The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, is highly delighted that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector retained its role as the sector with the highest growth rate of all the main sectors of the Nigerian economy in the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2021). This was based on the Q1 2021 Report on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) released yesterday, the 23rd of May 2021, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released.
According to the NBS, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.51%(year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2021, marking two consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020”. The Report noted that in terms of contribution to aggregate GDP, the oil sector accounted for 9.25% of aggregate real GDP in Q1 2021, while the non-oil sector accounted for 90.75% of aggregate GDP in the first quarter of 2021.
The Bureau also noted that the “growth in the non-oil sector was driven mainly by the Information and Communication (Telecommunication) sector while other drivers include Agriculture (Crop Production); Manufacturing (Food, Beverage & Tobacco); Real Estate; Construction and Human Health & Social Services”. It is worthy of note that the ICT sector grew by 6.47% in Q1 2021, making it the fastest growing significant sector of the Nigerian economy.
It is also interesting to note that Post and Courier Services grew by 2.53% in Q1 2021. These services are under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, but currently listed under the transportation sector in the GDP Report.
The Honorable Minister attributes the consistent positive performance of the ICT sector to the focused and committed support for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for the Digital Economy sector. The Federal Government has provided an enabling environment for the ICT sector to thrive, through the development and implementation of relevant policies. These include the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria, Nigerian National Broadband Plan and the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration, amongst others.
The GDP Report has shown that the ICT sector continues to serve as a catalyst for the growth and diversification of our economy. The Honourable Minister congratulates the Chief Executive Officers of the parastatals under the Ministry and stakeholders on the consistent performance of the sector and encourages them to continue supporting the policies of the Federal Government.