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Nigerians spends over N440 billion on recharge card monthly, how much do you recharge monthly ?



Commission, NCC, weekend, to educate Nigerian Legislators on some intricate parts of telecom business/investments, incidentally exposed that Nigerians make a massive monthly investment of over
four hundred billion naira on recharge cards alone.
This whopping sum, may have demystified the age long cliché that
‘Talk is cheap’. Besides, the investment on recharge cards,
surprisingly dwarfed the ones made on House Rent, Petrol,
Kerosene and electricity –options, known to have squeezed the
economies of average Nigerians for several decades.
From the statistics of an ICT expert, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode of
Aluko &Oyebode law firm, Nigerians spend 149.1bn on House rent,
128bn on Petrol, 144.8bn on Kerosene, and 91.8bn on electricity
At the workshop themed: “ICT infrastructure as key driver for
economic development: what role for the legislature?” Oyebode
reeled out these figures to postulate the impact of ICT
infrastructure on economic development.
However, he noted that “a study by the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development, OECD, shows that broadband
penetration contributes significantly to economic growth. But
notwithstanding all of the potential of ICT to GDP, Nigeria still
lags behind due to insufficient development of ICT infrastructure.
Today, broadband penetration is estimated at 6% in Nigeria.
Another facilitator and Principal Partner, Kayafas Konsult Ltd,
Mr Stephen Bello, also echoed Oyebode’s view that broadband is
at its infancy in Nigeria with less than about 2% of the population
having access to it.
He however added that the cost is still exorbitant even for
corporate bodies. “We are still far from ITU targets which
recommend that 50% of citizens and 40% of households by 2015 should
have access to broadband. However, the recent policy framework
and spectrum auction by NCC are designed to boost broadband
availability in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr.
Eugene Juwah while briefing the legislators at the workshop said
that the Nigerian National Broadband Plan seeks to promote
broadband deployment, increase broadband adoption and usage, and
ensure the availability of broadband services at affordable prices.
Juwah argued that the effect of this would be an increase in
competition in the industry, a downward impact on prices, and
improved quality of services to subscribers.”
The workshop also provided operators the opportunity to give their
perspectives on the Open Access Model of the NCC, meant to
deepen broadband penetration. In a paper titled:Broadband and
Infrastructure development in Nigeria: Operators’ perspective of
the Open Access Model, Executive Officer, MainOne, Ms.
Funke Opeke, contended that “operators have had a mixed
reaction to the Open Access model. Large, incumbent operators
with most of the existing infrastructure have not been very
enthusiastic about the plan. Since open access will drive
convergence of infrastructure costs to a common benchmark, it will
become increasingly difficult to gain benefits from proprietary
infrastructure, higher tariffs, which make it difficult for new
entrants/smaller players to participate in the telecoms value chain
in Nigeria. Currently, the bigger you are, the more you can
maximize value across the entire value chain, from value added
services like ring tone, content distribution, to network connectivity
services, corporate connectivity, Internet service.”
She also added that “open access implies barriers to entry will not
be as high and thus new players could come into the market if they
think they can do better without having to build out and replicate
the infrastructure owned by any of the big boys. Smaller players
are excited at the opportunity – but daunted by the challenges and
need support. The example of Super flux is a good one. Indigenous
entrepreneurs that are raising money locally will need support if we
do not want to stifle their growth. This is a proven model in other
parts of the world, so we need government to support them.”
Joseph Tegbe of KPMG, also made a case for the Open Access
Model. Based on the various challenges in the country and the
trend of deployments in other jurisdictions, he sought to convince the
lawmakers that the Open Access Broadband Deployment Model is
suited for Nigeria as it would the gaps in broadband deployment,
through the deployment of new fibre and leveraging existing fibre
infrastructure;available the new network infrastructure and
services to all telecom operators on a fair and non-discriminatory
basis at a regulated price; minimise duplication of rollout and
unnecessary environmental impact; Help realise the objectives of the
National broadband plan with a minimum broadband speed of 1.5
Mbps to the general population; Facilitate faster and wider
broadband penetration nationwide and sharing of infrastructure.
So how much do you recharge monthly ?

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