According to the Nigerian government, the Information, Communication Technology (ICT) sector has saved the country over $13million.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, who was present at the Digital Nigeria Day 2021 news conference held back on 24 October, revealed that projects within the IT sector in the past two years have helped the government cut back on a lot of unnecessary expenditure, saving about $13 million.
The ministry selected October 24 as Digital Nigeria Economy Day, a day set aside to advocate for the development of the Digital Economy in the country. October 24 is also World Development Information Day as stipulated by the United Nations.
Dr Pantami declared that ICT played a pivotal role in bringing Nigeria out of recession last year. In 2020, Nigeria sunk into its worst recession in 33 years but bounced in the fourth quarter of 2020 as its economy grew by 0.1 per cent according to a World Bank report. “The total growth of the sector was 14.07 per cent. This growth rate was the only double-digit growth rate that surpassed the total growth rate of all the seven fastest-growing sectors. The ICT sector had the highest growth rate last year and the first quarter of 2021.”
“The ministry and its parastatals have generated over $2.4 billion for the FG in less than two years. This converts to an average of $107 million or over $3.4 million daily. “$2.4 billion revenue was generated by the ministry and its parastatals; furthermore, the ministry has saved for the FG through the IT projects clearing programs the sum of $13 million,” Pantami said.
He also disclosed that IT companies in the country paid a total of about $1.5 million as tax to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
Despite being accused of being unsupportive by Nigerians in the tech scene, Dr Pantami has insisted that the Federal Government has contributed to the growth of the digital sector with its policies. According to the minister, these 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 he mentioned were the SIM Card Registration Policy, which is yet to take effect; National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Communication Sector, and National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions.
According to him, there were over 1,667 established projects in the ICT sector, with about 500 still in the works. He also insisted that over 200,000 Nigerians had gained digital skills from the numerous training organized by the government.