The Federal Government has revealed that the introduction of IT projects clearing programmes in the past two years has saved it the sum of N5,478,007,325.23. This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, who was represented by Mr Bitrus Nabasu at the Digital Nigeria Day 2021 virtual news conference held to celebrate the day in Abuja on Sunday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Nigeria adopted October 24 as its Digital Nigeria Day to promote the development of the Digital Economy and the day, which is also recognised by the United Nations as the World Development Information Day.

Pantami stated that the ICT sector played a huge role in lifting the country out of recession in 2020. “That growth was 14.07 per cent. This growth rate was the only double-digit growth rate that exceeded the aggregate growth rate of all the seven fastest-growing sectors.

“The ICT sector had the highest growth rate in 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021. The ministry and its parastatals have generated over N1 trillion for the federal government in less than two years. This translates to an average of N44 billion monthly or over N1.4 billion daily. N1.05 trillion revenue was generated by the ministry and its parastatals; furthermore, the ministry has saved for the FG through the IT projects clearing programmes the sum of N5,478,007,325.23,” Pantami said.

He also stated that over N600 million was paid as tax by ICT companies to the account of the FG through the Federal Inland Revenue Service, adding that since 2019, the FG has developed policies to improve Nigeria’s digital sector. Pantami said that said the policies include the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, Roadmap for the Implementation of NDEPS, and Nigeria National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

Others were SIM Card Registration Policy, National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Communication Sector, and National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions. He also said that there were more than 1,667 projects and centres established in the sector, while an additional 455 were ongoing. He added that 219,196 citizens had benefited from diverse digital skills training organised by the ministry.

What you should know

According to the last Gross Domestic Product Report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s information and communication sector grew by 5.5% in Q2 2021 from 6.31% in Q1 2020 and 16.52% in Q2 2020.

In nominal terms, the sector’s growth stood at -0.07% (year-on-year), a 1.08% point increase compared to the rate of -1.15% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020, but -7.93% points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding quarter. Telecommunications & Information Services grew by 5.90% in Q1 2021 from 7.69% in Q1 2021 and 18.10% in Q2 2020.

The sector also contributed 12.22% to total Nominal GDP, lower than 14.06% recorded in the same quarter of 2020 but higher than the 9.91% contributed in the preceding quarter. While the sector contributed 17.92% in real terms in the second quarter of 2021, slightly higher than in the same quarter of the previous year in which it represented 17.83% and the preceding quarter in which it represented 14.91%.

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