Lagos leads other states of the federation with a total mobile subscription of 26.5 million, followed by Ogun which recorded 12.9 million subscriptions at the end of 2022. Kano came third with 12.4 million active subscriptions.
The states emerged as the top three by having the highest number of mobile subscriptions with a combined 51.8 million active mobile lines, accounting for 27 per cent of the country’s total active mobile subscription as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2022.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), total active mobile subscriptions in Nigeria in the last quarter of 2022 stood at 195.5 million.
On the other hand, Bayelsa recorded the least mobile subscription with 1.6 million followed by Ebonyi and Ekiti with 1.9 million and 2 million respectively.
In terms of internet connections, Lagos State still came first with the highest number of active internet subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2022 with 18.7 million followed by Ogun with 9.2 million, and Kano with 8.5 million.
Again, Bayelsa recorded the least internet connections with 1.1 million, followed by Ebonyi and Ekiti with 1.3 million and 1.5 respectively.
Stakeholders in the telecom industry have attributed the skewed distribution of mobile connectivity in favor of cosmopolitan states to inadequate infrastructure. According to the immediate past President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Mr. Olusola Teniola, there were about 225 communities in Nigeria that were yet to receive or make a voice call as of 2021.
While calling for more investments in infrastructure to extend telecoms coverage across the country, Teniola said there are about 20 million Nigerians without access to the internet.
Similarly, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recently disclosed that about 40 million were still being deprived of access to telecommunications services due to over 200 access gaps recorded in the Information and Communication Technology industry.
Speaking at a recent forum, Danbatta called for urgent actions to bridge these gaps.
“When we talk about policies that need to be put in place to improve internet services, we need to look at what we can we do to fast track plugging these access gaps because unless we do something, many of our citizens would continue to live without access to the internet, especially the right kind of internet connectivity, the high-speed internet, which must be facilitated by broadband infrastructure,” he said.
As part of measures to address the imbalance in telecom infrastructure spread, the NCC had recently licensed 7 infrastructure companies, 6 for each geo-political zone and one for Lagos, to deploy broadband infrastructure across the country.