The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has expressed excitement on growth rate of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector which recorded the highest growth rate of all the sectors of the Nigerian economy in both the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q4 2020) and the entire year 2020.
This was based on the Q4 2020 Report on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) released on the 18th of February 2021, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to the NBS, ” Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.11%(year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing the first positive quarterly growth in the last three quarters.” This indicates that the country has exited recession. In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 94.13% to the nation’s GDP in Q4 2020 as opposed to the 5.87% contributed to total real GDP by the oil sector.
The ICT sector grew by 14.70% in Q4 2020, making it the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy in the last quarter and the only sector to have grown by double digits. The ICT sector grew at a rate more than 4 times the Agriculture sector, which was the next fastest growing sector of Q4 2020, with a growth rate of 3.42%.
The ICT sector also maintained its rapid growth rate in the overall year 2020 assessment, growing at 12.90%, or over 3 times the Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation sector, which was next fastest growing sector of 2020 with a growth rate of 3.81% and is the only sector with a double digit growth rate.
Furthermore, the telecommunications sector recorded a growth rate of 15.90% and this was its highest growth rate in the last 10 years. This performance is unprecedented.
Dr Pantami notes that the giant strides recorded in the ICT sector are a direct result of the focused and committed effort of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the strategic policy directions of the Federal Government including the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan, amongst others.
According to the minister, the GDP Report has shown that the ICT sector is a catalyst for the diversification and growth of our economy and called on all sectors to take advantage of the Federal Government’s new focus on the digital economy to enable and improve their processes through the use of ICTs.