Author: Adekola Taylor
June, 2015

In year 2014, Nigeria was officially pronounced as Africa's biggest economy after engulfing South Africa. The drastic and unprecedented positive growth in the telecoms sector of the country projected Nigeria to the Africa's economy frontline. With Nigeria currently having a population of 181.6 million people, Pyramid Research projected Nigeria's mobile subscriber base to clock 182 million by 2019. The report from Pyramid Research indicates that the Nigerian telecommunications market is anticipated to produce a total of US $9.2 billion in 2013 to US $10.9 billion in 2019. It was forecasted that there would be a slight reduction in 2015 due to a large number of fixed-line disconnections. However, the anticipated growth in the telecoms sector would remain unaffected. It is believed that over the next five years the telecoms sector would augment at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2 percent with mobile data enlarging by 16 percent aloft until 2019.

An analyst at Pyramid Research reports that low oil prices and political instability have brought about the devaluation of the Naira against the US Dollar, but the telecoms market is considered as a vital part of the Nigeria's economy to diversify the sources of economic growth. Invariably, the currency depreciations are probably going to result in slower US Dollar growth rates locally, the Nigerian telecoms market serves as a potential growth that would offer the country nearly 6.8 % per annual growth rates for the period between 2014 and 2019. Nigeria will stand as the largest market for mobile subscription in Africa with the anticipated 182 million subscribers by the end of 2019. Nigeria, as the Africa's biggest economy, will play a vital role in defining the telecoms market in the continent. When it comes to mobile technology and telecoms developments other African countries will probably follow Nigeria.

The unprecedented demands for mobile data in Nigeria will create new opportunities for companies and industries to test and grow their services. In 2014, Nigeria's Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication subscriber figures hit the 130 million mark according to the Dr Eugene Juwah, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). It is believed that huge investment in telecoms infrastructure will bring about unimaginable revolution in the telecoms sector in the country. The NCC reiterated that seven infrastructure companies were licensed in the year 2014, to render the infrastructure needed to drive broadband services across the six geopolitical zones in the country.

Nigeria has adopted the Open Access Model for its implementation of broadband. This will bring out the new era of enhanced digital communication and broadband services. With the advancement in the telecoms sector, other sectors of the Nigerian economy will experience exponential growth. The impacts of information and communication technology in improving services cannot be underestimated. As a matter of fact, advancement in the telecoms sector will lead to improvements in other sectors of the economy. With the projected 182 million mobile user subscribers by 2019, Nigeria will become a veritable place for new business opportunities and investments.


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