In 2012/2013 fiscal year, an average Nigerian household spent more on recharge cards than they did on household supplies such as petrol, soap, washing powder and personal food, says the report from a survey carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the World Bank.

Nigerians collectively spent about N449.7bn/month on recharge cards, hence making recharge cards account for 72.3% of the expenses made by the sampled households monthly against the combined 37% that cover  food, personal care, and household products including petrol. Not very surprising, I must say, because at the end of 2013, 120 million out of about 170 million of the Nigerian population owned mobile phones and well, SMS and phonecalls.

No one benefits from this turn of events more that the NIgerian telcos, and their investors. They’re definitely smiling to the bank.

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