The Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Inuwa, on Friday said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 14 percent in first quarter of 2020.
Inuwa, represented by Dr Vincent Olatunji, the Director, E-Government Development and Regulations, said this in a webinar organised by Abuja and Kano Chapters of Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN).
He said the growth of 14 per cent represented an increase of almost one per cent when compared to the contribution of 13.12 per cent in the last quarter of 2019.
He noted that the increase happened because people relied more on digital platforms during the lockdown.
“In spite of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic on all economies of the world, ICT grew by 14 per cent compared to the initial growth of 13.12 per cent in the last quarter.
”The agency’s mandate of regulating the IT sector ensured that it created initiatives and schemes to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the ICT sector.
”We are ensuring the growth of the sector by promoting the startups ecosystem.
“NITDA, with its two special purpose vehicles, Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), and the Office for Nigerian Content in ICT (ONC), are working hard at achieving the mandate of fostering the growth of technology Startup ecosystem.
“The focus also meant ensuring patronage of local content in ICT.
“Some of these initiatives, include Work Permit for Technology Startups during lockdown, the Nigeria COVID-19 Innovation Challenge where three startups with innovative solutions emerged winners,” he said.
Inuwa said that the innovations were locally made ventilator, decontamination chamber and e-Health monitor Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support Scheme (TIESS).
He said that the TIESS had Incubation Programme, Technical Capacity Building, Internship Programme and Hub Upscaling.
The director-general said the schemes were designed to target various aspects for them to achieve maximum positive effect on the ICT ecosystem.
“Another programme being developed is Startup Workspace Voucher programme aimed at supporting young startup to overcome their financial challenges.
”With strategic partnership and collaborations with stakeholders, a new Nigeria with robust digital economy can be developed,” he said.
Participants at the event included Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state and the Minister of FCT, Malam Musa Bello, among others. (NAN)