Pointers to squeezed consumption

Telecommunications are the most consistent measure of private consumption in Nigeria. The monthly data series from the regulator NCC shows a total of 162.8 million active mobile subscribers at end-June, and 102.8 million internet subscriptions. On the basis of an estimated population of 185 million, this gives density rates of 88% and 56% respectively. On a y/y basis to June, mobile subscriptions have grown a little faster (13.8% vs 12.2%) because of earlier mandatory disconnections of unregistered SIM cards.


  • The NCC has little competition by way of providing consumption indicators. The NBS tracks airline passengers and freight. Other measures we might find in the larger emerging markets such as sales of white goods, housing starts and gasoline (petrol) sales are not available.
  • This leaves us with the results of listed consumer goods companies. Those already posted for Q2 2018 by Nestle Nigeria and others point to household budgets still squeezed.
  • As we have noted several times, the economy’s emergence from recession has been driven by a recovery in oil production (and not in private demand).

Sources: Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); FBNQuest Capital Research
  • Returning to the related theme of financial inclusion (Good Morning Nigeria, 08 August), we note the H1 2018 results of the MTN group. There are 24 million users of its mobile money (MoMo) product across 14 jurisdictions. Nigeria accounts for just 9% of the total transactions despite having comfortably the largest mobile subscriber base in the group. Ghana and Uganda are the largest markets for MoMo.
  • As for capital markets news, MTN Nigeria hopes to have listed on the NSE by end-2018.

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