Dr Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has said the emergence of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has shown how critical the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is to economic growth.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Pantami stated this against the backdrop of ICT’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020), the data of which was released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.
According to the NBS, the nation’s GDP grew by 1.87% (year-on-year) in real terms in Q1 2020. While the non-oil sector contributed 90.50% to the nation’s GDP in Q1 2020, the oil sector contributed 9.50% to total real GDP.
It is noteworthy that the ICT sector contributed 14.07% to the total real GDP in Q1 2020, higher than its contribution a year earlier (13.32%) and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 13.12%.
Pantami attributed the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to the “direct result of the focused and committed effort of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari”.
According to him, “the strategic policy directions of the Federal Government include the inclusion of Digital Economy in the mandate of the Ministry, the unveiling and implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy and the National Broadband Plan, amongst others.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how critical the ICT sector is to the growth of our country’s digital economy and, by extension, the general economy”.
He, therefore, called on 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.
“This would enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP,” Pantami stated.