The Information and Communications sector contributed an impressive 13.85 percent to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP of Nigeria in 2019, according to a report by the National Bureau Of Statistics
This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, M.F Istifanus, who represented the Minister,Dr.Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami at the 2019 ICT Data Stakeholders Workshop held in Owerri.
He said the theme of the workshop ” Building the Digital Economy through ICT Data Resources, is both timely and relevant coming at a time the country has braced up to build and harness the benefits of the Digital Economy which is data propelled
He stressed the importance of data, stating that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind, “sticking to business as usual implies that Nigeria’s economy will miss the wave and the gap with the economies that are successfully exploiting ICT data resources would keep widening”
He noted that over the years, successive governments in the country have prioritized ICT as a key strategy for realizing national goals and objectives, but such efforts has been with mixed results arising from serious dearth of relevant data.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had approved the expansion of the mandate of the Federal Ministry Of Communications ” to overseeing the realization of Government objectives with respect to the digital economy. The extended mandate calls for greater push towards ensuring the availability of timely, relevant and cost effective ICT data
He stated that ” given the importance of data in the digital economy and government expectations from the ICT sector the task of making data available through the databank is an enormous and urgent one requiring collaboration and co operation”
He charged participants at the workshop to come up with a comprehensive report “with your recommendations on how we can strengthen Nigeria ICT Databank for the betterment of the sector and country at large.