa (902,015), Plateau (876,612), Akwa Ibom (861,445), Cross River (839,296), Gombe (808,809), Taraba (739,231), Nasarawa (724,969), Zamfara (704,898), Abia (581,486), Ebonyi (500,307), Ekiti (479,507), and Bayelsa (441,696).
The telecom sector is considered to be one of the most important in Nigeria.
In 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission said the sector contributed to the nation’s exit from recession. It said, “Nigeria’s telecommunications industry, regulated by the NCC is one of the sectors whose performance lifted the country out of recession in the fourth quarter of 2020, contributing 12.45 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.”
The commission at the time added that the sector had in the last five years been a major driver of the nation’s digital economy.