Right from the time the Federal Government unveiled its digital economy agenda, the performance and contribution of the Information Communication Technology sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product has increased, says Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
Pantami, who is the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, told the Economic Confidential in an interview that in the second quarter of 2020, the contribution of ICT to GDP was 17 per cent from 13 per cent maximum last year.
He also said with the transfer of the National Identity Management Commission to his Ministry, the concept of digital number would be prioritised to replace the national identity card.
The Minister disclosed that the broadband penetration has risen significantly from a little above 30 per cent to more than 42 per cent within a year, adding: “Any country where the broadband penetration increases by 10 per cent, automatically that will increase the GDP of all other sectors by a minimum of 1.6 per cent up to 6.8 per cent.
“So, digital economy indeed is the future, and it is all about prioritising digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship.”
On the transfer of NIMC to his Ministry, Dr. Pantami said the digital number will henceforth be the national identity that will enable Nigerians to access relevant services offered by government agencies and private institutions.
The Minister said: “The new approach is the digital number, and not the card.
“The number, which will be in the country’s database will be linked to the person’s identity and will be attached to the person’s passport and Driver’s Licence among others.
“So that if a person wants to access any kind of service it will be through the digital number, which he or she will provide to the authorities concerned, and they will render the service requested by the person.
“So, there is no point promoting the digital economy and encourage people to be going out with cards.
It should be optional.”
Read the full interview here: “INTERVIEW: How Digital Economy is boosting Nigeria’s GDP- Dr Isa Pantami” https://economicconfidential.