The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector will be the highest revenue earner for Nigeria by year 2020, the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, has said.
Johnson, who said this on Thursday in Abuja at the closing of eNigeria 2014, said the ICT sector would displace the petroleum sector as the largest contributor to the national income soon.
The minister, who was represented by Mr Peter Jack, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the ministry was coordinating heads of ICTs units in all government ministries and agencies to avoid duplication of functions.
“We know that the few agencies under the Ministry of Communication Technology working closely together can certainly deliver on the ICT mandate of the country.
“We believe that ICT has the greatest potential to eclipse oil and gas as the core source of national income if not the most reliable, contributing the maximum possible percentage of income to the country.
“So, by 2020, the year that we dream to be a top 20 economy, we believe that ICT will not only be contributing the maximum share to the national income, we believe that in terms of productivity, growth, and performance across all sectors, ICT will be a catalyst.”
The minister regretted the “wastage, duplication of efforts and lack of coordination in doing things in the ICT sector” but said it would soon be a thing of the past.
Johnson said that there was the possibility for NITDA to restart the deployment of community access centres to about 200,000 localities across the country.
In a keynote address, Mr Jelani Aliyu, a U.S.-based Nigerian Automobile and Industrial Designer, commended Nigerians and the Nigerian government for their commitment to the ICT sector.
He advised the youth to expand their dreams, saying that nothing was impossible for them to achieve.
“A message to the youth of Nigeria is that they need to know that we come from great histories and cultures; that we are a people of great wisdom, virtue and prowess.
“We may have challenges now but that is just what they – challenges – they are not us. We must not be defined by the problems that we face; they are not who we are, we are bigger than those problems.
“We must be defined by our dreams and aspirations; we must be defined by what we can achieve. We must be defined by a better tomorrow. Nothing is impossible.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that eNigeria was the country’s premier IT conference organised to showcase and promote the country’s viable, but largely unexploited ICT sector potential.
NAN reports that the theme of the three-day conference, which opened on Tuesday, was: “Creating Market Opportunities for Nigeria’s ICT Products and Services”. (NAN)