Although the economic growth of the country might not be as fast-paced
as its counterparts’, it is full of hopes and promises. The mobile trends
published in the 2017 Nigerian Mobile Report, by Jumia Nigeria
– Africa’s biggest e-commerce platform, provided some convictions for this
belief. In summary, the report examined how the market has democratised mobile
internet use, the consumer behaviors driving increased smartphone adoption and
the role of the different stakeholders within the sector.
Jumia is set to release the 2018 edition of the Mobile Report, which will focus
on various mobile trends in the country and in Africa at large. And Juliet
Anammah, CEO, Jumia Nigeria, is as excited as everyone else about the report.
The 2017 report revealed the following:
There were about 150 million mobile subscribers – equivalent to 81%
penetration (as a percentage of the population) in 2016.
Internet penetration was at 18% with 216 million internet users. While
Nigeria’s internet penetration was much higher at 53% – its mobile subscription
was similar to Africa’s at 81% penetration (960 million mobile subscribers).
To benchmark this data, a similar report by the Nigerian Communications
Commission (NCC) put the number of subscribers by the end of December 2016, at
154 million. This subscriber base is a sum total of all the active subscribers
for telephony services on each of the licensed service providers utilising
different technologies. The difference in the number of subscribers presented
by both reports can be attributed to the lack of accurate census in the
Meanwhile, the percentage of internet penetration widened increasingly:
the number of internet subscribers peaked at 97.2 million (more than half the
number of mobile subscriptions) by end of 2016 – which represented a much
higher penetration rate than the rest of Africa combined.
The subscriber base of internet users in the country was predicted to
increase by at least 30% by end of 2017. With the number of Nigerians having
access to the internet – mostly through smartphones – growing in leaps and
bounds, it’s a clear indication that there is a huge potential for e-commerce
in the country. For instance, Jumia recorded 394% growth on the sales of
smartphones between 2014 and 2016, mostly driven by an increasing range of
lower smartphones price points. And 71% of website visitors on Jumia Nigeria in
2016 used their mobile phones to shop, whereas only 53% of Jumia African
customers did so.
Although, the contribution of the telecom and mobile sector to the
country’s GDP was indeed a small fraction, according to a report by the NCC –
only 9.13% was directly or indirectly accrued from the sector. Yet, it is
worthy of note to mention that it was a great leap from the previous year.
E-commerce companies like Jumia – present in 15 African markets – are
facilitating the promotion and distribution of both high-end and low-end price
points mobile phones in Nigeria. The NCC is not also relenting in exercising
its power to regulate the operations of the licensed telecom operators
especially in the area of voice & data tariff.
So, what is the future of the telecom and mobile sector in Nigeria? To witness
an improvement over the previous years will require a collective, yet
individual effort from both the private and public sectors. Primarily, the
growth of the sector, among other things, depends on the availability of
affordable mobile phones and data tariff.
The 2018 edition (4th report) of the Nigerian Mobile Report will be released of
March 15 – 25, 2018; and secondly, it is the commencement of Jumia Mobile Week
(an entire week dedicated to the sales of mobile phones at the best prices in