Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Oyo, and the Federal Capital Territory were the top five states with mobile Internet subscriptions in Nigeria in 2022.

Collectively, the five states accounted for 33.52 per cent (51.90 million) of the total number of mobile subscriptions (154.85 million) in the country in 2022, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Zamfara, and Gombe states were the least five states, collectively contributing 4.91 per cent (7.61 million) to the mobile subscription population of the country.

Commenting in its ‘Telecoms Data: Active Voice and Internet, Porting and Tariff Information: (Q4 2022),’ report, the NBS said, “In addition, Lagos state had the highest number of active internet subscribers in Q4 2022 with 18,702,394, followed by Ogun with 9,206,614 and Kano with 8,470,131.

“On the other hand, Bayelsa recorded the least with 1,101,002, followed by Ebonyi and Ekiti with 1,264,825 and 1,474,970, respectively.”

Mobile Internet is the major gateway to the Internet for many Nigerians and according to GSMA, the global association for telcos, as “the primary way most people access the internet in Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile is driving digital inclusion”.

The breakdown of the data from the NBS revealed that there were 1.10 million mobile subscriptions in Bayelsa in 2022, 1.27 million in Ebonyi, 1.48 million in Ekiti, 1.84 million in Zamfara, 1.92 million in Gombe, 1.95 million in Yobe, 2 million in Jigawa, 2.04 million in Cross River, 2.24 million in Kebbi, 2.27 million in Taraba, 2.28 million in Sokoto, 2.71 million in Akwa Ibom, 2.74 million in Abia.

Despite the insecurity challenges that have plagued Borno in recent times, it had 2.82 million mobile subscriptions in 2022. Adamawa had 2.89 million; Plateau had 3.14million; Enugu had 3.14 million; Bauchi had 3.15 million; Nasarawa had 3.22 million; Imo had 3.27 million; Kogi had 3.29 million; Ondo had 3.52 million; Kwara had 3.61 million; Osun (3.72 million); and Benue (3.91 million).

The remaining states had more than four million mobile subscriptions in 2022, Anambra (4.21 million), Katsina (4.24 million), Niger (5.09 million), Rivers (5.47 million), Edo (5.53 million), Delta (5.66 million), Kaduna (7.05 million), FCT (7.36 million), Oyo (8.17 million), Kano (8.47 million), Ogun (9.21 million), and Lagos (18.70 million).

In the time under review, mobile Internet subscriptions grew by 8.94 per cent from 141.62 million as of December 2021. Broadband penetration also rose to 47.36 per cent in 2022.

The growth of mobile Internet subscriptions has translated to increased digital inclusion for many Nigerians, and the continued growth of the digital economy.

As the chief marketing officer of MTN Nigeria, Adia Sowho, puts it, “Smartphones have become the computer for many Nigerians today.”