Ministry eyes 45% ICT contribution to Nigeria’s GDP

Ife Ogunfuwa

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, says the impact of the digital economy through the e-commerce, online payments and other digital services can add 45 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

The minister, who was represented by the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made this known in Abuja on Thursday during a National Dialogue on Telecoms and ICT sector in Nigeria.

Pantami noted that Q2 2020 report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the information and communications technology contributed 17.83 per cent to the GDP.

According to him, the effect of the digital economy is even far greater than the ICT contribution .

He stated that technology and partnerships would play an important role in the development of the digital economy, including how people access opportunities and overcome challenges.

The minister said, “Emerging technology, in particular, is gaining a lot of attention across the globe and is enhancing the lives of people. This is why we have a pillar that focuses on it.

“The need for partnerships in the development of a vibrant digital economy cannot be overemphasised.”

“This explains why we always partner with stakeholders in the digital economy ecosystem in the development of policies and regulatory instruments as well as in the implementation of initiatives,” he added.

Highlighting the regulatory role of NCC in the country, Danbatta said the commission was committed to  increasing the growth of telecom industry.

Danbatta said, “We will leave no stone unturned. We will not rest on our oars until we achieve our goals. We have our job cut out for us and we will start with broadband because that is the key to touching the lives of every Nigerian.”

In line with new target in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, Danbatta said the commission planned to achieve 70 to 90 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.

He added, “We want to continue to protect consumers and ensure they have value for their money.

“More importantly, we will continue to support and fast-track the digital economy drive of the Federal Government of Nigeria and this has led to the creation of a Digital Economy Department in the commission.”

According to him, NCC plans  to consolidate on spectrum trading to ensure maximum and efficient usage of available resources.

He pledged commitment to continuous SIM registration audit to provide security and curtail incidences of banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery.