Telecom Adds $10bn Yearly To Nigeria’s Economy- Minister

Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu has said that the mobile telecommunications ecosystem currently contributes over $10 billion in value add to the Nigerian economy yearly, noting that ICT is the only sector that has recorded a positive growth in the first quarter of this year.
He said that with the upsurge in telephone density cutting across the technology platforms, the telecoms industry has enabled other industries and growth strategies to the Nigerian economy and society. “ ICT is the only sector that has recorded a positive growth of about 10 percent in the first quarter of this year and it has become a major contributor to the nation’s GDP” he said.
Delivering a keynote address on the theme, “Mobility, Technology and the Nigerian Economy” at the 2016 Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication Expo (2016 ICTEL) organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday in Lagos, the minister said, the Smart Digital Nigeria project is suitable ICT platform for diversification of the Nigerian economy.
Shittu said that mobile services have the potential to enable Nigerians benefit from the exchange of information for business and social needs for increase productivity. He said the global quest for ICT for development is enormous to both developed and developing countries because ICT skills are critical to the success of enhancing national development in a globalised era.
“In this regard, our government is focused on creating opportunities for citizenship participation in ICT training, knowledge and skills acquisition, and general application and usage of ICT tools to solve problems, promote their wellbeing and enhance national growth”, he added.
“No doubt, with the dwindling revenue from the Oil and Gas sector, the Federal Government has realized more than ever before that Telecommunication and ICT are amongst the main drivers for the social and economic development of Nigeria and play a vital role in enhancing access to basic services in all sectors of our national life”.
Charging the organisers of the event, the minister said, “I want to enjoin the President of LCCI, our tireless and quintessential Mother- Dr. (Mrs) Nike Akande, to continue to connect businesses and create opportunities for Nigerians in the ICT sector as the nation strives to diversify its economy from the non oil sector”.
He stressed that the theme for the expo is apt as the platform will encourage conversations and the sharing of opinions on innovations and trends as well as providing an excellent networking opportunity for business decision makers, innovation managers, start-ups, ICT academics, OEMs, venture capitalists, and other players in the Nigeria ICT sector.
Shittu assured that the government will provide the needed enabling environment for the ICT and telecommunication sector to thrive through enactment of relevant legislations, saying ”With the e-Government Masterplan implementation, government’s attention on e-Governance as the nucleus to drive other automation and IT agenda is assured under my very watch. I want to also charge you to continue to connect businesses and create businesses and opportunities for Nigerians in the ICT sector”.
“The Change Mantra of this administration comes in different colourations. We in the ICT sector have a responsibility to put the nation on the path of growth. This can be easily achieved when partners like LCCI key into the SMART Digital initiative.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this ICTEL Expo 2016, will further offer a platform for corporate organisations seeking to build partnerships for enhanced profitability in the sector. It is also a veritable opportunity for government and private sector operators to meet and articulate policies that would boost the productivity of ICT sector in Nigeria and create more jobs”.

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