The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, has said the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, has the potential to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in a way that can lead to economic stability.
He said this against the backdrop that the ICT sector retains its role as the sector with the highest growth rate of all the main sectors of the Nigerian economy in the first quarter of 2021, as released in the Q1 2021 Report on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) this week.
According to NBS report, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.51 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter of 2021, marking two consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.”
The report noted that in terms of contribution to aggregate GDP, the oil sector accounted for 9.25 per cent of aggregate real GDP in Q1 2021, while the non-oil sector accounted for 90.75 per cent of aggregate GDP in the first quarter of 2021.
The Bureau also noted that the growth in the non-oil sector was driven mainly by the Information and Communication Technology sector while other drivers include Agriculture (Crop Production); Manufacturing (Food, Beverage and Tobacco); Real Estate; Construction and Human Health and Social Services.
According to Pantami, “It is worthy of note that the ICT sector grew by 6.47 per cent in Q1 2021, making it the fastest growing significant sector of the Nigerian economy. It is also interesting to note that Post and Courier Services grew by 2.53 per cent in Q1 2021. These services are under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, but currently listed under the transportation sector in the GDP report.”
Pantami attributed the consistent positive performance of the ICT sector to the focused and committed support for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, for the digital economy sector.
“The federal government has provided an enabling environment for the ICT sector to thrive, through the development and implementation of relevant policies. These include the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria, Nigerian National Broadband Plan and the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration, among others.
“The GDP report has shown that the ICT sector continues to serve as a catalyst for the growth and diversification of our economy,” Pantami said.
The Technical Assistant in Information Technology to the Minister, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, said Pantami commended the chief executive officers of the parastatals under the ministry and stakeholders, for the consistent performance of the sector and encouraged them to continue supporting the policies of the federal government on ICT development.