Nigeria to boost ICT development

Nigeria’s Communications and Technology Minister Omobola Johnson said that the country’s newest ministry will look into boosting the information communication technology infrastructure in the country. It comes as companies and experts have been calling on the government to increase funding to bolster IT infrastructure.

Nigeria will look into boosting the information communication technology infrastructure in the country (image: file)

Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Johnson said that the new ministry will be supervising and coordinating with companies to facilitate and improve development in the ICT sector.

She said President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan decided to respond to the call of establishing the ministry because he was “acutely informed of the strategic and important role that ICT plays not only in national development but also in national competitiveness and the creation of much needed jobs especially for the younger generation.”

The minister said Nigeria had recorded tremendous success in the telecoms sector with a progressive policy environment, describing the country as an exemplar all over the world.

“We have had so much success in telecom industry, we had a very strong policy and regulation environment that has driven the success we have seen today,” she said.

She revealed that the country had one of the fastest growing telecoms markets in the world as well as the largest mobile subscriber base in sub- Saharan African, but noted that the IT sector for a great number of reasons had not been a success.

“In fact, despite the success of our telecoms industry, the ICT sector accounted for only 3.5 percent of GDP, compared with 10 percent for South Africa,” the minister explained.

She stated that the great challenge before her ministry was how to take telecoms industry to the next level

David Eto