Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has expressed delight at the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector’s increased contribution (17.92%) to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021).
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated this in the ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ for Q2 2021 released on the 26th of August, 2021.
The Minister in a statement signed by his Technical Assistant, IT, Dr .Femi Adeluyi, noted that it is noteworthy that the ICT sector contributed 17.92% to the total real GDP in Q2 2021, being 20.54% higher than its contribution a year earlier and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 14.91%.
This, Dr. Pantami said, is the highest contribution of ICT to the GDP and is truly unprecedented.
“Nigeria’s GDP grew by 5.01% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2021, marking three consecutive quarters of growth, following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020,” according to the NBS report.
The negative growth was triggered by COVID-19, not only in Nigeria but also globally. Even within that period, the ICT sector in Nigeria continued to experience positive growth.
The oil sector contributed 7.42% to total real GDP in Q2 2021, down from figures recorded in the preceding quarter, in which it contributed 9.25%. The non-oil sector grew by 6.74% and contributed 92.58% to the GDP.
The Minister noted that the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP is as a result of the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the development of the digital economy.
Pantami explained that the 16 National Policies developed by the Ministry, the 1,667 projects and programmes, the large scale digital skills and general capacity-building efforts, stakeholder engagement and creation of an enabling environment have all played an important role in this achievement.
“The support of President Muhammadu Buhari, has contributed immensely to the impressive developments in the sector.
“The unprecedented contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP can also be attributed to the dynamic and results-oriented leadership of the sector, which has been acknowledged and appreciated by a wide spectrum of the stakeholders in the sector, both locally and internationally,” Pantami said.
Mr Houlin Zhao, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) commended the Minister for Nigeria’s “accelerated digital transformation”.
Similarly, the Chairman of the United States-Nigeria Council (USNC) also commended him for the “commitment to diversifying Nigeria’s great economy through digital technology and innovation.”
He added that the GDP Report has shown how critical the ICT sector is to the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy and, by extension, the general economy.
The Minister also renewed his call to stakeholders in the 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, adding that “this would enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP.”
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