Nigeria’s Internet Penetration Under Threat as Smartphone Prices Continue to Rise

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The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4A1) report showed that smartphones are no longer an easily affordable utility based on the monthly income of the average Nigerian. He ranked Nigeria as one of the countries with the highest cost of smartphones.

According to the report, the cost of the country’s cheapest smartphone at N25,000 accounts for 37.46% of the average monthly income of Nigerians, while the global average is 20%.

The cheapest 4G smartphone in Nigeria currently sells for around N35,000, while the country’s minimum wage is N30,000. According to Nairametrics.

This new development is affecting the profit margins of local tech gadget dealers and the market shares of telephone companies.

Equally troubling is the fact that it also affects the country’s internet penetration target. Nigeria aims to ensure that 70% of its citizens have access to high-speed internet by 2025. The rising cost of smartphones is sure to put a damper on this goal.

In the National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025), the federal government set a broadband penetration target of 70% to establish high-speed Internet access at speeds of 25 megabytes per second (Mbps) in the cities and 10 Mbps in rural areas for at least 140 million of its citizens.

With the high cost of quality smartphones, average Nigerians would have to settle for phones with less than impressive bandwidths. In August, only 9 million of the country’s 84 million Internet users had access to high-speed Internet.

The National Broadband Plan committee released the following statement;

“Some of the factors identified as barriers to low broadband usage and adoption include high cost of access services and devices, low digital literacy, lack of local and relevant content and misperception of the value of broadband, etc. Efficient use of broadband services requires the use of high-performance devices such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, etc. The cost of these devices is usually higher than much of the population can afford.”

“In view of the above, the government should take steps to accelerate the adoption of broadband services and access devices by encouraging local assembly of smartphones with pioneer status and other fee exemptions. , taxes and levies – with the aim of bringing smartphones to Nigerians on less than $25 by 2025. Adequate digital literacy programs should be initiated to enlighten every Nigerian on the relevance of broadband in their lives and its day-to-day operations,” the committee said in the broadband plan.

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