Telecoms & IT

Nigeria Telecoms & IT

Even amid the macroeconomic uncertainty of 2015 and the first half of 2016, the performance of Nigeria’s telecoms sector was marked by steady subscriber growth, a renewed regulatory mandate and continued infrastructure development. By July 2016 the country was home to 150.3m active telecoms subscribers, according to the federal telecoms regulator. This user base represents 81.7% of the total population of 184m in 2016, with the mobile segment accounting for more than 99% of subscriptions. Over the course of 2015 and 2016 the ICT industry has developed rapidly on the back of state-led growth initiatives and also, increasingly, as a result of rising levels of private sector activity. According to estimates compiled by the Federal Ministry of Communications, in 2015 ICT-related activities accounted for nearly 11% of GDP, up from 6% in 2012 and less than 1% as recently as 2001. The rapid uptake of mobile data subscriptions over the past few years, plus the steadily rising number of smartphone handsets in circulation indicate significant unmet demand for digital products and services.

This chapter contains interviews with Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications; and Issam Darwish, Executive Vice-Chairman and Group CEO, IHS Towers.