Nigerians bought 68.19 million Subscribers Identification Modules in four years according to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission.
Data on the NCC portal revealed that there were 238.12 million connected lines in the nation in March 2018. This increased by 28.64 per cent to 306.31 million connected lines in March 2022.
Over the time under review, the number of connected lines increased the most between March 2019 and March 2020 when 28.56 million lines were added.
The NCC data showed that 12.15 million connected lines were added between March 2018 and March 2019, while 28.56 million connected lines were added between March 2019 and March 2020.
Also, 18.71 million connected lines were added between March 2020 and March 2021, while 8.77 million connected lines were added between March 2021 and March 2022.
While the number of connected lines increased by 68.19 million within the time under review, the number of unused lines increased from 89.26 million to 107.10 million. The number of active lines also increased from 148.85 million in March 2018 to 199.20 million in March 2022.
According to GSMA, the body representing telecommunication operators globally, there were 97.5 million unique mobile subscribers in Nigeria as of September 2018.
The NCC and the National Identity Management Commission have said some Nigerians have as many as three SIMs registered in their names.
Commenting on the reasons why people buy new SIMs, despite having old ones, the Chief Operating Officer of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Ajibola Olude, said, “There is a number of things that motivate people to buy new SIMs.
“For instance, new businesses are being created and asides from new businesses being created. You have foreign expatriates coming into Nigeria, and they will rather use our SIMs for communication purposes.
“And asides from that, SIMs are used for several things like Internet of Things and certain machineries too.”