The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Danbatta has stated that Nigeria cannot compete in the global arena because of it lacks essential infrastructures in the ICT sector and its over dependence on oil and gas. Danbatta stated this in Lagos during the official launch and sensitisation programme on ICT Road map 2017-2020.
According to him, “Oil and gas has propelled our economy over the years, and it cannot improve the economy any further because the global economy of the 21st century is driven by Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Living and dying, as a matter of fact, is driven by ICT; and except we are able to provide infrastructure, we will not play effectively in the competitive global market.”
Danbatta also stressed the need to improve the ICT sector which will aid the improvement of other sectors, and also urged investors to look into various areas where ICT can be of advantage in their business.
“The world has gone beyond crude oil, it is now driven by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for this purpose there is need for improvement in the ICT sector in Nigeria.
“Agriculture is the way to go forward and opportunities can be created in this sector to grow and diversify the economy and ICT has a great role to play in it therefore investors should look into various areas they leverage ICT to grow their business to contribute to national development,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Adebayo Shittu , the Minister of Communication, said that ICT has impacted positively on the national economy and its evident through its significant contributions to the gross domestic product (GDP) from 0.6% in 20001 to 9.8% in 2014.
He, however, said that the ICT sector is limited, due to poor infrastructures leading to lack of access by many Nigerians, inadequate local content, poor skills to leverage ICT opportunities and lack of confidence in the use of ICT.
“ICT sector was essential for the proper functioning of many other key sectors of the economy and government including Agriculture, Commerce, Banking and Finance, Health and Transportation and for the purpose of progress and improvement the launching of the ICT roadmap was of great importance.
“The intention in developing the Roadmap was to create broad, yet flexible pathways to ensure that ICT reaches all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, also to provide every Nigerian with access to ICT and improved quality of service delivery by government”, Shittu said
Danbatta, however, revealed the initiatives his Commission had to offer to private stakeholders present at the event in other to give them firsthand knowledge on what the NCC intends to do to improve ICT sector and how investments from private stakeholders will help achieve a lot in the sector.