The number of active internet subscribers reduced by 6.06 percent in the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2021).
This is according to the telecoms data released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Friday.
The reduction in subscribers might have been affected by the directive of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for telecommunications companies in the country to suspend the sales and reactivation of new SIM cards — but the directive was lifted in April.
This development comes amid federal government’s directive for citizens to integrate their national identification number (NIN) and subscriber identity module (SIM).
The report noted that the number of internet subscribers fell from 154.3 million in fourth quarter of 2020 (Q4 2020) to 144.9 million in Q1 2021.
For year-on-year comparison, the Q1 2021 figure is higher by 6.42 percent when compared to 136.2 million internet subscribers in Q1 2020.
According to the report, voice subscriptions also recorded a reduction by 5.96 percent as number of voice subscribers fell from 204.6 million in Q4 2020 to 192.4 million in Q1 2021.
But the recent figure is higher by 1.65 percent year-on-year when compared to 189.2 million voice subscribers recorded in Q1 2020.
“Telecoms data for Q1 2021 reflected that a total of 192,413,613 subscribers were active on voice as against 204,601,313 in Q4 2020. This represented a -5.96% decrease in voice subscriptions QoQ,” the report reads.
“Similarly, a total of 144,949,194 subscribers were active on the internet as against 154,301,195 in Q4 2020. This represented a -6.06% decrease in internet subscriptions QoQ.”
According to the report, Lagos state has the highest number of subscribers in terms of active voice per state in Q1 2021.
The state is closely followed by Ogun and Kano states, while Bayelsa and Ebonyi states have the least number of subscribers.
The report also noted that Lagos has the highest number of subscribers in terms of active internet per state in Q1 2021.
For the internet subscription category, NBS said Lagos is again followed by Ogun and Kano states while Bayelsa and Ebonyi states have the least number of internet subscribers.
It added that MTN has the highest share of subscriptions, followed by Glo, Airtel, and Etisalat.