The Director-General (DG) of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was 14 percent in the first quarter of 2020.
The DG who was represented by NITDA Director of E-Government Development and Regulations, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, made this statement at a webinar organised by Abuja and Kano Chapters of Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN).
He said the growth of 14 percent represented an increase of almost 1 percent when compared to the contribution of 13.12 percent in the last quarter of 2019.
In the report, Inuwa said, “in spite of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic on all economies of the world, ICT grew by 14 percent compared to the initial growth of 13.12 percent in the last quarter.”
He added that “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”.
The claim has sparked debate among Nigerians on whether the ICT sector can actually account for 14 percent percent of the country’s GDP.
This is probably due to the linear view of what some people perceive to comprise the ICT sector. The general notion is that the ICT sector covers only telecommunications and information services.
This will not be the first time this figure would be questioned, A report published in May where the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said ICT contributed 14.07 percent to the nation’s GDP also got people talking.
In response to the report, a user with the name Thusspokez wrote “I have no idea where these figures came from. Could he be talking about the real growth of the ICT sector? For example, the petroleum industry contributes 10 percent of GDP; agriculture 22 percent, etc. Nigeria is not even in the Information Technology minor league like Malaysia with 18-19 percent to its GDP”.
Claim 1: That the ICT contributed 14 percent to Nigeria’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020
Claim 2: That the ICT in the last quarter of 2019 was 13.12 percent and 14 percent for the first quarter of 2020.
In a bid to verify the claim, The ICIR checked the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) website for the latest data on Nigeria’s GDP to get the scope of what the ICT sector covers.
The report explained that the ICT sector is composed of the four activities of (1) Telecommunications and Information Services; (2) Publishing; (3) Motion Picture, Sound Recording, and Music Production; and (4) Broadcasting.”
The data also showed that the ICT contributed 14.07 percent to total real GDP in the First Quarter of 2020.
The data report stated that “The sector contributed 14.07 percent to total real GDP in Q1 2020, higher than its contribution a year earlier (13.32 percent ) and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 13.12 percent.”
From the information gotten from the NBS the claim that the ICT contributed 14 percent to Nigeria’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020 is TRUE, However, the exact figure is 14.07 percent.
The claim that the ICT in the last quarter of 2019 was 13.12 percent and 14 percent for the first quarter of 2020 is also TRUE, However, the exact figure is 14.07 percent.