Telecoms sector’s contribution to GDP hits 10%
• NCC seeks Nigeria’s representation at ITU
A contribution of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has hit 10 per cent. This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, at an interaction with journalists in Lagos.Danbatta disclosed that telecommunications have made significant impacts in transforming the Nigerian economy.
According to him, figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics, in the first quarter of 2017 showed that it contributed N1.45 trillion to the GDP, in the second quarter, the figure rose to N1.549 trillion.
“This performance at a period of recession is very remarkable. We are keeping dates with the NBS to identify and track how these trends progress. On the aggregate, the telecoms industry’s contribution to GDP in Nigeria stands at 10 per cent”, he said.
“But the figures may not tell the entire story. Investments in the sector, in human and material resources, have continued to soar. In 2001, the telecom sector could boast of a mere $50 million worth of investments but as at September 2017, we have investments worth $70 billion. The Value Added Services (VAS), segment of the telecom market in Nigeria today is worth $200 million and is estimated to grow to $500 million by 2021. The industry has provided both direct and indirect employment opportunities, accentuated growth and expansion,” he stated.
In a related development, Danbatta, in Geneva, Switzerland, has formally presented Nigeria’s candidature for a re-election into the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Administrative Council and William Ijeh’s bid for the position of Director,Telecommunication Development Bureau of the ITU.
Danbatta made the formal presentation at a dinner organized for the ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, other elected officials of the global telecom regulatory body, ministers and chief regulators of member states from across the globe, among other dignitaries.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I now formally present to you Nigeria’s twin candidature for re-election into the ITU Administrative Council and William Ijeh, for the position of Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau of the ITU, for your support,” said the NCC boss.
Speaking further, Danbatta noted that Nigeria has a long standing relationship with the ITU and has been contributing in no small way to the activities of the Union.
“Nigeria is one of the highest financial contributors to ITU in the African region and also a major player in ITU Telecom World activities for many years. I can assure you that Nigeria will continue to reinforce its cooperation with the ITU,” he stressed.
He expressed the country’s further commitment toward the development of telecommunication and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as well making them readily available to all its citizen at affordable rates.
On Ijeh’s candidature, Danbatta explained that his experience of working at the ITU for over 21 years in various strategic positions, including the BDT, the General Secretariat, and the Radio-communication Bureau, cannot be ignored.He said the candidate has been instrumental to many decisions and developmental activities within the ITU.
“Prior to joining the ITU, Ijeh worked for other inter-governmental organizations where he was primarily responsible for project development and management with emphasis on developing countries.“He will apply his diplomatic skills in negotiations and be in a position to interact with government officials at the highest level,” he added.