The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has faulted the recent report by Ericsson claiming that Nigeria added 3 million new subscriptions in the first quarter of this year.
According to the telecoms regulator, the report is inaccurate because the suspension of new SIM registration in the country, which took effect from December 9, 2020, still subsisted in the first quarter, meaning that the operators were unable to add new subscriptions in the period.
Checks by our correspondent on the industry data released by the NCC showed that the country rather lost 12 million mobile subscriptions in the first quarter. Active mobile subscriptions across the four GSM networks which stood at 204 million in December 2020 declined to 192 million as of March 2021.
Ericsson, a global telecommunications vendor, in its latest mobility report had claimed that Nigeria gained 3 million new subscriptions in Q1 2021 to emerge the thirdlargest gainer in the world.
“The net addition of mobile subscriptions was quite low during Q1 2021, at 59 million. This is likely due to the pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions. India had the most net additions (26 million), followed by China (6 million) and Nigeria (3 million),” Ericsson stated in the report.
The company had attributed the “growth” in Nigeria’s subscriptions to “the young, growing population, the increasing digital skills, and the more affordable smartphones.”
Describing the report as inaccurate, NCC, in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said: “We wish to use this opportunity to clarify that the Nigerian Communications Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics are the only authoritative sources of authentic data on the Nigerian telecommunications sector. Indeed, the Commission is well aware of the critical need to make accurate and up-to-date data available to all Stakeholders.
“Indeed, as a matter of corporate policy and consistent with international best practice, relevant data and statistics are transparently reported and regularly updated on the Commission’s website for free use by interested Stakeholders.
“The Commission encourages all Stakeholders to visit its website for authentic data on the sector and to refer all doubts to its Public Affairs Department to avoid unnecessary controversy and/ or inadvertently misleading other Stakeholders who may rely on such reports.
“The Commission also urges Stakeholders to disregard any information on subscriber data different from those presented in the Commission’s website