By Etse Kassim, Abuja
Telecommunication firms in the country generated not less than N2.68 trillion from the sales of airtime (recharge cards) from January to October 2017.
According to figures released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), despite the dire strait of the nation’s economy last year, most Nigerians still manage to spend a lot of money on airtime on their mobile devices, which they use to access both voice and data services from the mobile network operators.
Airtime purchases in the country within the period were done through different platforms such as buying of physical recharge card, the virtual top-up (VTU) done through USSD code, subscribers’ bank accounts domiciled on mobile devices, vending on web-based platforms as well as on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
According to the Commission, most of these platforms have made it easier for Nigerians to quickly access airtime top up platforms from the comfort of their precise locations which may account for Nigerians spending more on airtime now more than ever.
A breakdown of the data released by the NCC and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) further reveals that in January 2016 the active subscriber base on mobile networks in the country stood at 155.1 million.
In February and March 2016, when active subscribers stood at 154.1 million and N154.4 million and with the ARPU of N1842, the estimated consumer spending were N283.8 billion and N284.4 billion, respectively, among others.
Recall that last year, the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, had disclosed that Nigerian subscribers spent $5.6 billion in 2015 and $6.6 billion in 2016 which adds up to $12.2 billion (N3.66 trillion) in the space of two years.