The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that the telecommunications sector contributed N1.41billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2016 in real terms.
This is contained in the`` Nigerian Telecommunications (Service) Sector Report for the 1st Quarter of 2016’’ posted on the NBS website. According the report, the N1.41 billion contribution to the GDP represents an increase of 0.5 per cent relative to the same quarter of 2015.
``In contrast with previous years, this percentage contribution is only marginally smaller than in the previous quarter when the percentage was 8.83 per cent.
``The percentage was smaller given seasonal patterns, the fall between the fourth quarter and first quarter of the following year has averaged 0.56 per cent points over the past five years.
``This is compared to 0.05 per cent points in the current quarter.’’
The report said the growth in the telecommunications sector had increased the economy.
``In contrast with the economy as a whole which recorded a real growth rate of - 0.36 per cent in the first quarter, growth in the telecommunications sector increased to 5.00 per cent.
``The growth in the telecommunications sector increased to 5.00 per cent in the first quarter, from 3.49 per cent in the final quarter of 2015.
``The share of telecommunications in total real GDP has declined throughout 2010 to 2014, but for the last five quarters growth in telecommunications has been higher, meaning the trend has reversed.’’
Meanwhile, the report said the total number of subscribers had increased rapidly over the past decade.
The report said at the end of 200, there were 19.52 million subscribers, but by the end of 2015 there were 151.01 million which was equivalent to an increase of 13.15 every year.
However, it said that the growth had been declining more recently, possibly as a result of high market penetration leaving less room for large expansion.
``In March 2016, there were 148.75 million subscribers compared to 143.93 million in March 2015, representing an increase of4.81 or 3.34 per cent.
``Notably, this represents a decrease of 1.50 per cent relative to the end of the previous quarter; this is the first quarterly decrease on record,’’ it said.