By Favour Unukaso
BY the end of August, telecoms operators activated 983, 174 telephone lines, which pushed active subscriptions from 208,969,445 million in July to 209,952,619 one month after.
The activation of the lines ensured that the country’s teledensity also leaped by 0.52 per cent, rising from 109.47 per cent in July to 109.99 by August, according to the latest subscription statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Telephone density or teledensity is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area. It varies widely across the nations and also between urban and rural areas within a country. Telephone density has a significant correlation with the per capita GDP of the area.
The statistics showed that Globacom, as it did in July, had the subscriptions again in August with 538,324 lines; 9mobile 163,484; MTN 160,155 and Airtel 134,994.
In terms of Internet connectivity, the GSM players increased the figure from 151.4 million in July to 151.7 million, while broadband penetration users increased from 84.9 million to 85.2 million and from 44.49 per cent to 44.65 per cent within a month.
By and large, MTN maintained its leadership of the market with 79.6 million users and 37.9 per cent penetration; Globacom is next with 58.8 million and 28.09 per cent market share.
Airtel with 27.85 per cent and 58.3 million users, the telecommunications firm is the third largest telco in the country. 9mobile maintained its 6.09 per cent market share, servicing 12.7 million users in Nigeria.
MEANWHILE, the NCC urged the Nasarawa State Scholarship Board (NSSB) to create awareness about digital literacy to support the commission in creating awareness about its intervention projects concerning research and digital literacy to provide more opportunities for the citizenry.
Director of Digital Economy at the Commission, Dr. Augustine Nwaulune, who hosted a delegation of the Board, led by the Board’s Executive Secretary, Hajia Saadatu Yahya, on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recently, recalled that Nasarawa State is one of the beneficiaries of NCC’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) intervention projects such as the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) for secondary schools, the Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), the Wireless Cloud, as well as the E-Health programme.
“While we don’t give scholarships to students, the NCC has continued to give research grants to lecturers and students in the universities and provided additional opportunities including sponsoring competitions involving students, as well as endowing professorial chairs in universities across the country. In the last seven years, the financial value of the endowments and grants is more than N500 million.
“Therefore, I will appeal to NSSB to create awareness about these initiatives of the NCC among stakeholders in the academia, particularly the research grants to enable stakeholders to leverage such opportunities offered by the Commission to scholars interested in carrying out telecommunications-based research,” he said.
Nwaulune said the NCC has been upbeat in ensuring implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, in which one of its eight pillars, rests on digital literacy, while the Digital Economy Department has been set up and equipped by the Commission with the human resources required to coordinate its programmes in concrete terms.
Yahya, whose delegation visited to discuss areas of collaboration for deepening digital/technical training and skills acquisition in Nasarawa State, commended the Commission for the central role it has played in promoting digital awareness and skills across the country and pleaded that Nasarawa State should be given more opportunities to benefit from NCC’s social investments and other digital economy-focused interventions, being the closest State to the Federal Capital Territory, the base of the Commission.
“The purpose of our visit is to seek collaboration with the NCC in whatever ways possible, especially in the areas of scholarship, and ICT skills and literacy for our people. The ICT is, today, the engine room of the global economy and we do not want to lag in this new digital order, hence, our decision to seek collaboration with organisations in the ICT space such as yours to work, especially because you are contiguous to our State,” Yahya, the NSSB Executive Secretary said.