The Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has noted the significant contribution of the ICT sector to the country’s GDP which surpassed the oil and gas sector in the second quarter.
The minister said that was as a result of President Muhammadu Buharis’ implementation of the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
These efforts he said led to a sustained focus on growing the non-oil sector of the economy, especially ICT and the results witnessed are testimonies of impact of these efforts.
The minister stated the ministry’s commitment to the economic diversification efforts of the present administration and called on all stakeholders to support the president’s laudable initiatives aimed at taking Nigeria to the next level.
The minister in statement signed by Head of Information Unit, Mrs Philomena O. Oshodin, noted that the report released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) clearly stated that the contribution of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpassed that of oil and gas in the second quarter of 2019.
“The report released on Tuesday 2nd September, 2019, observed that the country’s GDP grew by 1.94% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the second quarter of 2018, which recorded a growth of 1.50%.
Furthermore, the non-oil sector contributed 91.18% to the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2019 as opposed to the 8.82% contributed to total real GDP by the oil sector.
Particularly, the ICT sector contributed 13.85% to total nominal GDP in the second quarter of 2019 which is much higher than the 11.22% contributed in the same period in 2018,” he said.
In similar vein, The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the rise in tempo and sophistication of innovations in communication technology hold greater opportunities if there is sustained synergy and collaborative linkages between the academia and the industry to produce quality research outputs to drive innovation in the Nigerian telecom sector.
The commission also said it has made great strides in the last three years working with the academia in the area of promoting research and development (R&D) and innovation in the country, especially with respect to telecommunications-based research outputs.
Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC Professor Umar Garba Danbatta stated this at the NCC 3rd Annual Stakeholders Consultative Forum with Academia and Industry, organised at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
The theme of the forum is, ‘Stakeholders Collaboration in Research & Development (R&D): Key Driver for Innovation in Telecommunications Industry.’
Addressing the gathering of Vice Chancellors and representatives of various universities and other top industry executives, Danbatta, who was represented at the forum by NCC director New Media and Information Security Dr Alhassan Haru said the continuous synergy has become imperative in the context of the advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The EVC stated that the commission, in the last three years, has developed several initiatives in this regard. This include the recent constitution of a standing committee on the Implementation of the Report of the Panel of Experts on the Design of Blueprint for ICT Research programmes in Nigeria.
Danbatta said the initiatives are to advance NCC’s goal of using research to enhance regulatory activities and ensure productive collaboration between the academia and telecom industry to address the challenges of the industry and innovation-driven research outputs.
Danbatta told the audience that while results in the past few years have proved that “we have collectively made great strides,” this year’s edition of the forum further gave “the commission another opportunity for expanding the goals such as full R&D funding and participation by all stakeholders; collaboration in commercialisation of local innovations; institutionalisation of the local innovations resulting in industry sustainability; increased contribution of the sector to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and importantly to improve quality of life for all Nigerians.”