Nigeria has benefited immensely from recent moves aimed at prioritizing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
Speaking at the 2019 e-Nigeria Conference in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that Nigeria has experience the impact of ICT to the socio-economic development of the country.
Enumerating the impacts, President Buhari noted that his administration saved the country over N16.8 billion in the past one year, following the directive he issued that all government funded-ICT projects must be reviewed and cleared by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
He also said that the second quarter report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for 2019 showed that the Information and Communications Technology sector contributed an impressive 13.85 per cent to the GDP of Nigeria.
“This clearly shows the importance and potential of the ICT sector to our job creation and economic diversification agenda.
The President further noted that Nigerian ICT start-ups are leaving their mark on the global stage. He cited an example of a Nigerian Artificial Intelligence solution provider, Chiniki Guards, that took first place, beating 750 contestants from 73 countries at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX),.
“We shall continue to encourage and support such digital entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions for local and global challenges,” he assured.
The President applauded some steps the government has taken to ensure transparency and efficiency in the public sector. “In public service, the digitisation of key activities, such as the use of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), has enabled us to save cost and fight corruption.”
He continues: “You will all recall that at e-Nigeria 2018 conference, we directed that all government-funded ICT projects must be reviewed and cleared by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).”
President Buhari revealed that the goal was to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of government procurement processes. “Today, I am informed that through this directive, government has saved over N16.8 billion. I want to encourage the Ministry and NITDA to sustain this tempo.”
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, praised the president for his support and encouragement, saying there are other steps being taken by the president that would further promote the nation’s economy through job creation, development of infrastructures and capacity building of the workforce.