Nigeria accounts for 82% of Africa’s telecom subscriptions – NCC
By Samson Akintaro
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that the country accounts for 82% of telecom subscriptions in Africa.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this the opening ceremony of the Emerging Technology Forum for the Telecommunications Industry in Abuja, said Nigeria also accounts for 29% of the continent’s internet consumption.
And with this, he said the country is now rated 11th in the world regarding internet penetration and seventh in mobile phone usage.
He, however, noted that despite these remarkable metrics, the country’s Network Readiness Index (NRI) is still very low. According to him, Nigeria was ranked 109th out of 131 countries in 2022.
The NRI is a guiding metric that measures the role and impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It explores the performances of 131 economies in four key categories: technology (infrastructure), governance, people, and impact.
Why network readiness is crucial
While noting that the forum would be deliberating on the pillars of network readiness, Danbatta, who was represented at the event by NCC’s Director of Spectrum Administration, Engr. Abraham Oshadami said:
“As agents of social and economic transformation in our nation, prioritizing network readiness is not only a strategic necessity but a mandate. Throughout our deliberations, we will engage in thought-provoking forum discussions that explore the foundational pillars of NRI, through a number of presentations by renowned professionals in the technology landscape.
“As we convene today, the innovation symphony resonates with our common goals. The Emerging Technology Forum acts as a beacon, directing us towards the intersection of transformation and advancement.
“This forum is where we bridge the divide between aspiration and achievement. Through spirited dialogues, collaborative exchanges, and the exploration of emerging technologies, we move closer to our vision of a fully interconnected, telecommunications-driven Nigeria.”
Leveraging emerging technologies
Earlier, the Head of New Media and Information Security at the NCC, Dr. Chidi Diugwu, in his opening remarks urged the stakeholders to embrace insights offered by NRI to guide policies, investments and collaborations.
Diugwu said this would enable the nation to harness the potential of emerging technologies, invest in human capital, and foster innovation.
This, he added, would lead to the unlocking of new opportunities, bridge the digital divide, and create a prosperous and inclusive digital future for Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Executive-Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska, said NRI was a strong indicator of how the country was adapting to the digital transformation happening all over the world.
According to him, the primary objective of the forum was to provide standard roadmaps and best practices that can be used to measure the impact of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on our society and promote the adoption of new technologies.
He said the forum would review the latest findings of Nigeria’s NRI, explore various barriers and key drivers to implementing innovative technologies, and ultimately create actionable solutions to help move the industry forward.