The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) under the leadership of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta recorded an eventful 2019, a report obtained by DAILY POST has revealed.
According to the annual report of the commission, the NCC carried out a number of regulatory activities towards ensuring increased access to telecoms services, increased consumer education and protection, boosting security of lives and property, sanitising the industry while also driving other initiatives aimed at boosting innovation in the telecoms sector and continuously galvanising the country’s overall economic growth.
Despite challenges confronting the telecoms sector, the report revealed that the commission was able to record impressive statistics during the year, courtesy of smart and effective regulatory role.
Telecoms continues to be a major contributor to the nation’s economy, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Telecom’s contribution to national gross domestic product (GDP) for the 1st Quarter and 2nd Quarter of 2019 stood at 10.11 percent and 11.39 percent respectively.
These contrast with 9.19 percent and 10.43 percent contribution in the 1st Quarter and 2nd Quarter of 2018 respectively. Broadly speaking, general Information and Communication Technology (ICT) contribution to GDP has increased to 13.8 percent currently.
Active mobile voice subscribers increased from 174,012,136 in January, 2019 to 180,386,316 at the end of October, 2019 (which is the latest data in the industry, as posted on the NCC official website). Teledensity has also increased to 94.50 percent while internet subscribers increased from 114,306,598 to 123,559,596 during the period under review.
Also, Broadband penetration increased from 32.34 per cent (indicating 61,732,130 Nigerians on 3G and 4G networks) to 37.87% (indicating 72,289,389 on 3G and 4G networks) between January and October, 2019. Various efforts of the Commission in licensing new spectrum bands, re-farming certain frequency bands and driving initiatives for increased broadband infrastructure in the country have also been responsible for this feats.
With increase in broadband penetration being recorded on a monthly basis, stakeholders have said that the NCC is well-positioned and must be supported by the government through relevant policies to drive the actualisation of the country’s digital economy policy strategy, going forward.
This has become necessary since the Commission is expected to take the driver’s seat in the actualisation of the new broadband target being worked on by the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy. Just recently, the new National Broadband Plan Committee was inaugurated to come up with the new broadband target for 2020-2025.
With regards to the uptake of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), 110, 500 numbers were ported between January, 2019 and October, 2019, as against 71, 723 subscribers who ported their lines between the same 10-month period in 2018.
This swell in porting activities in 2019 is attributable to increased public education and awareness by the Commission’s head office and its zonal offices, as they intensified awareness on the availability and usage of MNP across geo-political zones.