Internet freedom in Nigeria is among the most established in Africa. According to an examination of three broad categories, namely obstacles to access, limits on content, and violations of user rights, Nigeria is in fifth position in Sub-Saharan Africa, a slight decrease compared to the previous ranking. With one of the youngest and largest populations in the world, Nigeria has a considerable internet audience. Despite an internet penetration rate of around 51 percent, the number of internet users is around 109 million. A particular aspect of internet usage in Nigeria is the remarkably high penetration of mobile internet. Over 84 percent of internet traffic in Nigeria is generated by mobile devices. However, this might also indicate a lack of adequate equipment to fully use the internet.
Service providers and internet prices
The largest internet service provider in Nigeria is Spectranet. Spectranet is an Indian company which counts almost 261 thousand active users in Nigeria. When it comes to mobile internet, Nigeria's main operator is MTN, a South-African company. MTN has over 65 million internet subscribers in Nigeria. Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria licensed mobile providers to operate mobile payments, in which MTN is also active. Some other leading players in mobile internet are Globacom, a Lagos-based company, 9mobile from Nigeria, and the Indian provider Airtel. In terms of prices, Nigeria is part of the first 60 nations out of 228 countries worldwide, placed from the cheapest to the most expensive for mobile data. When compared regionally, Nigeria ranks among the nations with lower costs for mobile data in Africa.
Social media users in Nigeria
A vast mobile internet penetration and some of Africa's largest smartphone ownership rates could imply a profitable market for social media. As of 2022, Nigeria had about 33 million social media users. The most popular social media are WhatsApp and Facebook. Instagram and Facebook Messenger followed. Unsurprisingly, young adults made up the largest share of social media users in Nigeria. An interesting demographic feature of internet usage in the country is the gender disparity. Data analyzing the online advertising audience reveal that the male audience share is noticeably higher among all age groups. In some age ranges, there were even twice as many male social media users than female ones.
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Doris Dokua Sasu
Research Expert covering primarily society and agricultural topics for Africa, particularly Ghana and Nigeria