- Active Subscribers Now 205.25m
By Gbenga Abulude (Politics and General Desk)
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta said the contribution of the telecommunication sector to the Nigerian economy rose to N2.272trn, forming about 14.3% of the GDP in September 2020.
The increase in the GDP rose from 8.5% in 2015 to 14.3% according to Danbatta who made this known when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunication paid an oversight visit to the Commission.
Danbatta stated that the investments in the telecom sector climbed from $38 billion in 2015 to over $70 billion, adding that the NCC paid over N344 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation within the period under review, an average of N70 billion annually.
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He noted that active telecom subscribers in the country is now about 205.25 million with a teledensity of 107% as at the end of September 2020.
Though Nigeria’s population stands at about 200 million, the NCC Chief explained that figure reeled out for active subscribers was possible because some people have two or three active lines while others have just one.
“We generated these monies from Spectrum fees, operating surplus and we have also embarked on spectrum option. We have conducted one of the most successful spectrum options as well expanding the spectrum to optimize the system.
“We have participated actively with results in the promotion of financial inclusivity of the federal government. All our mobile network operators and licensees participated in the provision of money mobile services to the extent that today, it is unthinkable for the banking sector to function or flourish in the way it is doing without leveraging on the telecommunication sector.
“Indeed, we are seeking support of this committee to participate and attain the target of the federal government of 80 percent financial inclusion by 2023.”
Chairman of the House Committee on Telecommunication, Hon Akeem Adeyemi said the oversight was aimed at ensuring that the commission was working in line with the provisions of the constitution in the implementation of government programmes of policies.
He said: “We choose oversight to hold government accountable and ensure their actions are legitimate. The oversights are targeted at assisting President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to lift millions of Nigerians out poverty, a determination which we understand the NCC will play a pivotal role. The committee will fact check every subhead in the budget of agencies under the committee.”