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.

Business of Tech

Registration rules see Nigerian operators drop 12M subs

Article Image
Nigeria's mobile operators lost a combined 12.1 million mobile subscribers between December 2020 and March 2021, according to stats from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The country is busy with an ambitions SIM registration process which is the likely reason for the major decline.

All Nigerian mobile users need to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to their SIM cards, and the deadline to do so has now been extended for the fourth time.

The NCC and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) made a joint statement on Tuesday saying the new deadline will be June 30, 2020.

The NCC and NIMC said that almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN and this can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers, "since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to three to four phone lines."

That is about 3 million more registered NINs than a month ago for the country that has a population of about 201 million.

"The much-awaited Android enrolment system is now ready for deployment and this has the potential to significantly accelerate the speed and ease of enrolments," the regulators said.

In December 2020, the NCC suspended the sale and activation of new SIMs, and then directed all operators to update their SIM registration records with valid NINs for all subscribers.

The original deadline for subscriptions was the end of December 2020, but this was very unrealistic and was later pushed to February, then April and then May before the latest two-month extension.

The suspension on issuing new SIMs was dropped in April, but it seems the damage was already done.

NCC data shows that active telephony subscribers in Nigeria dropped from 204.5 million in December 2020 to 192.4 million in March 2021. Teledensity also declined from 107.14% to 100.8% over the three months.

Source: Nigerian Communications Commission.
Source: Nigerian Communications Commission.

MTN this week revealed it had lost 5 million users in the first quarter of 2021.

NCC data suggests that Airtel Africa also lost around 5.3 million subscribers between December 2020 and March 2021, Globacom lost 1.9 million and 9mobile dropped over 131,700 users.

MTN's quarterly update to March 31, 2021, showed that the Nigeria declines brought group subscribers down by 1.7 million, to 277.9 million. Excluding the impacts of MTN Nigeria, the group's total users would have increased by 3.4 million.

Related posts:

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

SA's smart city finalists win big for innovation

South Africa's City of Johannesburg's Smart City Office has awarded four innovators R500,000 (US$31,434) for their innovative solutions.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Data science marketplace Zindi

This month's hot startup is social enterprise Zindi, which is a professional network for data science in Africa.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

Story

Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

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

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up