The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, has said the contributions of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is almost three times the contributions of oil and gas.
He said this while inaugurating the North East Regional Office of the Galaxy Backbone Limited in Gombe.
Pantami said the centre would improve the digital economy, provide job opportunities and enhance cyber security.
He said having the centre in the region would help to consolidate the gains of the digital economy and the contributions of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP.
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He said the Galaxy Backbone centre in Gombe was part of phase two of the National Information and Communications Infrastructure Backbone (NICTIB) project.
Dr Pantami explained that the NICTIB 2 covered 18 states in the North and two states from the southern part of the country that were not captured in the NICTIB 1.
The minister said the digital economy sector had supported federal government’s effort at diversifying the economy.
“For over 50 years, Nigeria relied so much on oil and gas. But today, we have reached a situation where the contribution of ICT to our gross domestic products in Nigeria is almost three times the contribution of oil and gas to the country’s GDP.
“In the last three years, we have set up three unprecedented records with regard to ICT contributions to the GDP,” Pantami said.
He explained that in the first quarter of 2020, ICT contributed 14.07 per cent to the GDP, while in the second quarter of 2021, ICT sector contributed 17.97 per cent; “in the second quarter of 2022, the ICT sector contributed 18.44 per cent to the GDP.”
Earlier, the managing director of Galaxy Backbone Limited, Professor Muhammad Abubakar, said the agency remained committed to connecting all the 36 states of Nigeria into ICT infrastructure to power the country’s digital economy.