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Prices of food items jump across Lagos markets, as traders lament transport fare hike

Covid-19 pandemic, high cost of transportation, and scarcity have triggered a significant price increase of major household items across Lagos Markets.



prices of food items, SBM Jollof Index, Smuggling of imported rice hits Lagos major markets, as residence brace for shutdown

As Nigerians continue to adjust to the “new normal” that has characterised the gradual easing of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, they are concerned about the significant increase in the prices of food items, particularly across Lagos markets. Meanwhile, traders have blamed the price jump on the high cost of transportation and scarcity of some essential food items.

These were all revealed in the latest household market survey carried out by Nairametrics Research. According to the latest report, the price of items such as beans, pepper, palm oil, onions, tomatoes, garri, and potatoes significantly increased. For instance, a big bag of pepper is currently sold for an average of N15,000, which indicates an increase of 114.3% when compared to the pre-lockdown price of N7,000.


Similarly, the price of a big bag of dry onions spiked by 30.77%, as it currently sells for an average of N17,000. In the same vein, a basket of sweet potatoes sells for an average of N15,000, marking a 150% increase when compared to N6,000 pre-lockdown price.

The rest of this report further highlights other items that witnessed a significant increase in price, items that recorded a decrease in price, items that maintained initial prices, special markets, and key market insights. Keep reading…

READ ALSO: Prices of tomatoes, frozen foods, onions, others jump, as low demand hits imported rice 

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Mile 12 market, Lagos

Items that witnessed price increase

Some of the items that recorded significant increase in price include:

• A 50kg bag of Royal Stallion rice currently selling for an average of N27,333, compared to an initial average of N26,167 recorded in March.
• A gallon of locally made palm oil (5 Litres) is currently sold for an average of N2,025, indicating a 22.73% increase compared to its initial price of N1,650. A 25-litre gallon of palm oil increased by 6.67% to sell for an average of N10,000 compared to N9,375.
• A 50kg bag of Mama Gold rice, which was initially sold for an average of N19,250 increased by 5.84% to an average of N20,375 while Mama’s Pride rice increased marginally to an average of N19,375.
• A 50kg bag of white beans, which was initially sold for an average of N18,250 in March, now sells for an average of N21,125. This indicates a 15.75% increase in price.
• Also, a big sized bag of brown beans recorded a 9.27% increase in price to sell for an average of N20,625 compared to an initial average of N18,875.
• An 80kg bag of garri (Ijebu) currently sells for an average of N13,000. This indicates a 94% increase compared to the initial average of N6,700 recorded in March.
• Also, a 50kg bag of white garri spiked by 50% to sell for an average of N11,250, while yellow garri (50kg) recorded 58.1% increase in price to sell for an average of N12,250 compared to a reference price of N7,750.
• A big basket of round shaped tomatoes, which was sold for an average of N5,500 in March, has risen significantly by 127.3% as it now sells for an average of N12,500.
• The price of fish also rose as a big sized Horse Mackerel (Kote) that was for an initial average of N525 is now sold for an average of N563, while Titus (Mackerel) fish is currently sold for an average of N575.
• A bag of yellow maize currently sells for an average of N14,000, compared to an average of N13,000 recorded in March, while a bag of white maize sells for an average of N13,750.

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READ MORE: UPDATED: Nigeria’s inflation rate rises to 12.34% as COVID effects bite harder

Items that recorded decrease in price

Despite the increase recorded in the prices of major household food items, the prices of some items however declined.

• A 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas is now being refilled for an average of N3,375. Indicating a 15.63% reduction in price from an average of N4,000 in March.
• Also, a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas is currently filled for an average of N1,375 compared to an average of N1,725 recorded in March.
• A big bag of melon seeds (egusi) currently sells for an average of 38,000. A 7.32% decrease in price compared to N41,000 recorded in March 2020.
• A tuber of yam is currently sold for an average of N1,250. Compared to initial value of N1,375. The price of yam reduced by 9.1% while a medium-sized tuber of Abuja yam currently sells for an average of N713.


READ ALSO: Household Survey: Palm Oil prices jack up as tomatoes and melon ease off

Items that maintained initial price

Household items that maintained their initial prices include milk, cocoa beverages, vegetable oil, and flour.

• A 400g of Peak Powdered milk (tin) continues to sell for an average of N1,213 while 900g still sells for an average of N2,375.
• 500g and 900g tins of Milo still sell for averages of N1,038 and N2,075 respectively across the four markets.
• 5-Litre and 25-Litre gallons of locally made vegetable oil maintained their initial prices at N2,200 and 12,575 respectively.


Special Items/Markets

• The Nairametrics Research team identified new brands of beans at the market  Gombe beans, which is sold for an average of N21,500 per bag, and Niger beans which sells for an average for N17,000.
• A big bag of dried bush mango seeds (Ogbono) is currently sold for average of N75,000 compared to an initial value of N90,000, while a bag of new bush mango seeds sells for N50,000 as against its initial value of N70,000.
• A bag of crayfish also recorded a decrease in price from an average of N15,000 to N12,500.

tomatoes market, Mile 12


Market Insights

The lockdown and hike in the cost of transportation triggered increases in the price of food items. This was disclosed by a frozen food trader at Mushin market. She said:

“Due to the hike in transportation, we now sell a full chicken for an average of N1,700 compared to an initial average of N1,400, while 1 kg of Turkey sells for N1,500 compared to N1,300 recorded in March 2020. Also, Chicken lap which was sold for N1,000 in March now sells for an average of N1,400, while a carton of Titus fish that was sold for N19,000 in March now sells for an average of N21,000.”

She further explained that due to the practice of social distancing, the cost of transportation has increased significantly, hence affecting the prices of many commodities in the market.

On his part, Mr. Ruwa, an onion seller at Mile 12 market, stated that the increase in the price of onions is due to the scarcity of the item which is produced mainly in Northern Nigeria. According to him, the price of onions rose significantly due to the scarcity of dry onions due to the season.

ItemsBrandUnitMUSHIN (28/05/2020)DALEKO (28/05/2020)OYINGBO (28/05/2020)MILE 12 (28/05/2020)Average MUSHIN (19/03/2020)DALEKO (19/03/2020)OYINGBO (19/03/2020)MILE 12 (19/03/2020)Average
Bag of RiceMama Gold10kgNA4000NANA4000NA3500NANA3500
Bag of RiceRoyal Stallion50Kg28000NA270002700027333.33333333327000NA270002450026166.666666667
Bag of RiceRice Master10kgNA3500NA40003750NA3500NA35003500
Bag of RiceMama Gold50kg20000200002100020500203751900019000195001950019250
Bag of RiceCaprice50kg280002700027500270002737526500NANA2500025750
Bag of RiceMama's Pride50kg19500190001950019500193751900019000195001950019250
Bag of BeansOloyin50kg13000125001300012500127501300012000130001200012500
Bag of BeansWhite50kg22000205002100021000211251850018000185001800018250
Bag of BeansBrown>50kg20500195002150021000206252050018000190001800018875
Tuber of YamAbuja1 Big Size Tuber1300120013001200125014001400130014001375
Tuber of YamAbuja1 Medium Size Tuber700700750700712.5750700750750737.5
Carton of NoodlesIndomie305g (Belle full)2900290029002900290029002900290029002900
Carton of NoodlesIndomie200g (Hungry man)3200320032003200320032003200320032003200
Carton of NoodlesChikki100g2000220021002100210020002200210021002100
Carton of NoodlesMinimie70g1600165017001650165015001500150015001500
Carton of NoodlesGolden Penny70g1400140014001400140014001400140014001400
Bag of GarriIjebu80kg125001300012500140001300060006800700070006700
Bag of GarriWhite50kg110001150011500110001125070007500750080007500
Bag of GarriYellow50kg120001250012000125001225075007500750085007750
Basket of PotatoSweetBig Basket150001500060006000
Basket of PotatoSweetSmall Basket1000100010001000
Basket of PotatosweetSmallest Basket500500200200
Basket of PotatoIrishBiggest Basket20000200001700017000
Basket of PotatoIrishSmall Basket2000200018001800
Basket of PotatoIrishSmallest Basket1500150013001300
Packet of PastaGolden Penny500g4300440043004200430043004400430042004300
Packet of PastaDangote500g4000410042004100410040004000400041004025
Packet of PastaPower (1 pc)500g220220220220220220220220200215
Packet of PastaBonita (1 pc)500g220200200210207.5220200200210207.5
Gallon of Palm OilLocal5 Litres2100200020002000202518001500180015001650
Gallon of Palm OilLocal25 Litres10000950010000950010000100009000950090009375
Gallon of Vegetable OilLocal5 Litres2200220022002200220022002200220022002200
Gallon of Vegetable OilLocal25 Litres12600124001290012400125751260012400129001240012575
Gallon of Vegetable OilKings5 Litres3000300030003000300030003000300030003000
Gallon of Vegetable OilWesson5 Litres3900390039003900390039003900390039003900
Gallon of Vegetable OilMamador3.8 Litres25002450250024002462.525002450250024002462.5
Gallon of Vegetable OilPower3 Litres1800180018001800180018001800180018001800
Bunch of PlaintainPlaintain1 Big Bunch500400450500462.5400400350400387.5
Bag of FlourDangote50kg11200112001100011000111001120011200110001100011100
Bag of FlourHoney well50Kg11200112001120011200112001120011200112001120011200
Bag of FlourMama Gold50kg11000113001100011000110751100011300110001100011075
MilkPeak Powdered (Tin)400g12501200120012001212.512501200120012001212.5
Milkpeak Powdered(Tin)900g2400240024002300237524002400240023002375
MilkPeak milk (Refill)500g10501000100010001012.510501000100010001012.5
MilkDano Powdered (Tin)500g1000100010001000100010001000100010001000
MilkDano Powdered(Tin)900g2000200020002000200020002000200020002000
MilkDano (Refill)500g850800800800812.5850800800800812.5
MilkThree Crown (Refill)380g720700750700717.5720700750700717.5
MilkLoya Powdered (Tin)400g10001000100010501012.510001000100010501012.5
MilkLoya (Refill)400g850800850800825850800850800825
MilkCoast (Refill)500g750750750750750750750750750750
Cocoa BeveragesMilo (Tin)500g10001100105010001037.510001100105010001037.5
Cocoa BeveragesMilo (Tin)900g2000210021002100207520002100210021002075
Cocoa BeveragesMilo Refill500g900900900900900900900900900900
Cocoa BeveragesBournvita Refill500g95010009509009509501000950900950
Cocoa BeveragesBournvita (Plastic)900g2000200020002000200020002000200020002000
Cocoa BeveragesOvaltine Refill500g800800850850825800800850850825
Cocoa BeveragesOvaltine(Plastic)500g1100110010001100107511001100100011001075
CoffeeNescafe Classic50g600600600600600600600600600600
TeaLipton Yellow label52g310290300300300310290300300300
TeaTop tea52g300300300300300300300300300300
SugarSt' Loius Sugar(Cube) 500g500550550550537.5400380400450407.5
SugarGolden Penny Sugar (cube)500g350350350400362.5350300350300325
BreadVal-U1 loafNANANANANA370350350370360
BreadButterfield1 loaf350350350350350350350350350350
Bottled Water (Refill)CwayRefill600600650600612.5600600650600612.5
Juice5 Alive1 litre600550550600575600550550600575
JuiceChivita1 litre600550600550575600550600550575
TomatoesBig Basketround shaped125001250055005500
Medium Basketround shaped6500650032003200
Small Basketround shaped4000400020002500
Big BasketOval ShapedNANA
Small BasketOval ShapedNANA
FishKote (Horse Mackerel)1 big Fish550600550550562.5550500500550525
FishTitus (Mackerel)1 big Fish550600550600575500500550500512.5
PepperBig bag150001500070007000
Medium bag8000800050005000
MelonBig bag38000380004100041000
OnionsBig bagDry Onions17000170001300013000
OnionsBig bagNew OnionsNANA1100011000

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About Nairametrics Food Price Survey

The Nairametrics Food Price Watch is a bi-weekly household market survey that covers the prices of major food items, with emphasis on five major markets in Lagos – Mushin Market, Daleko Market, Oyingbo Market, Idi-Oro Market and Mile 12.


Nairametrics Research team tracks, collates, maintains and manages a rich database of macro-economic and micro-economic data from Nigeria and Africa. Our analysts share some of the data collated on Nairametrics, using formats such as docs, tables and charts etc. The team also publishes research based analysis as articles on a regular basis.

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How delivery firms fleece their patrons

The onus is on you to pick the solution that works for you.



It was early on Sunday morning, but Halimat was already at her wits end. Rather than having an easy Sunday morning, she was on the phone, placating a justifiably angry customer who was yet to receive the hair extensions she had ordered, after two weeks of making the purchase.

The client had paid for hair extensions amounting to N150,000, and did not quibble overpaying the delivery fee of N2,000; Halimat had been pleased to have made such a huge sale from one customer. However, two weeks later, she was still running after the delivery guys, wondering why the parcel had not been delivered. Eventually, she was informed that “the package could no longer be found,” and they stopped taking her calls afterward.


Where do I even start from?” she lamented. “So, I paid them N2000 to help me misplace products worth N150,000.”

Sadly, many small business owners have experienced varying degrees of disappointment after hiring delivery services to convey products to customers.

READ MORE: Uber expands food delivery business in a $2.65 billion acquisition 

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A new day for delivery service providers

In the early 2000s, no one thought much about courier and delivery services. It was a business with low patronage, and even lower turnovers. By the turn of the first decade of the 21st century, the narrative had started a gradual change. Logistics and delivery services were becoming much sought after; even businesses in other sectors started branching out into delivery services.

With the introduction of new government policies geared towards promoting the ease-of-doing-business, the number of people going into delivery businesses has quadrupled. Operating both a B2C and B2B model, the market is quite large, especially with recent evidence showing an increase in online transactions and demand for home deliveries.

With as little as N400,000, one can start a small-scale delivery business by purchasing a despatch bike, and securing a license or logistics permit from the state’s ministry of transportation. The need for an office space could be optional, and even when one chooses to have one, it could be a shared space. Of course, a social media handle is now considered essential for the purpose of getting clients and establishing an online presence.

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READ ALSO: Business owners will now get CAC certificate with TIN

Challenges for business owners

In spite of the ubiquity of delivery services, getting a good delivery service is still a hard nut to crack. Stories abound of people who have had their deliveries delayed for days and even weeks. There are also stories of parcels destroyed, or even lost without getting to the recipient, and so for these small businesses, the problem remains finding a delivery service that can guarantee and deliver just as promised.

For Oluwatobi Ibukun Abiola, who runs ATJ Creations hub, getting a good delivery company is quite difficult, and sometimes small business owners eventually have to settle for alternate options, like using friends and siblings to make their deliveries.


As a producer of organic hair and skincare products, Oluwatobi’s deliveries are often booked days ahead and she has to get the entire schedule sorted out. For her, it can be summarised in a sentence.

The cheaper the service, the more certain you are that it will disappoint. So, it is often better to ignore the cost and go for the more reliable options.”

Some delivery businesses require registration fees from business owners who intend to use their services regularly. This fee could range from N5000 to N25,000, depending on the size of the business. Oluwatobi explained that based on her experience, using such delivery options, one is less likely to get disappointed.


There are also delivery businesses that only require one to call and book the time and date for pickup and the location for delivery. However these often disappoint; sometimes failing to turn up to pick the parcel, or even delaying the delivery for a couple more days.

READ MORE: Plentywaka provides same day delivery for small businesses in Lagos


Brenda Nwafor, owner of Nebdesigns, a business that specialises in making customised bags agrees that indeed, delivery businesses and despatch riders often disappoint.

She pointed out that the most difficult part of handling them is when they refuse to explain the true reason for delayed delivery. After failing to deliver a package as scheduled, they could end up refusing to pick calls for the next couple of days until they have successfully delivered it, and this sometimes leaves the sender at a loss over what explanation to offer to the receiver.

“To deal with them, I have to book a date that is earlier than the agreed date, so that all the delays can be factored in. If they eventually deliver it on time, I end up with a satisfied customer who is pleased to have received his package a day or two before the scheduled date,” she explained.

While this option is possible for people in the business of non-perishables like beauty products and fashion items, it is not obtainable for those in the business of consumables. Best runs a food and small chops business from her home, preparing and packaging chops, and foods for her clients.

READ MORE: Google signs in to Theta (blockchain) to transform the global digital economy

In her line of business, same-day delivery is key but even then, she has to put up with delays. In some extreme situations when they fail to show up, she has to get a taxi and go handle deliveries herself, with help from friends when deliveries have to be made in multiple locations.

“Deliveries that should get to the customers by 1pm or 3pm sometimes get to them as late as 9pm, and I have to appeal with them to microwave the food,” she told Nairametrics. But this is not the worst scenario.

Best told Nairametrics that she had an issue in May where the despatch rider got to the client by 9pm with an empty plate, explaining that the food poured while he was trying to navigate the traffic from Oshodi to Iyana-isolo. While apologising to the client, he had pleaded with them to accept some frozen chicken (he bought to take home to his family), in place of the ordered “sautéed gizzard and dodo.”

Another business owner, who preferred anonymity, told Nairametrics that she recently had to refund over N80,000 to her clients after the despatch rider died in a road accident on his way to make her food deliveries.

Are business owners being penny wise pound foolish?

And this raises the question of insurance. Why go for a delivery service that does not give any insurance over your parcel.

Most of the business owners who spoke to Nairametrics agreed that despite knowing the risks involved, they opt for these despatch riders because they are cheaper and less cumbersome. One of them explained that she had tried one of the big logistic companies, even downloaded the app and uploaded a picture of the product to be delivered.

It was too expensive; there was no way I could take it. Imagine paying N2,000 as a delivery fee on a product of N3,000. Clients are already unwilling to pay extra charges for delivery so we have to look for the cheapest option for them,” she explained.

A despatch rider who simply gave his name as Nurudeen told Nairametrics that sometimes, they failed to turn up when it became obvious that there wasn’t much profit to be made from that delivery.

I can accept the booking, in the hope that other bookings will come to justify the trip. But if there is none, I cannot end up making a trip because of two deliveries worth N2000 total. It will be a total loss for me,” he said.

A holistic solution

Samuel Ajiboyede, CEO and Founder of Zido Logistics, Africa, and expert in the logistics business, recommends a holistic logistics solution for SMEs, rather than randomly calling a despatch rider whenever they need to make a delivery.

“You can’t just wake up and call them to say come and pick this up tomorrow. With such a structure, disappointments and delays are bound to happen since they cannot operate at a loss. Instead have a holistic solution that handles everything and gives you the needed insurance,” he said.

With such a solution, he noted, the business owner could collaborate with a logistics company that would take his parcel, along with other parcels going to the same location and move them all at once. Depending on the arrangement, the logistics company could give one assurance of delivering on the same day, all parcels registered before 9am, and delivering the rest the following day. With this approach, the business owner could spend much less on the unit cost of delivery.

Ajiboyede encouraged business owners to work with those logistics brands that provide covering and insurance for the goods, even if their services may be more expensive. There are two kinds of insurance which this arrangement gives the business owner.

Fidelity insurance protects you from losses that could result from events like the driver/rider running away with your goods or losing your goods, while Goods on transit insurance prevents losses you could get from having your goods defaced, tampered with or completely defaced. This explains why their costs could be slightly higher and their processes cumbersome, but it reduces your worries at the end of the day.

For same-day food deliveries however, he recommends that the business owners have despatch riders dedicated to their business. In the event that the business owner is unable to meet up with such, he could opt instead for ‘cluster plans’ where orders would only be taken in one or two locations depending on what is feasible.

Irrespective of the hassles, a despatch rider is less likely to disappoint you if you have as much as 20 food deliveries going to one location, as against when you have the same 20 deliveries spread across 6 locations.

As a small business owner, the onus is on you to pick the solution that works for you, bearing in mind that even when the cheapest option does not offer client satisfaction, the most expensive may not offer that either since the clients are always trying to keep their money in their purse.

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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 15th of July 2020, 643 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.



The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 34,259 confirmed cases.

On the 15th of July 2020, 643 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 12,707 samples across the country.


To date, 34,259 cases have been confirmed, 13,999 cases have been discharged and 760 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 199,016 tests have been carried out as of July 15th, 2020 compared to 186,309 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 15th July 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 34,259
  • Total Number Discharged – 13,999
  • Total Deaths – 760
  • Total Tests Carried out – 199,016

According to the NCDC, the 643 new cases were reported from 19 states- Lagos (230), Oyo (69), FCT (51), Edo (43), Osun (35), Rivers (30), Ebonyi (30), Kaduna (28), Ogun (27), Ondo (23), Plateau (20), Benue (17), Enugu (16), Imo (10), Delta (6), Kano (4), Nasarawa (2), Kebbi (1), Ekiti (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 12,941, followed by Abuja (2,738), Oyo (1,951), Edo (1,850), Rivers (1,427),  Delta (1,398), Kano (1,318), Ogun (1,132),  Kaduna (1,067), Ondo (770), Katsina (669), Ebonyi (646), Borno (593), Plateau (591), Gombe (533), Enugu (531), Bauchi (521), Kwara (422), Abia (413),  Imo (409).

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Jigawa state has recorded 321 cases, Bayelsa (318), Osun (311), Nasarawa (254), Sokoto (153), Akwa Ibom and Niger (145),  Benue (143), Adamawa (110), Anambra (101), Kebbi (88), Zamfara (76), Ekiti (67), Yobe (62), Taraba (30), Cross River (10) while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.


READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.



READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
July 15, 202034259643760613999195007
July 14, 2020336164637541013792190707
July 13, 202033153595744413671187387
July 12, 2020325585717401613447183717
July 11, 2020319876647241513103181607
July 10, 2020313235757092012795178197
July 9, 202030748499689512546175137
July 8, 2020302494606841512373171927
July 7, 2020297895036691512108170127
July 6, 202029286575654911828168047
July 5, 2020287115446451111665164017
July 4, 202028167603634611462160717
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
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Data war: Glo dwarfs MTN, Airtel others in subscribers’ growth over 5 months

It gained 8.302 million data subscribers when it grew from 28.934 million in December 2019 to 37.236 million by the end of May 2020.



Data war: Glo dwarfs MTN, Airtel others in subscribers’ growth over 5 months

No doubt, competition among major internet service providers (ISP) in Nigeria has been intense, as the ISPs ensure that their brands are known as the best, most affordable and fastest in the industry.

From MTN’s Nedu Proposal Data commercial to  Airtel’s Data is Life, or Glo’s Emoji campaign and 9Mobile’s Moreblase, more affordable, it is obvious that these TV commercials must have cost the ISPs fortunes, as most of them are Nollywood star-studded.


Despite the intense competition in the last five months (January – May 2020), it appears that one of them has taken others by surprise and attracted more subscribers.

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According to data released by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) recently for the period ending May 2020, indigenous mobile telecommunication company, Glo dwarfed other competitors, as it gained 8.302 million data subscribers when it grew from 28.934 million in December 2019 to 37.236 million by the end of May 2020, while MTN gained 4.75 million data subscribers. Airtel, which used to be the second-highest in subscribers growth after MTN, recorded 2.795 million, while 9mobile lost 812,827 subscribers within the same period.

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Meanwhile, Nairametrics had reported that the nation’s telecommunication landscape witnessed a high level of competition in terms of data offering in 2019, as operators in the industry intensified their efforts to increase their market share in a fickle industry.

NCC’s data for the period ending December 2019, revealed that Nigeria’s largest mobile telecommunication company, MTN, gained 8.18 million data subscribers, and Airtel successfully edged out Glo in terms of data subscriber numbers, as the telco added 4.06 million subscribers over the indigenous brand.

READ ALSO: $30 billion worth of BTCs disappears forever 

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Competition between two of Nigeria’s largest data sellers, MTN and Airtel took different turns in 2019, as MTN recovered from the drop recorded during the year.

Glo leads the pack ahead of MTN, Airtel

The competition has taken a new twist so far in 2020 (January – May 2020). Though MTN and Airtel, the two Nigeria’s largest data sellers, have 58.863 million data subscribers and 37.317 million subscribers respectively, Glo, which is the third-largest came from behind to outrun the ‘big players’, as more subscribers opted for the service of the indigenous ISP during the economic lockdown imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

What it means: While MTN and Airtel managed to attract only 689,593 and 41,791 subscribers in March and April (Peak of the lockdown) respectively, Glo smiled to the bank, as it attracted new 2.072 million data subscribers within the same period.


In terms of market share, MTN maintains the lead, as it controls 39.61% of the market (May 2020), followed by Glo with 27.12%, then Airtel with 26.83%, and 9mobile with 6.37% within the same period.

Internet quality: Where Nigeria stands in the world

The advent of 4G/LTE in the global telecom industry was accompanied by expectations of fast internet speed. 4G is the fourth generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology, succeeding 3G. Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, and 3D television.


However, years down the line, Nigeria is still faced with poor internet quality. In a recent survey conducted on download speed experiences of subscribers across 87 countries including Nigeria, a Network monitoring outfit, Opensignal, concluded that congestion is messing with the user experience. Nigeria ranked 83 out of 87 of the countries surveyed in terms of download speed experience.

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Opensignal stated,We saw the widest variety of scores of all our award metrics in Download Speed Experience, with average speeds ranging from over 50 Mbps to less than 2 Mbps. There were 13 countries with Download Speed Experience scores over 30 Mbps, while 35 of the 87 markets we measured fell into the 10-20 Mbps range, and 20 scored under 10 Mbps (Nigeria stands at 5.4Mbps).

While GSM companies continue to jostle for market share, it has often come at the expense of poor service and lack of accountability. Quite frankly, as an average internet user in Nigeria, one is usually left at the mercy of poor mobile internet services which frustrates one into seeking limited alternatives.

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