WorldStage Newsonline– The contribution of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector to the country’s GDP grew from about 0.6 per cent in 2001 to more than 10 per cent in 2019, according to the Communications Minister, Dr Adebayo Shittu.
Speaking in Awka on Monday while declaring open a workshop on National ICT Roadmap for the Southeast Zone, which had the theme: `The Role of the Private Sector in the Implementation of the Nigeria ICT Road Map’, the minister said that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) attracted by the sector to the national economy grew in excess of 42 million dollars during the same period.
According to the minister, in spite of the positives, the potentials of the sector is yet to be maximised in view of its pivotal role in the optimal development of the various sectors of the country’s economy.
He said that the Nigeria ICT Road Map 2017-2020 inaugurated in 2018, was the strategic process which the Federal Government had developed for the purpose of achieving ICT penetration in the country
He noted that the private sector was crucial to the success of the road map, pledging the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government’s determination to encourage the private sector to play key roles in implementing the road map.
“As you are aware, the ICT revolution that commenced in Nigeria more than a decade ago again has impacted positively on our national economy.
“This is very evident in its contributions to the gross domestic product from 0.6 per cent in 2001 to over 10 per cent in 2019.
“FDI (foreign direct investment) made from telecommunications operators, service providers, and other stakeholders stands in excess of 42 million dollar,” he said.
Shittu said that his ministry would ensure the development of an ICT sector in the country with cutting-edge technology.
He said that the event was important as it provided stakeholders the opportunity to share collective vision regarding the developmental trajectory of the ICT sector in the medium term.
According to him, the sector is central to the proper functioning of all other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, commerce, banking and finance, health, and transportation.
“In spite of this crucial role, the sector has witnessed tremendous challenges and constraints such as inadequate local content, and poor infrastructure leading to lack of access by many Nigerians.
“As the engine room of the economy, the private sector is pivotal to the consultation that culminated in the development of Nigeria’s ICT road map 2017-2020.
“It is even more critical now that we are at the stage of implementation.
“This event is, therefore, a milestone in our desire to reposition the sector and harness the inherent potentials and benefits for national growth and development.
“The road map, which was launched in 2018, is to ensure that ICT gets to every nook and cranny of Nigeria and provides access to everyone as well as improve efficiency in the public sector,” he said.
In his remarks, the Secretary to the Anambra Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, said that the state government had deployed ICT in its operations.
The SSG said that the use of ICT by the state government had led to a massive increase in its Internally Generated Revenue from 500 million naira to more than 1.5 billion naira monthly.
He added that the process helped to plug leakages and capture farmers in the state and their activities.
The lecture on Nigeria ICT Roadmap 2017-2020 was delivered by the consultant, Abdulkareem Ajijola.