Mobile phone penetration in Nigeria appears to be on the upward swing, as the number of subscribers grew astronomically in 2017 resulting in 84 percent penetration from 53 percent in 2016 for both features and smartphones.
This growth has been fuelled by the availability of lower points phones, which paved way for more Nigerians to own a device.
According to a document titled, Jumia Mobile Report Nigeria 2018, unveiled in Lagos, yesterday by Jumia Nigeria, there are now 21 million smartphones in the country.
The document further showed that the growing market for second-hand devices played a major role in driving the country’s eCommerce sector, estimated to worth $13 billion by 2018.
The Jumia report confirmed the International Data Corporations (IDC) survey released on Monday, which disclosed that though, the smartphone market in Africa declined last year, but that there was strong performance of region’s biggest markets—Nigeria and South Africa.
Unveiling the report, the Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria, Juliet Anammah, said the growth seen in the country, was also boosted by the multiplication of easy payment options such as credit and debit cards, adding: “the fourth is the increasing use of social media sites.”
The report, which is the fourth edition, revealed that while there are 1.04 billion and 82 percent mobile subscriptions in Africa, Nigeria with an estimated 193 million population, has 162 million mobile subscriptions, which amount to 84 percent of the population.
The report noted that the mobile industry plays an increasingly social-economic development in the region. It stressed that mobile connectivity has become the main driver of innovation and the driving force for greater inclusion; while the mobile ecosystem, which includes mobile network operators and device vendors, contributes significantly to the economic growth and job creation.
According to Anammah, the mobile economy currently contributes 7.7 percent to the Continent’s GDP, which is worth $110 billion in economic value.
Anammah, also disclosed that the yearly Jumia Mobile Week would commence March 19 to 25, said the initiative would be the biggest mobile phone sale of the year.
In his remark, the Chief Transformation Officer of MTN Nigeria Olubayo Adekambi said “the expansion of E-commerce into a dual business model that blends the physical and the digital to create an ecosystem between brands and consumers across the two worlds”, as among the major factors fueling the increase in adoption of smartphones.
In order to ensure rural dwellers have increased access to ICT devices such as smartphones, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has created an IT Innovation hub, which has the capacity to produce e-literate groups from low skilled or low paid workers, unemployed people, and those with disabilities who do not have access to these ICTs.
“NITDA has seen in ICT the potential to change new and old forms of economic activity. We’ve created e-Learning Centres to further enrich the rural communities’ quest for learning and for continuous after-school reading and learning by both the students and teachers, among other initiatives,” noted the Government’s Agency Director-General – Dr. Isa Ali Pantami.