The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami,has said that the Government have developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focus on the information technology sector.
The Minister who was recounting the gains of the digital economy at the celebration of the Digital Nigeria Day in the nation’s capital city, Abuja, said that the policy is helping to stern the tide of capital flight, amongst other things.
He stated that the Information and Communication Technology provided three unprecedented contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country in the last three years, namely 14.07% in Q1 2020, 17.92% in Q2 2021 and 18.44% in Q2 2022 stressing that at each time, these numbers been the highest ever contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP.
According to him, the ICT sector grew by 14.70% in Q4 2020, making it the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy in the last quarter of 2020 and the only sector to have grown by double digits adding that Ministry excelled at the recently concluded Retreat for Ministers, where it scored 70% and exceeded all the deliverables, with an average score of 173.86%.
The Minister recalled that besides the recent signing into law the Nigerian Startup Acts and other notable policies that it midwifed, over 863,372 citizens have benefited from digital skills programmes of the Ministry done in partnership with global companies like Microsoft and Huawei.
He disclosed that the official broadband penetration figures stood now stand at 44.65%, representing close to 13 million new broadband users while there are now 36,751 with 77.52 percentage 4G coverage across the country.
Pantami said further that under him, the cost of data was crashed from N1,200 per GB to about N350, making it easier for Nigerians to connect to the Internet saying that the Ministry has been able developed an IT clearance portal to support inoperability, eliminate duplication and ensure value for money in the implementation of ICT projects in the country.
The impact, he said made quarterly savings from the IT Projects’ Clearance Process rose from N12.45 million to N10.57 billion promising to create a pool of Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs) to accelerate the development of Nigeria’s digital economy.
The Minister said that “Through our efforts, 355,610 direct and indirect jobs were created.Privacy concerns are also being addressed through the newly established Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB). The drafting of the data protection bill has reached an advanced stage.”