The battle for greater market share among Telcos in Nigeria has intensified, as operators in the industry are trying hard to offer quality services and affordable plans in a bid to outdo one another.
According to the monthly industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), a total of 311,183 internet subscribers dumped Globacom and 9mobile in September 2019. Specifically, 156,065 internet subscribers dumbed 9mobile, while 155,118 dumped Glo at the end of September.
Also, for the second time in a row, MTN’s total number of subscribers dropped by 379,795 in September 2019. This means that within three months (July – September), 379,795 users were inactive on MTN network.
Earlier, Nairametrics had reported that MTN was on the losing side, as a huge number of internet subscribers dumped the network in August. While a whopping number of 667,245 internet subscribers dumped MTN, Airtel Nigeria gained the biggest within the period.
Airtel continues to add big Numbers
According to the NCC data, Airtel Nigeria continues to witness additional internet subscribers on a month-on-month basis. In the month of September alone, Airtel added 444,598 internet subscribers, as the telco’s total internet subscribers rose to 33.1 million.
- Further analysis of the data shows that no internet subscriber has dumped Airtel Nigeria network since April 2017, when the telco recorded a decline of 15,910 in internet subscribers.
- On the other hand, in September 2019, MTN improved slightly, adding 73,633 internet subscribers, pushing its total number of internet subscribers to 51.6 million.
- Meanwhile, having recorded growth in the total number of internet subscribers since March 2019, 155,118 internet subscribers dumped Globacom’s internet service in September.
MTN maintains dominance, but…
In terms of the total industry market share, MTN Nigeria has continued to maintain market dominance. As at the end of September 2019, MTN maintained a total of 65.3 million subscribers, Globacom – 49.2 million, Airtel – 48.9 million, and 9mobile – 15.3 million.
- However, as stated earlier, 379,795 subscribers were inactive on MTN at the end of September, while Airtel recorded an addition of 987,787 Subscribers to its number of total subscribers.
- Overall, MTN’s market share dropped from 65.7 million (37.20%) in August 2019 to 65.3 million (36.52%) in September.
- Worthy of note also, is Glo edging out Airtel in the total subscribers’ chart, as competition heightens.
- An earlier report by Nairametrics showed that Airtel edged out Glo. However, as at the end of September, Glo added 1.9 million active subscribers, putting its total number of subscribers to 49.2 million, compared to 48.9 million for Airtel.
- According to the NCC September report, MTN controls 36.52%, Glo- 27.51%, Airtel- 27.34%, and 9mobile- 8.57%.
Why Nigerians dump providers
It is no longer news that Nigerians are frustrated most times due to the quality of data services supplied by the ISPs but what is new is the rate subscribers dump one provider for another and that can be confirmed by the data released by the NCC, which covers a cumulative three months of activity and inactivity.
What this means
The subscribers, who were reported to have dumped a service provider in September, have remained inactive in the last three months and this may be due to several factors.
Some of the key factors, which Nigerians have frequently lamented over, are poor services, high cost of data, and quick data exhaustion. For instance, in recent times, Nigerians have continually expressed displeasure over MTN and Airtel data bundles, alleging that they are relatively expensive and exhausted unduly.
According to a Glo user, who spoke to Nairametrics, “Glo data is cheap but the internet connection is very slow as it takes longer time to respond in most cases. Most times, I don’t even exhaust my data in a month. It is frustrating.”
An Airtel user, who also spoke to Nairametrics, says, “Airtel data is fast, but I was surprised recently when I bought 10 gig data, and without any major downloads, it was exhausted in less than 2weeks. I am planning to switch to MTN, but I honestly don’t know, which is better.”
A report from the United Kingdom-based price comparison website, Cable, had disclosed that Nigeria’s internet download speed is among the slowest in the world.
While the telcos are raking in billions from data sales, the regulator (NCC) may need to step in and take a proper monitoring stance, to create a win-win situation for both subscribers and ISPs. That means while the latter make money from services rendered, the former also access quality, cheaper and affordable services.
Why there is a massive sell-off of US stocks
The United States 10-year Treasury yields rose to a new one-year high of 1.5% on Thursday sending the equities market on a bearish run. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.5% as of 7.30 pm on Thursday falling by a whopping 500 points. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ were both down 2% and 2.75% respectively ad the sell-offs intensified.
Global bond prices also fell lower on Thursday and investors around the world sold off massively as they feared higher inflation could erode bond yields.
What is going on?
Investors are worried that massive injection of stimulus in the US and in most European countries could trigger higher inflation which will erode profits on bond yields assuming their fears materializes.
US inflation rate for the month of January 2021 was 1.4% the same as the month of December 2020. US inflation was as high as 2.3% a year ago yet investors remain worried. In response to this fear, bond yields have hit multiple one-year highs. This fear is has now spread to the US equities market.
US President Joe Biden is seeking a $1.9 trillion stimulus package which many had hoped will please the market. However, it appears investors are rather afraid that it could trigger a “reflation” eroding whatever positive jolt it could have had on the wider economy.
What this means for your stocks
A rise in interest rates is triggering a massive sell-off in US stocks ad investors fear a return to higher inflation could signal the market could be entering a bearish era. Stocks have hit multi-year highs since January as investors poured in billions of dollars into stocks. If this sell-off persists then investors in US stocks could see the value of their portfolio plummet.
Tech Stocks are particularly affected by the sell-offs with investors dumping heavyweights like Netflix, Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google all falling. Meme stocks, an acronym for stocks popular with Reddit and Twitter retail investors have also suffered losses.
Nairametrics SSN subscribers are advised to track their portfolios accordingly.
Buharinomics: In Stagflation we trust
We explain why President Buhari is synonymous with stagflation and what he can do to get us out of it.
Economists define stagflation as a period of slow economic growth, high unemployment rate and higher inflation. It is one of the worst kinds of economic state of affairs that often leads to poverty, insecurity and social-economic crisis. It is a sticky economic conundrum that is incredibly difficult to escape from.
The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveal Nigeria barely slipped out of a recession in the 4th quarter of 2020 with a 0.11% GDP Growth rate. Despite being a welcome news, it is the slowest GDP Growth rate on record at least since 2011.
Earlier on, in the same week, the Statistics Bureau also released inflation data for the month of January revealing an inflation rate of 16.47%, the highest since April 2017, and affirming Nigeria’s galloping inflation status.
Nigeria is in a protracted state of stagflation and has been in the state since the Buhari administration came into power in 2015. Nigeria’s Gross Domestic product per quarter has averaged 0.18% in the last 6 years since this administration got elected into power. The Buhari government has also presided over a consumer price index change of 108.6%, meaning that prices of nearly every measurable item have doubled in the last 6 years.
Flashback to the first installment of General Buhari and the story is all too familiar. Nigeria’s GDP Growth rate for 1983, 1984 was -10.92% and -1.12% respectively. Annual inflation rate in the same period was 17.2% and 23.8% respectively.
Buharinomics is synonymous with Stagflation.
How did we get here?
While it all started from the drop in oil prices in 2014, a cocktail of economic policies from the Buhari-led administration is largely blamed for Nigeria’s economic quagmire. Since it came into power, the government has adopted economic policies that are centered around defending the local currency, import substitution and social spending.
For all its good intentions, these policies are pregnant with side effects that potentially erase its positives, turning into cancer of cataclysmic proportions.
For example, while the policy of defending the exchange rate stabilized the naira between 2016 and 2019, it cost the CBN trillions in interest payments and high cost of borrowing.
The high cost of borrowing is associated with higher inflation and stunted economic growth as small businesses cannot secure the funding required to expand and even when they do it is expensive.
The policy of promoting locally made goods over their foreign alternatives has also led to multiple bans of access to forex to imports, higher customs duties and taxes on imports and a crushing border closure all of which have combined to send inflation off the roof.
Nigeria’s inflation rate conundrum can also be traced to supply-side challenges such as insecurity, logistic gridlocks, corruption and inefficiencies at the Nations ports and an overall bitter experience in the nation’s ease of doing business.
How to get out of Stagflation
There is no clear-cut set of rules that can end stagflation however a rethink of the government’s approach to policymaking and implementation could be a good first step to control it, especially if the target is one of the major causes of stagflation, supply-side inflation.
To address Nigeria’s challenges with Stagflation, the Buhari Government will have to swallow its pride and relinquish trust in moribund policies that have not worked. Wholesome of Nigeria’s economic challenges are out of its control (like fall in oil prices) a huge chunk of it is self-inflicted and as such within its control. For example, it must fix the spate of insecurity around the country by being more deliberate with dealing with bandits, militant herdsmen and terrorists.
It must declare a national emergency in the nation’s ports and reduce the lead time to clearing goods for import or export. It must address the logistics issues affecting the distribution of farm produce from a place of planting to the destination of consumption.
Monetary policy restrictions stifling trade must be loosened and replaced with a reward policy system that encourages exports as against imports without banning cheap substitutes that have no local production advantage. We need new regulations and laws that favour private sector investments, protect property and enable capital formation. A case in point is the perennial PIB Bill that gets debated year after year.
These are not novel ideas within economic circles and as such cannot be that difficult to conceive and concede to doing. The challenges have always been the will and courage to act in defiance of snags such as vested interests, political ideology, endemic bureaucracy, and corruption. This government has shown in the past that it can roll back on unpopular policies except that it does it too late with not enough time to create a positive impact.
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