Stakeholders want FG to consolidate on gains recorded in ICT

Some stakeholders in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector on Wednesday in Abuja urged Federal Government to consolidate on the gains recorded in the sector in the last four years.They made the call in separate interviews with journalists while appraising Federal Government’s performance in the ICT sector under President Muhammadu Buhari from 2015 to 2019.

Buhari was sworn in for second term in office yesterday, having been re-elected as President of Nigeria on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections.

Ebrima Dirioye, the Managing Director, Digital Space Communications, said “Buhari’s first tenure succeeded in growing the communications sector by focusing on information technology infrastructure development and promotion of ICT local content’’.

He commended the Federal Government for the commitment in turning the ICT sector into a “cash cow’’ so as to revive the country’s economy.Read Also: FirstBank Offers Support to SMEs in Education Sector

Dirioye stressed the need for continued implementation of policies and plans in an integrated, focused and innovative manner, in line with best practices to facilitate rapid growth of the ICT sector.

According to him, there is an increased contribution of the ICT industry to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is remarkable.

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He added that ” the significant improvements recorded in the sector was achieved through increased deployment of technology via significant investments.

“While the Federal Government has succeeded in facilitating the deployment of ICT to drive transparency in governance, more is needed to fully integrate information technologies into the socio-economic development of Nigeria.Stakeholders want FG to consolidate on gains recorded in ICT

“This is essential to transform the country from a commodity-based economy to a knowledge-based one, ’’ Dirioye said. He emphasised the need for the new Federal Government to ensure increased broadband penetration and extend ICT access to Nigerians, as well as provide enabling environment for competitiveness in the industry.

He said “increased investment in IT human capital and formulation of policies that would attract private sector participation in the sector were other vital areas the new government must focus on.”

He also urged the new administration to intensify efforts toward actualising the proposed specialised ICT bank with a view to providing funding for ICT stakeholders and start-ups at low-interest rates.

Other stakeholders also applauded the Federal Government for sustaining the legacy recorded in ICT sector by successive governments.

Malam Garba Gambo, a technologist in Abuja, said “so far, Nigeria’s journey into ICT has been stable. Though we are not yet there, we are making progress.

“You can see the pace at which people are becoming ICT compliant and much more can be achieved in this sector,’’ Gambo said.

Miss Pat Nkwodinma, an ICT businesswoman, urged government to leverage the ICT sector to create more jobs and empower Nigerian youths.She said “many youths have gained employment in the ICT sector, which is commendable. Go to GSM villages in major cities in this country, you will see wonders.

“The Federal Government, however, must do more to encourage youths by creating appropriate measures to develop the sector.

“Many people are still roaming the streets whereas they can be gainfully employed in the ICT sector.”

On her part, Mrs Bassil Udoh, an ICT consultant, urged security agencies and government at all levels to intensify efforts toward curbing cybercrime in the country.According to her, cyber security should be of immense concern to guarantee trust and restore the country’s dignity.

The immediate past Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said ICT’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose from N7.1 trillion in 2015 to N8.53 trillion in 2019.

Shittu said this while giving an account of his stewardship in office from Nov. 2015 to May 2019.

The minister added that foreign direct investments to the telecommunications and information technology sector in the country stood at 1.73 billion dollars.Stakeholders want FG to consolidate on gains recorded in ICT

SOURCEOgochi Ndubuisi
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