Nigerians have to work almost 5 times longer than an average European to afford mobile Internet

September 26, 2023
3 min read

Key takeaways:

  • Nigeria has one of the most unaffordable Internet in the world, according to Surfshark.
  • The country was ranked 119th for mobile Internet affordability out of the 121 countries surveyed. The top ten European countries on the list only have to work for an average of 36 minutes, compared to Nigeria's 175 minutes, to afford mobile Internet.
  • However, the country's rank for quality Internet is one of the highest in Africa.

Cybersecurity company, Surfshark surveyed 121 countries based on the level of broadband Internet affordability, and Nigeria ranked 119th.

The survey revealed that Nigerians have to work for one and a half days (over 35 hours) to afford the cheapest broadband Internet in the country.

For context, that is 119 times more than in Romania, which has the world’s most affordable broadband Internet. People in Romania have to work for only 18 minutes to afford the cheapest broadband Internet in the country.


When it comes to the affordability of mobile Internet in Nigeria, the story is only slightly better. Out of 121 countries, Nigeria ranks 99th. Nigerians have to work for about three hours to afford the cheapest mobile Internet in the country, while people in Luxenberg, which has the most affordable mobile Internet in the world, only have to work for 16 minutes.

Within Africa, Nigeria ranks 19th among the 15 countries surveyed for Internet affordability. However, this doesn't paint the full picture of the country's performance with the continent.

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To get the full picture, we need to compare the global rankings of other African countries with Nigeria.

For example, Nigeria ranked 119th for broadband Internet affordability globally, other African countries like Angola ranked 52nd, South Africa ranked 42nd, Botswana ranked 92nd, and Ghana ranked 114th.

Where Africa's most populous country ranked 99th globally for mobile Internet affordability, Angola held an impressive fourth position, South Africa ranked 63rd, Botswana ranked 61st, and Ghana was in 96th position.

Nigeria has been getting lower rankings consistently

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As of 2021, Nigeria's ranking for mobile Internet affordability was 27th. By 2022, it was knocked down 69 places to 96th place. This year it has fallen three places to 99th.

In 2020, it was also the 85th country in the world with the most affordable broadband Internet, however, it dropped 25 places to 110 in 2021, dropped five places in 2022 to be ranked 115th, and dropped four places in 2023 to become the 119th country in the world with the most affordable broadband Internet.

Why is the Internet unaffordable in Nigeria?

Surfshack determined Internet affordability by dividing the price of the cheapest mobile data package and lowest broadband Internet package by the average hourly wage in a specific country.

While Surfshark got its figures from Word Bank and Numbeo, the economic state of Nigeria has gotten progressively worse over the years. Inflation in the country is currently at its highest rate since 2005, pushing more Nigerians below the poverty line.  

Inflation in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world, growing by over 25% in just one year. This means the purchasing power of Nigerians has depreciated while the minimum wage in the country has stayed the same.

Therefore, even if the price of mobile data and broadband Internet has not increased significantly, it has gotten significantly harder for Nigerians to afford it. We highlighted a similar trend in 2020.

Internet quality in Nigeria is better

While the Internet has become increasingly unaffordable for Nigerians, the quality of Internet in the country isn't so bad.

Nigeria ranks 67th globally with a mobile Internet speed of 46.99 megabytes per second (Mbps). The report also ranked Nigeria 70th when it comes to mobile Internet stability and 11th in mobile speed improvement.

While mobile Internet in Nigeria has improved by 87%, it is still 31% slower than that of South Africa, which has a mobile Internet speed of 68 Mbps — the fastest in Africa.

Other African countries like Egypt had mobile Internet speed of 31 Mbps, Kenya had 38 Mbps, Ghana was one of the slowest with 14 Mbps. Botswana and Morocco have the second and third fastest mobile Internet speeds respectively at 58 Mbps and 48 Mbps respectively.

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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