How I Use My Phone Series – Nigerian Blue Collar Workers

The uptake of mobile phones in Nigeria has increased rapidly (142 million active lines as at February 2015 as against 90 million lines in 2011 according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC). This indicates that more than ever before, a wider range of users are utilising their mobile phones for different contexts (see below).

Yet, little is known about mobile phone use amongst blue-collar workers, hence our quest to understand the role of mobile phones in their day-to-day activities.

Over a period of 12 weeks, 6,285 blue collar workers were interviewed in Lagos, Aba & Abuja to identify and understand how they interact with their mobile devices. A blue collar worker is one who performs jobs that typically involves the use of their hands. For example, traders (22.9%), drivers (transportation 17.7%), beauticians/barbers (13.2%) participated.

Our fourth edition examines their mobile phone usage patterns which covered areas such as motivation, purchasing factors, expenses and activities on their devices.

Key Insights: Blue Collar Spending Power

More than half of our survey group (54.8%) earn a monthly income between NGN 20,000 – NGN 40,000.  Highlights from workers in this income bracket are as follows:

  • Predominantly in the 25-35 year age bracket (62.8%)
  • Nokia (feature) phones dominate for reasons of affordability (45.1%) own Nokia phones,
  • More than half (51.4%) use mobile internet with monthly data spend between NGN 1,000 – NGN 2,000
  • Nearly two thirds (62.7%) spend between NGN 100 – NGN 500 weekly on phone credit bought in NGN 200 denominations

General Findings From the Research

1. Nokia Phones are STILL The Most Popular: Nokia (41.4%) trumped other phone brands (Tecno 23.6%, Blackberry 12.1%, Samsung 8.2%) as more workers own Nokia phones. It should be noted that over 65% of nokia devices owned were feature phones (non-smartphones)

2. Buying Decisions Were Influenced By Price in a Majority of Cases: 48.6% of workers cited the cost of the phone as the main influencer when purchasing a new phone. With over 50% of blue collar workers earning NGN 30,000 or less monthly, it is perhaps not surprising that cost of phone is a major factor in choice of device purchased

3.  Blue Collar Workers Mostly Make Phone Calls: 61.8% indicated phone calls as the most frequent activity on their phones. Others indicated browsing (19.3%), texting (9%), chatting (7.1%) & gaming (2.8%)

4. Facebook Is the Most Popular App: Of the 56.6% who subscribe for internet, Facebook (25.5%) is used the most. Whatsapp was really close with 25%. Others include: Blackberry messenger (13.6%) and Opera-mini (11.7%)

The infographic below describes the insights garnered on the mobile phone usage patterns of blue-collar workers.  If you identify interesting patterns from the infographic, kindly share your observations in our comments box below.

Previous ‘How I Use My Phone’ editions have focused on market traders, professionals and university students in Nigeria.

The pdf version of the How I Use my Phone: Blue-Collar workers infographic is available here for download. Please pass this on to colleagues and friends who may find the work exciting and useful. Follow us on Twitter, G+ and Facebook for the next series and more!

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