Mobile subscription dips as Nigerians return for NIN enrolment


Teledensity, broadband penetration sustain sliding outlook

Active mobile subscription has sustained sliding profile, as telecoms operators lost 47,028 lines in November 2020. The development, might for now, have little or nothing to do with the new SIM card registration policy of the Federal Government introduced last month.

Latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed that the 207,954,737 active lines of October went down by 47,028 to 207,907, 409 the following month.

This decline also impacted the country’s teledensity, which also slid marginally by 0.02 per cent from 108.94 per cent to 108.92 per cent.

Besides, checks by The Guardian revealed that 1.65 million broadband connections were gone. Specifically, broadband penetration, which had 87.8 million subscribers in October, representing 45.93 per cent, fell to 86 million (45.07 per cent). Within the period, operators equally lost 1.6 million subscribers.

Interestingly, Internet access on narrowband – that is via the GSM technology – went up. The quartet of MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile welcomed 1.95 million users. The 152.5 million customers prior to November rose to 154.4 million during the period under review.

Analysing the falling active subscription, broadband and increased Internet users, a management staff at NCC, who is conversant with the metrics, said more people must have reduced calls and switched to the Internet to communicate, warranting the spike in consumers.

According to him, because it was the end of the year, some people, who are on leave must have travelled to their villages or some remote locations to ease the tension in the country, adding: “Apparently to avoid disturbance, (they) switched to the Internet to communicate. For example, I know some people with three to four lines, who dropped two of the lines because the location they are can only accommodate 2G/3G network. So, they come online when it is necessary.”

The official said the figure might drop further when December figures are out, citing holiday, as well as the National Identification Number (NIN) and SIM registrations.

MEANWHILE, Nigerians will today, in their numbers, return to the various offices and centres of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in continuation of the NIN enrolment.

A statement yesterday by Head, Corporate Communications, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, confirmed full restoration of services in all of the agency’s offices following weekend’s suspension of strike by workers.

It promised that the glitches experienced since January 6 this year had been sorted out. Adegoke explained that the exercise was temporarily disrupted when the local chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) embarked on an industrial action on January 6 shortly after their congress.

He said the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, who promptly intervened in the matter, pledged to into looking the grievances.