Pantami recounts digital economy’s successes at ITU conference



By Jessica Dogo

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. Prof. Isa Pantami, has informed global leaders at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22), achievements recorded in the nation’s digital economy sector.

This was made known in a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, spokesperson of the minister on Thursday in Abuja.

Pantami, while addressing heads of delegation and policy makers at the on-going ITU PP22 in Bucharest, Romania said that Nigeria’s digital economy was fast growing in the nation’s economy.

Suleiman quoted the minister as saying that the digital economy was the only sector that grew by double digits at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pantami said that the sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last three years has been unprecedented.

The minister said: “In the first quarter of 2020, the sector contributed more than 14 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP, while In the second quarter of 2021, it contributed 17.90 per cent.

”The current statistics stand at an unprecedented 18.44 per cent.”

Pantami said that five out of the seven unicorns in Africa originated from Nigeria and by implication, Nigeria currently contributes over 70 per cent of the entire unicorns in Africa.

He said that the establishment of two virtual academies during the pandemic were dedicated to the empowerment of citizens with digital skills.

Pantami said that the various partnerships with global technology giants to train 10million citizens in the next two to three years had played a significant role in the success story of Nigeria’s digital economy.

“The Nigeria Startup Law, which is in its advanced stage, aims at providing an enabling environment for indigenous innovators, to provide solutions to existing national and global challenges is also a significant achievement in the sector,” he said.

The minister reiterated that the development of 19 national policies, all of which were in various stages of implementation, have facilitated the quantum leap recorded by the sector.

“These national policies are in the areas of developmental regulation, Infrastructure, digital skills, as well as indigenous content development, among others,” Pantami added.

He commended the ITU for its efforts at global digital transformation. (NAN)