Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Connectivity

Nigerian Internet and mobile penetration grows

Article Image
About 50% of Nigeria's population is using the Internet and around 90% of the total population have mobile phones.

This according to the Digital 2021: Nigeria report from DataReportal.

The report said that, as of January 2021, Nigeria had a population of 208.8 million, and about 104.4 million were Internet users, giving a mobile penetration rate of 50%. Of those, 93.3% accessed the Internet via a mobile phone.

DataReportal said that the number of Internet users in Nigeria increased by 19 million, or 22%, between 2020 and 2021.

Source: Digital 2021: Nigeria report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.
Source: Digital 2021: Nigeria report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.

Nigeria's penetration rate was also higher than the West Africa regional average of 42%.

The stats also need to be viewed in the context of Nigeria's young population with 38.6% of people under the age of 13.

Mobile users

When it comes to mobile phones, there were 187.9 million mobile connections in Nigeria in January 2021. The number of mobile connections in the country also increased by 17 million, or 10%, between January 2020 and January 2021.

In West Africa there is a 96% mobile penetration rate while Southern Africa's rate is 163% and East Africa is just 62%.

However, researchers did point out that many Nigerians have more than one mobile connection, so penetration numbers may look higher than they really are. Also, many of those phones are feature phones that may not be Internet enabled, which is why the Internet penetration numbers are lower.

In Nigeria if you look at users aged 16 to 64, 99.5% own a mobile phone with 99.2% owning a smartphone and 14.6% owning a feature phone. Just over 54% of the population have a laptop or desktop computer and 13.8% have a tablet.

Source: Digital 2021: Nigeria report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.
Source: Digital 2021: Nigeria report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.

In that age group the average daily time that Nigerians spend on the mobile Internet is 4 hours and 55 minutes.

Social media scarcity

Looking at social media users, only 15.8% of Nigerians were using social media, or 33 million people.

The number of social media users in Nigeria did however increase by 22% over the past year, adding an extra 6 million users.

On average in West Africa, about 16% of the population use social media.

In Nigeria, the most-used social media platform was WhatsApp with 93% of Internet users aged 16 to 64 using the platform in the last month. The next most popular were Facebook (86.2%), YouTube (81.6%) and Instagram (73.1%).

Source: Digital 2021: Nigeria report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.
Source: Digital 2021: Nigeria report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.

* Top image source: Photo by Olumide Bamgbelu on Unsplash

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

World Mobile brings Wi-Fi hotspots to Zanzibar

Blockchain operator World Mobile is partnering with the Zanzibar eGovernment Agency to launch free Wi-Fi hotspots at public facing government institutions.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Morocco's Chari

Morocco's B2B e-commerce app, Chari, is allowing store owners to order anything they need for their stores and get it delivered in less than 24 hours.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Research Bites: Why ICT public access centers are struggling

By Cecilia Frans and Shaun Pather

This article – in produced in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development – explores the reasons why African ICT public access centers are not finding success.

Story

Omdia View: October 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Across the Middle East and Africa, regulators are beginning to facilitate spectrum allocation to operators in the region for the deployment of new and innovative technology.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Meeting SME’s where they are - Building inclusive ecosystems for Africa’s small business owners

Micro and small businesses have been, and still are, the spine and lifeblood of the African economy, making up 90% of businesses on the continent.

Many of these businesses have still been operating in traditional ways and serving non-digital customers. With Covid-19 expediting the digital transformation process, businesses - big and small - have been forced to adapt to operate successfully in a more digital-first environment.

To ensure that the digitalization of Africa’s market doesn’t leave micro and small businesses behind, digital solutions must be inclusive and create business-ready environments. But how can we ensure that African SMEs become digitally enabled?

In this webinar we will share from our own experience on how to create such an environment, and the actions we took in vcita to get there, including:

  • Closing the digital literacy gap through tech inclusion 
  • Making a positive impact on local communities
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world

Register Here >>

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up