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Business News

Nigeria’s broadband penetration rises, yet internet remains slowest in the world

The latest statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission shows that broadband subscription increased to 63.1 million in February 2019.

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Internet World Stats, Nigerian Communications Commission remittance, Network operators in Nigeria, Telecoms companies in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, Airtel Africa, Globacom data, 9mobile court case, Top 10 states in Nigeria with the highest Internet subscribers , Telecommunications: The bright spot in a fragile economy, Telcos add 5.64 million voice and data subscribers in Q3 2019 - NBS , Alleged N200bn Debt: EFCC, DSS to probe telcos, Network glitch, as poor internet speed continues to impede banking services, Telecoms record 725% increase in foreign capital investment, as GDP contribution hits N6 trillion, Coronavirus: Instant messaging platforms, Telcos raking in funds from the work-from-home policy, Telecoms: Bright spot amidst the gloom, Nigerians lambast MTN, Airtel for offering free SMS, ignoring request for free data, airtime

The latest statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows that broadband subscription/penetration increased to 63.1 million in February 2019.

According to the latest NCC data, broadband penetration in Nigeria increased to 33.08% in February, up from 32.34% in the previous month. In January, total broadband penetration was 61.7 million, while it rose to 63.1 million in February 2019.

What is Broadband penetration?

According to IGI Global, broadband penetration is used for measuring the extent of access to broadband communications within the population of a particular location.

It is usually computed as a ratio between the number of subscribers and the total population for a particular location.

The OECD revealed that broadband penetration is measured by the number of broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

Global Broadband Penetration 

The share of high-speed fibre in broadband Internet connections in OECD countries has risen to 25%, up from 12% eight years ago, according to the OECD’s broadband portal.

Specifically, recent data shows that the highest growth in fibre over the past year has been seen in Ireland, Belgium, and Australia. In these countries, fibre subscriptions rose up 218%, 71%, and 70% respectively.

Mobile broadband continued its rapid expansion with an additional 98 million subscriptions, a rise of 7.4%, in the year to June 2018.

Nigeria’s growing Broadband Penetration

Nigeria has reportedly surpassed its earlier five-year target of 30 percent which was set for 2013 and 2018, through measures and strategies put in place by the NCC.

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Following this, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, reportedly stated early in the month that the commission is ready to drive the process of attaining 70 percent broadband penetration in a couple of years.

“When I was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, broadband penetration was only 8.5 per cent. It has now risen to 33 per cent, an equivalent of 63 million Nigerians enjoying the services. I am particularly thrilled to see that the rising trend has not only been sustained, but the NCC is now ready to take it to the next level.”– Danbatta

Yet Nigeria is ranked among countries with the slowest internet in the World 

Internet speed in Nigeria has remained slow and sometimes frustrating, despite the country’s record of rising subscription and wireless technology.

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According to the latest ranking by the Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index, Nigeria is ranked 107th in mobile Internet download speed out of 137 countries in the world. In February, it was reported that the average mobile Internet download speed was 12.22 megabits per second down from 12.76 Mbps in January.

The ranking further indicated that Nigeria has not exceeded the 102nd Internet speed ranking in the past year despite rising 3G/4G subscriptions and reportedly cheap internet data subscription.

Similarly, the 2018 global ranking report for worldwide broadband speed released by Cable, Nigeria is currently ranked 152nd among 200 countries.

How bad can it be? 

Slow or bad internet connectivity would have multiplier effects on every aspect of business and the economy. It would not only reduce investment opportunities but also result in I.T infrastructural decay in the country.

For instance, when transactions are delayed because of poor connectivity, time and money are lost and financial inclusion whose success largely depends on fast internet services is truncated.

Interestingly, Nigeria’s 2018 GDP shows that in terms of contribution to GDP, Information and communication contributes 12.22% to GDP. Hence, bad internet connectivity is setting growth on a precarious path.

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In the 21st century, slow internet access puts individuals and businesses at great disadvantages positions. According to a report by Financial Times, poor internet connections are costing the UK economy up to £11bn a year, with 42 percent of small to medium-sized businesses reporting problems with connectivity.

Despite the tremendous potential and impact of the Internet, Nigerians and their businesses are still made bear the cost and curse at the moment.

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Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Business News

Senate calls for the liberalization of cement policy to crash the price of the commodity

The Senate also tasked the FG on providing more industrial incentives to bring new players into the cement industry.

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The Nigerian Senate has called for the liberalization of Nigeria’s cement policy to boost production and subsequently crash the price of the commodity in the country.

This motion was raised by Senator Lola Ashiru at today’s senate plenary, the senator also tasked the Federal Government on providing more industrial incentives to bring new players into the cement industry, in addition to the liberalization of the cement policy in Nigeria.

Ashiru explained that to reduce the price of cement and in extension, other building materials in the country, the Federal Government needs to provide an enabling operating environment that will encourage new entrants in the country.

The Senate in conclusion called on the FG to provide more industrial incentives and protections such as concessionary loans and larger tax incentives to encourage new entrants and expand the national cement production infrastructure, as this boost in production will lead to a downward review of cement price in Nigeria.

What industry leaders are saying

Earlier this year the founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, called for the liberalization of Nigeria’s cement policy to boost production and reduce the price of the commodity.

The billionaire philanthropist faulted the belief that Nigeria is self-sufficient in terms of cement production, noting that recent statistics and figures on Nigeria’s population and cement production do not support this status of sufficiency in cement production as stated by some individuals.

He attributed the high price of cement products in the country to the supply gap which exists in the country, as the few producers who currently operate in the country are unable able to meet the country’s huge and growing demand.

The Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Devakumar Edwin, explained that the demand and consumption of cement in the nation currently outstrips supply, and this can be pegged on the growth in the country’s population, and the strong appetite for real estate investment and construction in the country.

He revealed that a supply gap of about 40% exists in the country’s cement market and that all players in the industry are working hard to level production with the rising demand in the country.

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Business News

Paypal’s Venmo now permits cryptocurrency trading

Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

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Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal has announced that it has started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app. Just like PayPal, Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, and users can carry out transactions with as little as $1 on the app

Founded in 2009, Venmo has over 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment channels in the US. The payment platform processed around $159 billion in payments last year.

Since the app functions like a social network, adding cryptocurrency will offer a more user-friendly feel for people who love buying and selling crypto.

READ: 28 million merchants to be granted crypto usage on PayPal

As bigger companies show more interest in cryptocurrency, there will be wider adoption of virtual currencies in future. Venmo is the latest payment app that is offering support for cryptocurrency on its platform.

Paypal, the parent company of Venmo is one of the most active companies in the crypto space as it allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Paypal users can also spend their coins at millions of merchants globally.

Crypto on Venmo is enabled through PayPal’s partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.

What they are saying

Darrell Esch, Venmo’s Senior Vice President and general manager said “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”

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