Nigeria has emerged one of the fastest growing countries in global information technology access, rising above United Kingdom (UK) in ranking. According to statistics released by market research and statistics specialists, digitXplus, the digital Unit of mediareachOMD Nigeria, the country has recorded a 200% growth in internet users between 2009 and 2013.
The figures also indicated that Nigeria, which tied at 55 million internet users with United Kingdom in 2012, took 14% leap garnering about 62.4 million internet users above UK with paltry increase of just two million (57 million) users in 2013.
The report, which was released in Lagos last week, quoted Euromonitor as its primary source. It analysed digital growth across the world from 2009 – 2013, indicating that digital users grew across the globe from 1.748 billion to 2.677 billion, representing a growth rate of 53% in the period.
Of these figures, emerging and developing countries took the lead in digital users over developed countries, growing from 1.011 billion users in 2009 to 1.834 billion users in 2013 as against developed countries growth rate of 737 million users in 2009 to just 843 million users in 2013.
The report further breaks digital users by region. While it recorded 68 per cent user growth rate for Asia Pacific region in the review period, it shows steady growth rate of 34 per cent in the Americas.
The report indicated that the whole of Europe managed 28 per cent growth in the period covered by the report, representing an increase in number of users in Europe from 436 million in 2009 to 559 million in 2013.
The Middle East and Africa region leads the other regions of the world in digital users’ growth with an encouraging 112 per cent growth rate. In just five years, the region more than double its number of internet users. The digital users of the region grew from 145 million users in 2009 to 308 million. More importantly, the sub-Saharan Africa sub-region where Nigeria belongs experienced an astronomical 143 per cent growth moving from a paltry 61 million users in 2009 to 148 million users by 2013.
Between the years covered by the review/report, Nigeria maintained its lead in the growth number of internet users in Africa. The country moved from 30.9 million users in 2009 to a whopping 62.4 million users in 2013, representing 102 per cent growth rate. Egypt is second behind Nigeria with 39.7 million users in 2013 moving from its 19.5 million users recorded in 2009.
However, Nigeria’s lead in terms of volume can be said to be due to the country’s increasing awareness and adoption of digital and not as a result of swelling population.