Telecoms contributes N1.58trn to GDP in second quarter —NBS

The telecommunications sector of the Nigerian economy contributed N1.580 trillion to gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2016, or 9.8 per cent, which represents an increase of 1.0% points relative to the previous quarter.

According to a new data just released by National Bureau of Statistics, this is the largest contribution to GDP made from this sector in the rebased period, which emphasises that growth in telecommunications has remained robust when compared to total GDP.

NBS however, added a caveat that “due to differing seasonal patterns, the contribution from telecommunications is usually the largest in the second quarter.”

The report also noted that although growth in the sector remained positive, in contrast with the economy as a whole, year on year growth nevertheless dropped in real terms from 5.0 percent in the previous quarter to 1.5 percent, the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2011.

The share of telecommunications in total real GDP had declined throughout 2010 to 2014, but for the last five quarters growth in telecommunications has been higher, meaning the trend has reversed, it noted.

The total number of subscribers has increased rapidly over the past decade; at the end of 2005 there were 19,519,154 subscribers, but by the end of 2015 there were 151,017,244, which is equivalent to an increase of 13,149,809 every year. However, growth has been declining more recently, possibly as a result of high market penetration leaving less room for large expansion.

Total number of subscribers at the end of June was 149,803,714 with MTN having 58,409,767, followed by with 36,320,572 subscribers, 31,978,848 subscribers and Etisalat had 22,469,896 subscribers.

Globacom continued their uninterrupted growth in subscriber numbers. With the highest quarter on quarter growth and year on year growth rates of 4.95 per cent and 16.20 oer cent respectively, Globacom also recorded the largest increases in absolute terms by both measures.

At the end of the second quarter Globacom had 36,320,572 subscribers.

As a result of these trends, Globacom increased their share of total subscriptions to 24.35 per cent, from 23.48 per cent at the end of the previous quarter and 21.34 per cent a year previous.

Both MTN and Etisalat also increased their percentage share of subscribers relative to the previous quarter; MTN’s share increased from 38.70 per cent to 39.15 per cent and Etisalat’s share increased from 14.84 per cent to 15.06 per cent.

However, both providers nevertheless recorded a decrease in their share relative to June 2015, when the shares for MTN and Etisalat were 42.88 per cent and 15.60 per cent respectively.

Airtel was the only provider to record a decrease in their share relative to the previous quarter; in June 2016 their share was 21.44 per cent compared to 22.98 per cent in March. However, this still represents an increase relative to the share of 20.18 recorded in June 2015.

In the CDMA category, NBS reported that there were 454,092, representing a decline of 61.19% relative to the end of the previous quarter with only Visafone and Multilinks playing.

Visafone remained by far the largest CDMA provider, and accounted for 99.02 percent of CDMA subscriptions in June.