The total remittances from the telecom sector through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to the coffers of the feral government grew and reached a whopping N344bn in 2020, a document from the telecom regulator has revealed.
These remittances, according to the document titled ‘Telecoms in 2020: A Review of NCC’s Regulatory Activities’, were largely generated from the sales of the spectrum, operating surplus and sanctions.
Apart from spectrum auctions, remittances were also realized from spectrum re-planning, re-farming to optimise the usage of the scarce resource while it continued to address the quality of service (QoS) delivery through effective monitoring of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and development of KPIs for Third Generation (3G) and Fourth Generation (4G) networks.
This financial performance and remittances to the federal government, especially at a time when all other sectors of the economy were comatose can be attributed to effective regulatory initiatives emplaced by the telecoms regulator, under the leadership of the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta since his appointment in August 2015.
Meanwhile, despite the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, available data obtained at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showed that the Nigerian Communications Commission helped grew telecoms contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to over 14.30% as of the second Quarter of 2020. This translates to N2.272 trillion in Q2, 2020.
Active mobile voice subscribers increased from 184 million in December 2019 to 208 million by October 2020. This represents an additional 24 million active mobile lines accessed by Nigerians across mobile networks from December 2019 to October 2020. Accordingly, teledensity (the total number of telephone lines per hundred people in an area) increased from 96.76% in December 2019 to 108.94% by October 2020.
NCC’s regulatory activities also resulted in increased connectivity in the country. From, 126 million in December 2019, Internet subscriptions rose impressively to 152.9 million as of October 2020. In the same vein, broadband (i.e. high-speed Internet) penetration maintained an upward swing to 45.93% in October 2020, up from 37.80% in 2019.
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service continued to offer a wider option of service for telecoms consumers in 2020. In the year under review, 158,128 telecom consumers ported their lines between January-October, 2020, as against over 120,000 lines that were ported in 2019. The increase in MNP service usage is due to increased public education and awareness by the Commission’s head office and its zonal offices, as they intensified awareness on the availability, usage and benefits of MNP across geo-political zones. (Mobile number portability is a service introduced by NCC on mobile networks that allow telecoms consumers to switch from their current network to another preferred network, without changing their mobile number, when they feel a need to do so).
The Commission was able to successfully resolve over 98% of the total consumer complaints received from telecoms consumers via the NCC Toll-Free Number 622, NCC Consumer Portal, social media platforms and written complaints. Subscriptions by telecoms consumers to the NCC’s Don-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 service reached over 30 million in 2020 compared with 22 million in 2019.