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Telecoms subscribers’ base rising as contribution to GDP drops—NBS Report

Latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released Wednesday has shown a serious drop in telecoms contribution to the Gross Domestic product (GDP) as earnings decreased by 1.8 per cent from the N1.58 billion in the previous quarter to about N1.4 billion in fourth quarter of 2016.

The report titled “Nigeria Telecommunications Sector Summary Report”, revealed that the total number of subscribers continued to jump from 19,519,154 subscribers as at the end of 2005 to a total of 154,529,780 subscribers by December 2016.

It would be recalled that subscriber base stood at 151,017,244 as at the end 2015.

According to the report, the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, there were 154,529,780 subscribers, compared with 153,299,535 in September 2015, thus representing a quarterly increase of 0.80 per cent.

Otherwise, the yearly increase in total subscriber numbers was 2.33 per cent, which is slightly higher than the yearly increase of 1.75 per cent recorded in the previous quarter.

Due to differing seasonal patterns, telecommunications tends to account for the lowest share of GDP in the third quarter, stressing that the share of telecommunications in total real GDP had declined throughout 2010 to 2014.

The report said “Growth in the telecommunications sector has been declining recently, possibly resulting from high market penetration leaving less room for large expansion… growth in the sector remained positive, in contrast with the economy as a whole, year on year growth nevertheless dropped in real terms from 1.5 per cent in the previous quarter to 0.9 per cent, the lowest rate since 2011 Q3”.

NBS also revealed that mobile subscribers using the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) dominated the total subscription, accounting for 99.74 per cent of the total subscription in December 2016, followed by Core Division Multiple Access (CDMA) with 0.14% of the total.

It stated further that fixed wired had 0.08 percent while wireless accounted for 0.02 percent.

Additional statistics showed that by the end of December, 2016, MTN maintained its lead by boosting of 61,840,461 subscribers distantly followed by Globacom at 37,357,843 subscribers.

Whereas Airtel had 22,534,800, Etisalat had 20,809,889 subscribers within the period under review.

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