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The Nigerian telecoms market is fully liberalised, highly competitive and evolving with time. Since 1992, a wide range of regulatory initiatives have been undertaken to open up the market to private operators who altogether provide products and services across the entire communications spectrum. These initiatives, particularly in relation to market entry, have resulted in a phenomenal 53% Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) in overall fixed and mobile subscriptions since 2001. Quarterly sectoral growth is up to 35% and the annual contribution to GDP is currently estimated at 6%.
However inspite of the widely-published success, Nigeria lags behind its peers with respect to a number of market indicators as highlighted in this report, which is based on a representative survey by Research ICT Africa (“RIA”) of individuals, households and businesses in 14 African countries. Nigeria ranks 4th with respect to mobile penetration; 5th behind Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana in terms of industry perception of the effectiveness of domestic telecommunications policy and regulation; 17th in terms of the affordability of prepaid mobile products from the dominant operator; and 13th in mobile prepaid affordability.
This study, which is based on a nationally representative household survey conducted in 2011 by RIA, shows that there is a general paradox of performance on the one hand and deficiency on the other, across all the sub-sectors of the telecoms market. Mobile telephony is experiencing huge growth simultaneously as the fixed sector is in a downward spiral. The penetration of fixed telephony is a meagre 65,914 households, or 0.3% of total households in the country, though this study shows that there is ample demand for both fixed and mobile telephone products.