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Qtr-2: Telecoms sector rakes in N1.580bn into GDP, sustains growth by 1%

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has released the Nigerian Telecommunications Services sectorial report for the second quarter of the year 2016 with an indication of growth by 1 per cent from previous quarter, ITRealms can now reveal.

The report dated September 1, 2016 and made available to ITRealms by NCC in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the telecommunications sector contributed N 1,580 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the period under review.

ITRealms gathered from this report that this is the largest contribution to GDP made from this sector in the rebased period, which emphasised that growth in telecommunications has remained robust when compared to total GDP.

However, the Prof. Umar Danbatta’s led NCC pointed out that due to differing seasonal pattern, the contribution from telecommunications is usually the largest in the second quarter. Stressing that growth in the telecommunications sector remained positive.

ITRealms equally gathered that the year-on-year growth dropped in real terms from 5.0 per cent in the previous quarter to 1.5 per cent, and is assumed the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2011.

NCC says that the share of telecommunications in total real GDP had declined throughout 2010 to 2014, but for the last five quarters growth in telecommunications has been higher, meaning the trend has reversed.

ITRealms further gathered that the telecommunications data used in the 19-page sectorial report were obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).

Whereas the variables obtained from NBS included the Gross Domestic Product contribution and growth, NCC indicators comprised subscribers to mobile and internet services by provider, porting activities and information on tariffs.

In addition, ITRealms gathered that the total number of subscribers has increased rapidly over the past decade; citing for instance, that at the end of 2005 there were 19,519,154 subscribers, but by the end of 2015 there were 151,017,244, which is equivalent to an increase of 13,149,809 every year.

NCC also said, growth has been declining more recently, possibly as a result of high market penetration leaving less room for large expansion, hence, in June 2016 – the end of the second quarter – there were 149,803,714 subscribers compared with 148,775,410 in June 2015, which represents an increase of 0.69 per cent.

ITRealms further gathered that the yearly increase in total subscriber numbers has been decreasing steadily for the past year; in June 2015 the year on year increase was 12.05 per cent.

NCC emphasized through the report that after falling between January and April 2016, the number of subscribers began to increase again, and in June the number was 0.71 per cent higher than at the end of the first quarter in March.

“This increase is despite a sharp drop in Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) subscribers; between June 2015 and June 2015 the number fell from 2,105,981 to 454,092, a decrease of 78.44 per cent.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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