As one of the first countries to implement widespread liberalisation in basic telecommunications services in the recent years, Nigeria continues to embrace technology potential of competitive markets to generate growth and innovation in the sector.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the Nigerian ICT market is more mature in comparison to other West African countries. The demand for fintech and multimedia services is on the ascendency as the West African sub-region continues with growth.
The sector, being well established in Nigeria, has a number of service providers including mobile network operators, dealers of communications equipment and broadcasting stations.
Nigerian Telecom subsector is presently characterized by vibrant competition and innovative products and services, following various stages of growth and diversification over the last three decades. The country currently has six registered mobile operators, and the market continues to grow aggressively in all segments, with a subscriber base that more than doubled between 2006 and 2019, from 30.4 million to 40.9 million mobile lines. The total penetration rate as of December 2019 stood at 138.88% compared to a figure of 74.2% in 2006. With regards to broadcasting stations, 505 radio stations and 89 TV broadcasting stations are currently operational in the country.
Additionally, there are four broadband wireless access licensees and52authorized internet service providers providing data services in the market. There are also value added services providers who offer services which combine applications provided to users with telecommunications, but does not include public electronic communications service.
The total number of subscriptions for 4G Data was 1,128,498 as at the end of December 2018. Total subscriptions of 2G/3G mobile data in the country were 26,184,235 with a penetration rate of 88.84% as at December 2018, compared to a figure of 19.6 million 3 years earlier.
Presently, there are five undersea cables namely: the SAT-3 with a capacity of 340 GB/s; Main One undersea cable with 5.12 TB/s capacity, Glo-1 having 2.5 TB/s; The West African Cable System (WACS) with 5.12TB/s; and the African Coast to Europe (ACE) with 5.2TB/s.
Investment Opportunities in Nigeria
Nigeria is ranked the No. 1 destination in West Africa and No. 9 in Africa in the Internal Telecommunications Union’s Global ICT for Development Index 2017. The preference for Nigeria in connection with the sector is also supported by its large pool of skilled and trainable English speaking labour, GMT time zone location, competitive labour costs etc.
There are considerable investment opportunities in the ICT sector. The sector requires service providers to connect international voice calls to the local public network. Internet service providers are also required to offer internet access to the public especially the rural areas at less cost and broadcasting operators to establish radio and television broadcasting in the country.
There is also a lack of ICT Facilities and Infrastructure on a broad scale across the nation. Investments are needed in the provision of software for the country, extension of the broadband network to reach the whole country and to provide computer access to rural students.
There are great opportunities in the following areas:
- Education in software development, networking, VSAT, telecommunication and IT Engineering
- Production of Business Solution (software and networking services)
- Business Processing Outsourcing
- Supply of High-Tech Telecommunication Equipment
- Supply of ICT Equipment, Office and Network Equipment
- Back Office Operations ( especially for the Financial Institutions)
- Provision of Broadband Facilities and Services
- Internet Service Provision Service
- Transaction Processing
- Manufacturing, assembling and supply of computers and accessories
- VSAT services
- E-commerce and Legal Database Services
- Logistics Management Services and Medical Transcription Service