The future of Nigeria’s e-commerce sector has been projected to be bullish with growth expected to be by N15.5 trillion in the next 10 years due to increased investment.
This projection is coming on the backdrop of growth in the country’s telecommunication sector, which had directly contributed N8.6 trillion to the economy, according to a report newly released by a civic technology organization, BudgIT Nigeria.
The report titled, “Operational and fund management analysis of the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)”, stated that investments will continue to increase.
The USPF was established by the Federal Government in 2006 to facilitate the achievement of national policy goals for universal access and universal service to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in rural, un-served and under-served areas in Nigeria.
The Fund is being managed to facilitate the widest possible access to affordable telecommunications services for greater social equity and inclusion for Nigerians.
From the report, investments in the telecommunication sector had grown since it was liberalized in 2000 by the government of former president Olusegun Obasanjo. It noted that investments in the sector rose from $50 million in 1999 to approximately $6 billion in 2004.
It added that the increased investment and the GSM revolution also impacted internet subscription positively with 100.9 million Nigerians been active internet subscribers as at February 2018.
It stated: “The rapid expansion of the Nigerian mobile telecoms industry at the turn of the century, due to the proliferation of the internet, computers, smartphones, social media and advancement of digital censors technology, is pushing up the volume of data generated, and increasing the need for planning and decision making.
“As at the end of 2017, the telecoms and information service sectors’ direct contribution to Africa’s largest economy was approximately 8.7 per cent or N8.6tn.
“After the full liberalisation of the telecommunications market in 2000 and the successful auctioning of the 2G Digital Mobile Licenses in January 2001- with a total of four GSM licenses issued – the sector effectively took off.
“Investment in the sector more than tripled, rising from $50million in 1999 to approximately $6bn in 2004. As at 2017, Nigeria’s telephone penetration had 145 million subscribers, down from its historical peak of 154 million in 2016 but astronomical still when compared with 10.2 million subscribers in 2004.
“The increased investment and the GSM revolution also impacted the internet subscription positively. As at February 2018, the total number of internet subscribers in Nigeria was 100.9 million. However, only 22 per centof internet subscribers enjoy broadband speeds.”