ICT Can Employ over 45 Million Nigerians – ShittuAbbakin
ICT Can Employ over 45 Million Nigerians. This is contained in a statement by the Minister of Communication, Barrister Adebayo Shittu on Tuesday who said that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) if properly put to use in Nigeria, has the capacity to employ over 45 million Nigerians.
Shittu disclosed this while inaugurating the Board members of Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT).
According to him, the ICT sector is one of the key pillars of the Nigerian economy contributing more than 10 percent of the GDP.
The Minister said the sector has great potentials for contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economic recovery and Growth through economic diversification, creating opportunities for social inclusion, job creation and youth empowerment, improving human capital and facilitating economic competitiveness.
His words: “The ICT sector is one of the key pillars of the Nigerian economy contributing more than 10% of the GDP. The sector has great potentials for contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economic recovery and Growth through economic diversification, creating opportunities for social inclusion, job creation and youth empowerment, improving human capital and facilitating economic competitiveness.
“It has been suggested that the Devices, Software Solution and e-Commerce sector alone could employ well over 45 million Nigerians and rake in significant revenue.
The Minister, however, noted that the major challenges to the sector have been lack of an integrated framework for coordinated development, inadequate infrastructure leading to low access of Nigerians to the benefits of ICT, poor local content in the ICT industry, inadequate investments in the sector and low Capacity including lack of globally competitive skills.
He said “the availability of infrastructure has a significant impact on the development of ICT market. Apart from catalyzing infrastructural development through the highly competitive telecom sector, we are pursuing Government time bound investments in good quality infrastructure facilities and services as well as a robust, reliable and secure telecommunications network, which is globally competitive and is also highly accessible and affordable.
“We are accelerating implementation of the National Broadband Plan and promoting investments towards last mile access and improvements in the quality of existing networks.
“Investments in ICT infrastructure will always offer further economic growth and opportunity. We have identified and will implement high impact infrastructure projects that will create businesses for local contractors, contracts for service suppliers, jobs for local residents – and the potential for spin-off industries. We envisage creating a massive number of jobs every year for Nigerians through our efforts on Infrastructure Development.
“Increased ICT infrastructure will also help to solidify national security, strengthen sovereignty and promote good governance. We are well on our way there with the kind of infrastructural investments that we envisage including regional fibre –optic links and metro rings. Recently, the Federal Executive Council approved the implementation of the National ICT Infrastructure Backbone II project”.
Speaking further, Shittu said “NIPOST is undergoing a restructuring and modernization process which is aimed at a thriving market-driven entrepreneurial conglomerate focusing on innovation.
In this regard, we seek to amend all existing Postal Services laws, enact the Postal Reform law, enhance revenue generation, align work performance and support Federal Government in reducing unemployment. Also, the reform process will rejuvenate staff competencies and skills as well as develop sustainable partnerships.
“Members of the NIPOST Board being inaugurated here today must, therefore, prepare their minds and work aggressively, dynamically, and productively towards our new business entities such as the proposed NIPOST Banking and Insurance Company, the NIPOST Property and Development Company, the NIPOST Transport and Logistics Company, the NIPOST E-Commerce Services and the NIPOST E-Government Services.
“The reforms in Nigcomsat is focusing on acquiring additional Capacity to operate effectively as a Commercial Satellite Company and to adequately compliment regular ICT Infrastructure in bridging connectivity gaps in hard to reach and remote areas of the Country. In this respect, two additional Satellites are to be acquired through an ongoing process.
“With respect to NITDA, the Agency is being repositioned to meet the ICT Skills and human capacity needs of the Country. My expectation is that the Boards being constituted today will effectively work towards realizing these set goals.”