The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) data has revealed that telecommunications companies lost a total of 12 million internet subscribers in 2021 as a result of the National Identification Number (NIN) linkage policy.
The commission also stated in its latest report, titled ‘2021 subscriber and network data annual report,’ that a total of nine million active voice subscribers were lost between 2020 and 2021.
According to the report, this was due to a directive to halt the sale and registration of new SIM cards across the country.
The NCC gave telecommunications companies a two-week deadline in December 2020 to block SIM cards that were not registered with NIN.
The federal government later pushed back the deadline from December 2020 to January 2021 to allow subscribers with NINs to connect their accounts, while those without NIN had until February 9, 2021.
According to the NCC report, subscriber numbers fell from 204,601,313 in 2020 to 195,463,898 active voice subscriptions in December 2021, a loss of 9,137,415 subscriptions.
“This represents a 4.46 percent decrease in total subscriptions during the period under consideration,” the company added.
“The decrease in operators’ subscriber bases was attributed majorly to the effect of the December 2020 directive from the NCC to all GSM operators to suspend the sale and registration of new SIMs, SIM swaps, and all porting activities.
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“The audit exercise’s goal was to verify and ensure mobile network operators’ compliance with the set quality standards and SIM card registration requirements issued by the federal ministry of communications and digital economy and the commission.”
NCC also reported a 12 million decrease in internet subscribers.
“Nigeria’s teledensity fell from 107.18 percent in December 2020 to 102.40 percent by December 31, 2021,” according to the report.
“The number of internet subscribers decreased by 8%, from 154,301,195 subscriptions in December 2020 to 141,971,560 subscriptions in December 2021,” the NCC report stated.
Broadband penetration decreased from 45.02 percent in December 2020 to 40.88 percent in December 2021, according to the commission.
Similarly, the number of broadband subscriptions fell from 85,941,222 in December 2020 to 78,041,883 in December 2021.
According to the NCC, “there was an increase in the volume of data consumed in the year-end of December 2021.”
“The total volume of data consumed by subscribers increased from 209,917.40 terabytes in December 2020 to 353,118.89 terabytes in December 2021. This represents a 68.2 percent increase in data consumption during the period.”
It also stated that the telecoms industry contributed 12.45 percent of GDP in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020, compared to 12.61 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.