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Active voice subscriptions fall in 34 states, FCT in Q1 2024 as telecoms bar SIMs not linked with NIN

The total number of active voice subscriptions has declined across 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the first quarter of 2024, according to the latest telecoms data report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

This drop occurred amid the enforcement of the policy requiring SIM cards to be linked with the National Identification Number (NIN) or be fully barred.

In the first quarter of 2024, the total number of active voice subscriptions nationwide decreased by 3.03%, falling from 226,161,713 in Q1 2023 to 219,304,281. On a quarterly basis, the total number of active voice subscriptions nationwide decreased by 2.41%, falling from 224,713,710 in Q4 2023.

The NBS data shows that only Nasarawa (10%) and Niger (1.94%) recorded a yearly increase by Q1 2024.

States with highest decline

  • In the first quarter of 2024, Abia State experienced the highest year-on-year percentage decrease in active voice subscriptions, with a decline of 7.80%, from 4,074,115 subscriptions in Q1 2023 to 3,756,231 in Q1 2024. Comparatively, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, Abia saw a 5.90% decrease from 3,991,613 subscriptions in Q4 2023.
  • Zamfara State followed closely, with a year-on-year decrease of 7.53%. The number of active voice subscriptions fell from 2,929,907 in Q1 2023 to 2,709,161 in Q1 2024. However, when looking at the quarter-on-quarter change, Zamfara experienced a smaller decline of 2.28% from 2,772,424 in Q4 2023.
  • Enugu State recorded a year-on-year decrease of 6.87%, dropping from 4,717,333 active subscriptions in Q1 2023 to 4,393,346 in Q1 2024. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, Enugu saw a more pronounced decline of 19.90% from 3,664,196 subscriptions in Q4 2023.
  • Akwa Ibom State also faced a significant year-on-year percentage decrease of 6.19%, with active voice subscriptions falling from 3,959,543 in Q1 2023 to 3,714,540 in Q1 2024. In terms of quarter-on-quarter changes, Akwa Ibom experienced a smaller decrease of 1.88% from 3,785,761 in Q4 2023.
  • Oyo State rounds out the top five with a year-on-year decrease of 6.14%, dropping from 11,888,974 subscriptions in Q1 2023 to 11,158,965 in Q1 2024. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, Oyo saw a smaller decrease of 3.09% from 11,514,669 subscriptions in Q4 2023.

States with the highest active voice subscriptions

  • Lagos State led the country with the highest number of active voice subscriptions, totaling 25,956,074 by Q1 2024. Following Lagos, Ogun State recorded the second-highest number of active subscriptions with 12,672,990.
  • Kano State, one of the most populous states in northern Nigeria, ranked third with 11,931,128 active voice subscriptions. Oyo State came in fourth, with 11,158,965 active subscriptions.
  • Rounding out the top five is Kaduna State, which reported 9,675,009 active voice subscriptions in Q1 2024.

These five states make up about 33% of the total active voice subscriptions in Nigeria in the period under review.

Telecoms with highest subscriptions

  • MTN emerged as the telecom provider with the highest number of active voice subscriptions. MTN recorded 81,799,666 active subscriptions, making it the leading telecom operator in Nigeria.
  • With 63,357,061 active voice subscriptions, Airtel holds a substantial share of the market. It is followed by GLO, which recorded 62,191,448 active voice subscriptions.
  • While EMTS (9mobile) had 11,657,703 active voice subscriptions, SMILE managed to maintain 175,711 active voice subscriptions in Q1 2024.

About 99.9% of active voice subscriptions occurred under these five telecommunication companies in the first quarter of 2024.

What you should know

Nairametrics earlier reported that telecommunications operators in Nigeria, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, among others, were directed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which the subscribers have not submitted their national identification numbers (NINs) by February 28, 2024.

In addition, those who had submitted their NINs but have not been verified are also to be fully barred. About NINs that have been submitted but not verified, such lines are to be barred on or before 29 March 2024, where five or more lines are linked to an unverified NIN. Similarly, where less than five lines are linked to an unverified NIN, such lines are to be barred on or before 15 April 2024.

MTN Nigeria recently said that it fully barred a total of 8.6 million lines from the network in line with the directive of the NCC on SIMs not linked to the NIN of the users.

However, to provide more time for the subscribers with less than five lines linked to an unverified NIN to complete the necessary verification exercise, MTN disclosed that the NCC has extended the 15 April deadline to 31 July 2024.


Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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