Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu, has revealed that Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector has attracted increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from $32B in 2015 to $40B in 2018.
He made this known during the official Session of the 6th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology (NCCT) taking place in June 12, Cultural Centre in Abeokuta with a theme “Leveraging ICT as the Veritable Vehicle for Economic Recovery and Growth”.
The Minister said that the performance of the Telecommunications industry has also improved noting that there was a positive increase in the number of active telecoms subscribers with an increase from 148,70 million in august 2015 to 162.05 million as at September 2018, which is an increase of 7%.
According to him, “Teledensity rose from 107.67% in August 2015 to 115.76% in September 2018, thus recording an increase of 2.47%. Similarly, Broadband penetration has reached 20.95%, while the percentage of internet penetration has reached a milestone 48.44%, making Nigeria, second only to South Africa in the whole of the African Continent,” Shittu stated.
He added that the Nigerian ICT sector today is one of the fastest growing despite the economic recession and contributed 9.8% in GDP in 2014. The challenge is how to leverage the opportunities thrown up by the new economy powered by ICT to address the issues of revenue, investments, cost savings, employment generation, and national productivity among others.
Dr. Shittu pointed out that this year’s meeting is unique as it focuses on how the highly acknowledged potentials of the ICT Sector can be used to achieve the main policy objectives of Economic Recovery and Growth in view of the dwindling fortunes from oil and Gas.
In his words, “In pursuit of the National agenda, we have continued to reposition the ICT Sector in the areas of infrastructure and industry development, local content optimisation, enabling policy, legal and regulatory framework; deepening of ICT in Government and mainstreaming of ICT into all spheres of national life among others.”
He reported that government has recorded remarkable achievements in ICT sector which includes improving the strategic ecosystem framework of the ICT sector through development of a number of policy instruments including the Nigeria ICT Roadmap and the National Addressing Policy, Provision of Internet access to about 400 MDAs, over 11,000 nodes of wireless LAN to all MDAs at the Federal Secretariat, and over 40,000 email addresses for Government officials under the gov.ng & mil.ng domains.
The Minister pointed out that government has licensed six slots of the 2.6MHz Spectrum for the deployment of 4G-LTE Services and processes have commenced for the licensing of Broadband services on the 5.4 GHz Spectrum Band and allocation of 70/80 GHz band (E-Band) as well as approval for the deployment of 4G Long Term Evolution Technology by NATCOM Development and Investment Limited to launch the first VoLTE call.
He acknowledged the physical infrastructure such as Smart City project, Establishment of Bureau of ICT, South West Resource centre, SchoolNet, OGIS-LAMS project and host of other projects, put in place by the Ogun State Government.
In his goodwill message, the Managing Director, FINTRAK SOFTWARE, Mr. Bimbo Abioye, on behalf of the Institute of Software Practitioner of Nigeria (ISPON), urged government to provide enabling environment for software industry and habit of importation of foreign goods has to change in order to create employment in the country.
Also, the President of Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON) Engr. (Mrs) Adenike Abudu urged people and the government to patronise local manufacturers in order to create more jobs in ICT sector adding that through collective promotion of Nigeria we move the country to the next level.
In his address, Governor of Ogun State, Senator, Ibikunle Amosu, reiterated his state belief in ICT by building an ICT Ecosystem and leveraging on the benefits of technology adding that the government processes are tech-driven through e-Government with our dedicated Web Porta.
“We have also continued to ensure that economic and commercial opportunities in our dear State are further boosted through G2C (Government to Citizens) Solutions. For example, we have standardised our Geographic Information System 8 (GIS) for land acquisition and created a One-Stop-Shop for that will give details of industrial potentials and mineral resources endowments to prospective investors coming into the state,” Amosun said.
He added that the state would continue to invest in the people to encourage the energy of the youth and their zeal for innovation noting that the state have continued to expose them to new development in the information and communication technology world.
•Photo shows, L-R; Kwara State Commissioner for Science &Technology, Dr. Kulu H. Abubakar, Permanent Secretary (Anambra Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Bar. (Mrs) Pauline Nwandu, Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosu, Permanent Secretary (FMC), Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, Kwara State Commissioner for Information & Communication, Mr. Ishak M. Sabi and others delegate at the official Session of the 6th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology (NCCT) taking place in June 12, Cultural Centre in Abeokuta with a theme “Leveraging ICT as the Veritable Vehicle for Economic Recovery and Growth”.
Source News Express