By Etuka Sunday
President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta are very pleased to hear of the growth of ICT’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020).
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ for Q2 2020 today, the 24th of August, 2020.
According to the NBS, “Nigeria’s GDP decreased by –6.10% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2020, largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity during the quarter, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The non-oil sector contributed 91.07% to the nation’s GDP in Q2 2020 as opposed to the 8.93% contributed to total real GDP by the oil sector.
It is worthy of note that the ICT sector contributed 17.83% to the total real GDP in Q2 2020, 20.54% higher than its contribution a year earlier and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 14.07%. This contribution is unprecedented.
The Technical Assistant, Information Technology to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,
Dr. Femi Adeluyi in a statement quoted the Minister to have noted that the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP is a direct result of the focused and committed effort of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The strategic policy directions of the Federal Government include the inclusion of Digital Economy in the mandate of the Ministry, the unveiling and implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy and the National Broadband Plan, amongst others.
As at July 2020, the broadband penetration in the country was 42.02%, translating to a percentage increase of almost double digits in less than 1 year. This is another remarkable achievement.
The unprecedented contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP can also be attributed to dynamic and results-oriented leadership which has been acknowledged and appreciated by a wide spectrum of the stakeholders in the sector.
The support of President Muhammadu Buhari, has contributed immensely to the impressive developments in the sector. Mr President is excited about the growth of the sector and commended the Honourable Minister when he heard of these achievements.
The GDP Report 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.