Due to the national identification number (NIN) linkage policy, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) estimates that telecommunications providers lost 12 million internet subscribers in 2021.
The commission stated in its most recent report titled ‘2021 subscriber/network statistics annual report’ that nine million active voice users were lost between 2020 and 2021.
According to the report, this was a result of the decision to halt the sale and registration of new SIM cards nationwide.
NCC had given telecoms firms a two-week deadline in December 2020 to disable SIM cards that were not registered with a National Identity Number (NIN).
The federal authorities extended the deadline for subscribers with NIN from December 2020 to January 2021, while those without NIN had until February 9, 2021.
According to the NCC report, the number of active voice subscriptions declined from 204,601,313 in 2020 to 195,463,898 in December 2021, a loss of 9,137,415 subscriptions.
“This reflects a loss of about 4.46 percent in overall subscriptions for the period under review,” the report continued.
“The decline in operators’ customer bases was mostly related to the NCC’s December 2020 instruction to all GSM providers to halt the sale and registration of new SIM cards, SIM swaps, and other porting activities.
“The purpose of the audit was to check and ensure compliance by mobile network operators with the federal ministry of communications and digital economy and the commission’s stated quality standards and regulations for SIM card registration.”
The number of internet subscribers declined by 12 million, according to the NCC.
According to the report, Nigeria’s teledensity declined from 107.18 percent as of December 2020 to 102.40 percent by December 31, 2021.
The number of internet customers declined by 8 percent between December 2020 and December 2021, from 154,301,195 to 141,971,560.
During the period under consideration, the commission reported that broadband penetration fell from 45.02 percent in December 2020 to 40.88 percent in December 2021.
Similarly, the number of broadband subscriptions declined from 85,941,222 in December 2020 to 78,041,883 in December 2021.
On the level of data consumption, the NCC stated, “There was an increase in the volume of data consumed in December 2021 compared to December 2020.”
“The overall amount of data utilized by customers climbed from 209,917.40TB in December 2020 to 353,118.89TB in December 2021. This indicates a 68.2% increase in data consumption during the period.”
In addition, the contribution of the telecoms industry to the gross domestic product (GDP) decreased from 12.45 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 12.61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.