The economy may be biting hard, but it did not stop Nigerians from talking and talking. They also spent a considerable amount on data as they use social media and surf on the internet.
Conservative estimates project that Nigerians and corporate bodies spent not less than N1 trillion in 2018 on the major Global System for Mobile Communications providers, while other telecommunications companies may have accounted for earnings of an average of N300 billion.
In effect, the corner of the world called Nigeria spent a conservative sum of N4 billion per day on telco services.
Active users of telecommunications services in the country have increased to 153,949,450 as at November last year, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said Tuesday.
The telecommunications industry regulator gave the figure in its Monthly Subscriber/Operator Data, obtained in Lagos.
It said the active telecommunications service customers increased by 435,343 in November over their October number of 153,514,107.
Already, the MTN Nigeria recorded N453.1 billion Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) in 2018.
The communications company also attracted additional six million subscribers to its network in the year.
The company made the disclosure in its annual report released on Thursday in Lagos.
It said that the six million subscribers brought the total number of subscribers in its network to 58 million, adding that the 2018 EBITDA represented 30.8 per cent profit growth.
MTN Nigeria also disclosed its intention to list by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in the first half of 2019.
The report showed a service revenue increase by 17.2 per cent, data revenue increase by 39.3 per cent, digital revenue decrease by 58.1 per cent and Fintech revenue increase by 32.7 per cent.
It also showed an EBITDA margin increase by 4.5 per cent to a total 43.6 per cent (excl CBN payment).
Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr Ferdi Moolman, said: “This growth was built on our sustained focus on customer centric delivery – ensuring that customers get much more value for their money.
“This included deployment of proactive interventions to improve customer experience, together with enhancement of network quality and coverage, and optimisation of our services portfolio.
“We also enabled an additional eight million people to access the possibilities that the internet provides, bringing our total data subscriber base to 44 million, of which 18.7 million use more than five megabytes per month.
“We are now even better positioned to ensure that everyone can access the benefits of a modern connected life.”
Moolman thanked MTN Nigeria partners and regulators for their contributions.
He said that the company understood how access to opportunities enabled by the internet could open up new industries even in the remotest areas.
The chief executive officer said that there was the need to continue to focus on delivering social innovations such as mobile electricity and financial services for all.
He said that the company would leverage on its technology to enable high-impact mobile solutions in education, health and agriculture in communities.
“MTN plans to list by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange during the first half of 2019, and is looking to simplify the capital structure ahead of this listing.
“The company’s listing on the exchange will create a new telecoms asset class for investors and provide an opportunity for a wider group of Nigerians to participate in our investment story,” he added.
Additional reports by NAN