The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector contributed 17.92 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021).
A recent report released today (August 26) by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) made clear that the sector contributed 17.92 per cent to the total real GDP in Q2 2021, 20.54 per cent higher than its contribution a year earlier and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 14.91 per cent. This is the highest contribution of ICT to the GDP and is truly unprecedented.
According to the NBS, “Nigeria’s GDP grew by 5.01 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2021, marking three consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.”
The negative growth was triggered by COVID-19, not only in Nigeria but also globally. Even within that period, the ICT sector continued to experience positive growth. The oil sector contributed 7.42 per cent to total real GDP in Q2 2021, down from figures recorded in the preceding quarter, where it contributed 9.25 per cent. The non-oil sector grew by 6.74 per cent and contributed 92.58 per cent to the GDP.
Reacting to this development, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, expressed delight to hear of the growth of the contribution of the sector.
He noted that the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP was as a result of the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the development of the digital economy, the 16 national policies developed by the ministry, the 1,667 projects and programmes, the large scale digital skills and general capacity building efforts, stakeholder engagement and creation of an enabling environment all of which played an important role in the achievement.
A statement by the minister’s technical assistant (Information Technology), Dr. Femi Adeluyi, said Buhari’s support contributed immensely to the impressive developments in the sector.
“The unprecedented contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP can also be attributed to the dynamic and result-oriented leadership of the sector, which has been acknowledged and appreciated by a wide spectrum of the stakeholders in the sector, both locally and internationally. For example, Mr Houlin Zhao, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) commended the minister for Nigeria’s accelerated digital transformation.
Similarly, the chairman of the United States-Nigeria Council (USNC) also commended him for the commitment to diversifying the country’s economy through digital technology and innovation,” it said.
The statement said the GDP Report had shown how critical the ICT sector is to the growth of our country’s digital economy and, by extension, the general economy. It added the minister had renewed his call to all sectors to take advantage of government’s new focus on the digital economy to enable and improve their processes through the use of ICTs. This will enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP, it further said.