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Why Nigeria is leading in Africa’s internet access upon poor broadband

Explanations have emerged as to why Nigeria is leading the rest of Africa and even some advanced countries in internet usage with 63 million users.

Latest edition of Digitalfacts, a publication produced by digitXplus had ranked Nigeria as number one in Africa and eight in the world in terms of internet usage.

A senior lecturer in Geography at Imo State University, Owerri, Dr. Dominic Azubike told Business Hilights in a telephone interview that “Nigeria population remains a great advantage in a lot of things than a problem and the issue of internet usage is one of the comparative advantages that can attract foreign investors to the economy because we have the needed market”.

“Marketing is a function of good product and huge buyers. Nigerians are good in buying good product and that is why everything good that enters Nigerian market has the advantage of selling very fast because the buying population is here with purchasing power also.

He said why we are topping the rest of Africa is because of the large market and that is even why many investors are heading to Nigeria to see how they can tap into the huge market.

“So in the process of tapping into the internet market, investors came and their business grew. The growth of the businesses can be reflected in the galloping number of internet users.

On why the growth is deepening even in the face of poor broadband penetration, Azubike said “No matter how small or poor the service may be, Nigeria has the population advantage to buy”.

The University don, called on the government to always partner with telecoms investors in the provision of critical infrastructure because they are aware that whatever investment so made, can be recouped in record time because Nigeria has the huge market.

According to the report, China topped the list of 15 high Internet user countries with 632 million; followed by the United States of America (269 million), India (198 million), Japan (110 million), Brazil (105million), Russia (87million), Indonesia (83 million), and Germany (68 million).

Others are Nigeria (63 million); the United Kingdom (57 million); France (54 million); Mexico (52 million); Iran (49 million); Egypt (43 million) and South Korea (42 million).

The digital publication revealed that since 2011, Nigeria had maintained a steady upward trend in the number of Internet users.

It stated that from 35.7 million, the figure increased to 42.8 million; 51.8 million; 57.7 million and 63.2 in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Digitalfacts puts the total number of Internet users worldwide at 3.2 billion as of December 2015, representing an increase of 8.9 per cent over 2.9 billion Internet users recorded at the end of 2014.

Based on the regional statistics contained in the publication, Asia-Pacific had 1.6 billion Internet users as of December 2015; while North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Central/Eastern Europe and Middle East/Africa had 288 million, 325 million, 310 million, 238 million and 429 million, in that order.

The book further made public that the Nigerian telecoms sector, one of the largest in Africa, was driven almost completely by mobile telephony.