If the figures released recently by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that the Information and Communications Technology’s (ICT) contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 13.8% is anything to go by, then it will be more than double the Oil and Gas contribution of 8.8% (presently) in two years, according to the Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).
The Minister spoke yesterday at the ongoing session of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU Telecom World 2019) in Budapest, Hungary. As the leader of Nigerian delegation to the yearly event, Pantami said that the government wants to sustain the steady growth of ICT in the country hence the need to attend events like these, which will enable delegates network and get the best ideas “and when we return home we put all of them to work towards the development of our country”. The Minister commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for successfully putting together Nigeria’s participation and told the delegates “to maximise the opportunity provided by the attendance by thinking global and acting local. “I want to thank the NCC for organising the Nigeria’s important event. The effort is highly commendable. We hope the tempo will be sustained. “I’ve been saying it and I’ll repeat it again that the future of the world is in the ICT. It is a privilege to be part and parcel of this sector and at the same time to be with the stakeholders of the ICT in Nigeria,” adding that “If you look at it critically, and most importantly the recent statistics released by the NBC, it will tell you that the future is indeed in the ICT. “So, this is a clear indication that at the pace ICT is growing in Nigeria, most probably in the next 2 or3 years, the contributions of the ICT to the GDP will, at least, double that of oil sector. “This is a country that was relying so much on oil sector but they are not even neighbours now the gap between the two is wide, 8 and 13. The credit should however go to every stakeholder in the sector including a driver.” Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, the Chairman, NCC’s Board, commended the Minister for his wise counsel. In his remarks, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), told the Minister that the Commission had this year decided not erect a pavilion “which is consistent with the cost-saving measures of the Federal Government.” He said:“The Ministry is aware of this cost-cutting measures we put in place to scale down the resources we deploy in hosting Nigeria at important international events. We have provided information on what agencies under Ministry of Communications are busy doing to grow the ICT sector in Nigeria.” The delegation included, Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary. Ms Eniola Olaitan Ajayi, Chairman, NCC Board, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Former Chairman NCC Board, Alhaji Ahmad Joda, Director General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Malam Kashifu Inuwa Ibrahim, NCC Commissioner, Mr Clem Baiye, among others.