ICT sector to increase contributions to Nigeria’s GDP, Pantami says
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, made the announcement when he featured at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday.
The minister, who emphasised the importance of ICT to the growth of the country’s economy, noted that ICT remained the fastest growing industry and that it was critical to driving infrastructure development.
NAN recalls that the ICT sector had contributed 14.7 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP in 2020.
According to the minister, the country should expect more contributions, given the potential of the industry.
“Look at the statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics in Q1 of 2021 and we are yet to see Q2; they said that the fastest growing sector is the ICT sector.
“Throughout 2020, the fastest growing sector is the ICT sector.
“Mr President said that the ICT sector played the principal role of lifting Nigeria out of recession.
“If you look at the remittance of the sector to the Federal Government account, it is unprecedented.
“Without the ICT sector, sometimes government will struggle to pay salary.
“As it is, within the two years I spent in office, the remittance of ICT sector to the Federal Government account is over N1trillion; this is unprecedented.
“Through spectrum sale from National Frequency Management Council assigned to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), within two years, we remitted over N358billion.
“The earnings of small mobile operators that we remitted to the Federal Government, through Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is over N601billion.
“Through capacity building and other government expenditure within the sector, the sector generated over N90billion.”
He said the three examples alone amounted to over N1trillion.
“So, look at even the budget of government, how much is being generated?
“This is what we have done and if you look at our budget, sometimes, it is not up to N5billion because we generate and give to others to spend.
“Sometimes, we don’t even have N5billion including our personnel throughout the year.
“We only generate and give it to government for infrastructure-rail, transport, social intervention, works and housing, power and health.
“We generate and remit; we increased the generation by over 500 per cent by the time I took over,” Pantami said.
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