Since 2013, at least 92 internet service providers (ISPs) in Nigeria have closed shop due to unfriendly economy and unhealthy competition among Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
Yesterday in Lagos, Funlola Akiode who is the Director of Licensing and Authorisation of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated that the remaining internet providers had failed to renew their licences.
She disclosed that in the past five years, the commission had licensed 103 ISPs, adding, “but only 10 per cent have applied for renewal of the licence. That is one of the reasons why we are here, to find out if and why about 90 per cent of our ISPs are out of businesses, and why some ISPs have not rolled out services in accordance with the conditions of their licences.”
Admitting that Nigeria still has a lot to do in terms of making internet accessible and affordable, Akiode noted that despite the fact that over 70 per cent of the country’s population are active mobile subscribers, the digital divide still remains very wide.
She added: “It may interest you to know that Nigeria however, tends to be the lowest when measures in accordance with the penetration rate. For instance, the penetration of 48.4 million when compared with Nigeria’s population is just 0.3 per cent or 34 per cent, while our population is increasing in a geometric progression, the Internet usage and penetration rates are increasing in arithmetic progression.”