By Peter Usman://
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has expressed delight over the growth of the contribution of the Information and Communications Technology, ICT sector to Nigeria’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 26th of August, 2021.
It is noteworthy that the ICT sector contributed 17.92% to the total real GDP in Q2 2021, 20.54% higher than its contribution a year earlier and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 14.91%. This is the highest contribution of ICT to the GDP and is truly unprecedented.
According to the NBS, “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.”
The NBS release explained that the negative growth was triggered by COVID-19, not only in Nigeria but also globally. Even within that period, the ICT sector in Nigeria can continue to experience positive growth.
“It said the oil sector contributed 7.42% to total real GDP in Q2 2021, down from figures recorded in the preceding quarter, where 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, GCFR to the development of the digital economy.
He said, “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.
“For example, 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.
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 renews his call to 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.
He said, this would enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP.