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Minister seeks greater focus on ICT as sector contributes 14.07% to GDP

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Pantami

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Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has advocated greater focus on information and communications technology (ICT) as the sector’s contributions to the nation’s economy grew by 1.87 per cent to 14.07 per cent in the first quarter of 2020.

Pantami, who expressed delight at the increase, noted that higher focus on ICT would drive the country’s target of achieving a digital economy in no distant time.

His Technical Assistant (Information Technology), Dr. Femi Adeluyi through his Twitter handle @DrIsaPantami at the weekend cited National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which released ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ for Q1 2020 recently.

The report revealed that the country’s GDP grew by 1.87 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in Q1 2020, adding that the non-oil sector contributed 90.50 per cent to the GDP in Q1 2020 as against 9.50 per cent the oil sector contributed to total real GDP.

According to the Minister, it is noteworthy that the ICT sector contributed 14.07 per cent to the total real GDP in Q1 2020, higher than its contribution a year earlier (13.32 per cent) and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 13.12 per cent.

Pantami noted that the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP was a direct result of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s focus and commitment.

“Federal Government’s strategic policy directions include inclusion of Digital Economy in the mandate of the Ministry, unveiling and implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy and the National Broadband Plan, among others.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how critical the ICT sector is to the growth of our country’s digital economy and, by extension, the general economy.”

“The Minister calls on all sectors to take advantage of the Federal Government’s new focus on the digital economy to enable and improve their processes through the use of ICTs. This would enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP,” Adeluyi stated.

Besides, Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, has given leeway into how Nigeria could turn Almajiri children into digital natives and millionaires, just as he urged digital solution in addressing their plight.

Meanwhile, Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has ordered the slashing of the Right of Way (RoW) fee for telecommunications firms (telcos) from N5, 500 per linear metre to N1 per kilometre of fibre, the second lowest in the country after Kaduna.

According to the governor, the reduction, which takes immediate effect, is aimed at deepening digital penetration in the state, improve ease of doing business ratings and ease people’s access to Internet and other digital communication even in the rural areas.


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