According to the recently released Subscribers’ Statistics for the month of February by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Internet subscriptions in Nigeria seem to have sustained a downward profile, as about 1, 275, 573 consumers appeared to have fallen off the radar in one month.
Specifically, in the last three months ending in February, operators appeared to be losing subscribers at the end of every 31 days. For instance, the figure, which fluctuated between 93.1 million and 92.4 million between October and November 2016 respectively, declined to 91.8 million in December, meaning that the service providers lost 536,346 subscribers within the period.
The continuous downward profile could pose a big threat to Federal Government’s target of 80 per cent Internet penetration and 30 per cent broadband target set for 2018 across the country. This is even as about 207 communities with about 40 million people residing have been discovered newly not to have access to any telecommunications services.
By January ending, the difference between 91.88 million in December and January figure of 91.27 million revealed that the players had lost 605,586 subscribers. The loss came to 1.27 million at the end of February because of the fall from 91.27 million to 89.99 million.
Further analysis of the NCC statistics revealed that the Internet users on both GSM technology platforms and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), networks dropped from 91,304,755 in January to 90,029,182 in February.
It also showed that, of the 90,029,182 Internet users in February, 89,998,873 were on GSM networks, while 30,309 were on CDMA networks.
Commenting on the slide, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, in a telephone interview with The Guardian, said it was unfortunate that at a time like this, Nigeria is experiencing a dip in penetration.
Ogunbanjo said as nation, there is a need to develop policies that would bring people online because it is going to be positive on the economy.