The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that the telecoms sector recorded a growth rate of 5.26 per cent in the opening quarter of the year and contributed N134bn to the economy.
In its report on the telecoms sector for the first quarter of 2015, NBS affirmed that the sector recorded significant growth from 2.27 million subscribers in 2002 when Nigeria issued its first mobile license. According to the report, the number of subscribers of the mobile telecommunications sector was 143.05 million at the end of the first quarter of 2015.
Out of the four telecoms providers, MTN dominated the number of subscriptions with 61.21 million subscribers, which is 42.84 per cent of the total subscription. Globacom followed with 30.03 million subscribers, representing 21 per cent, while Airtel, with a subscriber base of 28.6 million, which is 20.4 per cent, followed. Etisalat recorded 22.3 million subscribers, representing 15.69 per cent.
It further revealed that monthly growth rate averaged 0.95 per cent, while annual growth in the sector averaged 46.29 per cent between 2002 and 2014, with the highest rate recorded in 2004 at 153.65 per cent while the lowest rate of 8.53 per cent was recorded in 2011. “Since May 2014, monthly growth in GSM subscribers has averaged 0.95 per cent, with the greatest increase being recorded in December 2014 at 1.97 per cent and the lowest in July of the same year at 0.43 per cent,” the report read in part.
“The growth in subscribers was mainly driven by Globacom, which recorded an average rate of 1.45 per cent over the period, followed by Etisalat with 1.37 per cent and Airtel with 1.29 per cent while MTN recorded the lowest average monthly growth in subscribers at 0.44 per cent.”