WITH an approximate population of 155 million of which 45 million actively use the internet, Nigeria’s vast potential as a business destination of choice and economic powerhouse has again been established, thanks
to recent data from the International Research Center on internet usage in Africa.
Egypt follows Nigeria in the rankings with 21.7 million users out of a population of 80 million, followed by Morocco with 15.7 million Web users and Kenya with 10.6 million users.
The revelation brings to fore the position of many Nigerians that the country would witness tremendous success with better management, even as she continues to fall behind her true potentials for lack of same.
Challenges associated with poor infrastructure continue to undermine Nigeria on many levels, including internet connectivity. But notable successes continued to be seen as recent deregulation of erstwhile nationalized institutions as telecoms has intensified competition in the sector, resulting in the licensing of up to 400 internet service providers. Nigeria has also been playing host to a number of data carriers, amongst other technology providers.
The National Communications Commission recently revealed that the current deployment of the country’s first Next Generation Networks will drive further convergence of voice, data and video/TV, enabling the provision of triple-play services that will ultimately also involve the country’s already competitive broadcasting sector.
The Commission also said that Nigeria is the most competitive fixed-line market in Africa, featuring a second national operator (SNO) and over 50 other companies licensed to provide fixed telephony services.
The alternative carriers combined now provide more than twice the number of fixed lines than the comatose NITEL, which the government is planning to liquidate.
Analysts suggest that strong demand for Internet services and broadband capabilities is aiding the development of the fixed-line sector, which at a market penetration of just over 1% still has enormous growth potential.