The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector of the Nigerian economy contributed an unprecedented 17.83% to the nation’s total real gross domestic product (GDP) in Q2 2020.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports this is 20.54% higher than its contribution a year earlier and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 14.07%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ for Q2 2020 released by the NBS on Monday showed that Nigeria’s GDP decreased by -6.10% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2020, the biggest decrease in a decade.
According to the NBS, the decrease was largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity during the quarter, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
An analysis of the NBS report showed that only 13 activities recorded positive real growth compared to 30 in the preceding quarter. While the non-oil sector contributed 91.07% to the nation’s GDP in Q2 2020, the oil sector contributed 8.93% to total real GDP, the ICT sector leading the way in the non-oil sector.
When compared with the second quarter, 2019, which recorded a growth of 2.12%, the second quarter, 2020 growth rate indicates a drop of -8.22% points, and a fall of -7.97% points when compared to the first quarter of 2020 (1.87%).
Consequently, for the first half of 2020, real GDP declined by -2.18% year on year, compared with 2.11% recorded in the first half of 2019. Meanwhile, quarter on quarter, real GDP decreased by -5.04%.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami has expressed excitement over the contribution of the ICT sector to the nation’s GDP.
In a statement by Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister, Pantami noted that the contribution of ICT was unprecedented.
He attributed the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to a direct result of the focused and committed effort of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said 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.
“As at July 2020, the broadband penetration in the country was 42.02%, translating to a percentage increase of almost double digits in less than 1 year. This is another remarkable achievement.
“The unprecedented contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP can also be attributed to dynamic and results-oriented leadership which has been acknowledged and appreciated by a wide spectrum of the stakeholders in the sector.
“The support of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has contributed immensely to the impressive developments in the sector. Mr President is excited about the growth of the sector and commended the Honourable Minister when he heard of these achievements.
“The GDP Report has shown how critical the ICT sector is to the growth of our country’s digital economy and, by extension, the general economy,” the statement read.
The Minister 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,” he said.