President Buhari Speaks About 5G Spectrum, Says ICT Contributed More To GDP Than Oil In Q2
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the auctioning of the 5G spectrum, because it has driven growth, created employment and generated revenue for the country.
The president said the auctioning of the 5G spectrum apart from reaching that feat has also raked in about 547 million dollars for the country.
According to him, the Information, Communication and Technology Sector (ICT) had accelerated the diversification of the economy, noting that the sector according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) contributed about 18.44% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter (Q2), which was close to three times the 6.33% contribution of the oil sector in the same quarter.
Naija News gathered that the president in Abuja on Tuesday at the National Shared Services Centre expressed his happiness about how the digital economy ensured continuity in governance during the COVID-19 global lockdown.
He advanced that “As part of our efforts to expand our digital infrastructure; we increased our 4G base stations from 13,823 to 36,751 from August 2019 to date, and this has increased the percentage of 4G coverage across the country from 23 per cent to 77.52 per cent also from August 2019 to date.
”We have also followed this up with the roll-out of 5G services.
“It is noteworthy that the digital economy sector has excelled in generating revenue for the government.
”In particular, at the Ministerial Retreat that I chaired from Oct. 18 to Oct. 19, 2022, our independent analysts adjudged the digital economy sector to have generated 594 per cent of its revenue target from the 2019 baseline.
”This is very commendable. As part of these unprecedented achievements, the sector generated over 547 million dollars from the auctioning of the 5G spectrum alone.’’
The president on the premise explained that he was positive that the unveiling and commissioning of a couple of initiatives in the sector would be a step in the right direction towards a sustainable digital economy in Nigeria.
According to him, the National Policy on NIN-SIM integration has enhanced the integrity of the National Identification Number database.
He further stated that “These initiatives are part of our administration’s efforts to position the digital economy as a key enabler for the diversification of our economy and as a catalyst for the transformation of every sector of our economy.
“You will recall that I unveiled and launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria on the 28th of November, 2019 and I am very proud of the giant strides and the unprecedented progress that we have made in less than one year since the unveiling.
“To ensure that the digital economy sector remains successful and in order to reduce the burden on citizens, I recently approved the suspension of the proposed excise duty in the telecoms sector, as any initiative that will lead to hardship for the citizens would not be pursued.
“We approved the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions on Oct. 14, 2020, and this enabled us to formalise government online meetings.
”As such statutory meetings like the Federal Executive Council meetings, Council of State meetings and other meetings can now take place online, effectively and legally.
“Our administration’s commitment to promoting data promotion and privacy is receiving praise across the world and we have increased our digital identity enrolments from 39 million in October 2020 to about 92 million today.
“The massive increase of about 63 million in about two years is a global success story and has led to several requests for partnership from countries within and outside Africa.
”I also approved the establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau on Feb. 14, to provide an institutional framework for data protection in Nigeria, in line with global best practices.
”Similarly, the Nigerian Postal Service has been repositioned through the unbundling of its services to increase its efficiency and make it more viable as a revenue-generating agency of government.
”The two subsidiaries are the Property & Development Company and the Transport & Logistics Company.
“As part of the NDEPS, I approved Oct. 24 as Digital Nigeria Day. I am delighted that the maiden Digital Nigeria International Conference and Exhibitions commenced on the 24th of October 2022.
”I am confident that the outcome of the conference as noted in the communiqué will support the growth of the digital economy sector.
“I signed the Nigeria Start-up Bill into law on Oct. 19 2022.”