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Monday, October 9, 2017

Nigeria has Invested over $60bn in the ICT Sector

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has revealed that Nigeria had invested over $60 billion in the ICT sector since 2001 when digital mobile services were launched. The minister disclosed this in his keynote speech at the 6th European Union-Nigeria Business Forum. 

The theme of the forum was: “Youth as Engine of Broad-Based Economic Transformation”. According to Mr. Shittu, the federal government has been conscious of the role ICT plays in national development. He said that the government had therefore been committed for over 15 years in ensuring that ICT facilities and services were expanded rapidly.

Mr. Shittu said that over 26 million youths were unemployed or underemployed, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics.

“Businesses and organisations are feeling the effects. Our educational institutions are producing thousands of graduates but many are not likely to secure jobs” . The nation’s growing population does not help matters. Government is addressing the issue of investment in ICT infrastructure and ICT education and regulation in order to build on the successes of this digital revolution".

“We are mindful of the fact that youths play a key role in developing the ICT sector, and we are putting in place the right business environment and regulatory framework to allow our young people to unlock all the potential of digital economy. Undoubtedly, ICT has a vital role to play in this endeavor.”

The minister said that globally, ICT had become a veritable tool for advancing growth and economic development, especially in countries endowed with natural resources.

“ICT has changed the way people communicate, learn, and conduct businesses. A World Bank econometric study carried out in 2009 showed that every 10 per cent increase in ICT investment generates a 1.38 per cent increase in GDP. The Nigeria ICT sector today is one of the fastest growing despite the economic recession".

“Riding on ICT has become expedient as traditional approaches are falling to reverse the unemployment trend,” he said. Mr. Shittu said that the country had the potential to become a major player in the global economy by virtue of its human and natural resource endowments.

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