Pooling data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Intelligence by Techpoint reveals that Nigeria lost 15.5 million subscribers between December 2020 and March 2021.
In 2020, Nigeria had 190 million mobile subscribers, but that number hit 192 million in March 2021.
In December 2020, the Nigerian government banned the sale and registration of new SIM cards and introduced a December 30 deadline for people to link their National Identity Number (NIN) with their SIM cards.
In retrospect, it is not clear if the government considered the risks of COVID-19, as that move coincided with a sharp increase in positive cases in the following months.
MTN and Airtel’s financial reports for Q4 2020 and Q1 2021 revealed that this policy would also hurt telecom companies. Both companies registered a reduction in subscriber numbers during the period in question.
The NCC’s data all but confirms these numbers.
In November 2020, Nigeria had up to 207.9 mobile subscribers, but the country has witnessed a downward spiral since then, leading to the loss of over 15 million subscribers.
Compared to previous years, this could be considered an abysmal showing.
By comparison, Nigeria gained 15.7 million subscribers between March 2019 and March 2020. From March 2018 to 2019, subscribers grew by a whopping 23 million.
–TECHPOINTFollow us on social media