Activities in the telecommunications subsector generated a total of N3.9 trillion for the economy in Q4, 2021, New Telegraph has learnt. This represents a 14.7 per cent growth over N3.4 trillion it contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the preceding quarter of the year. According to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Q4 figure brought telecoms’ total contribution to the GDP for the year to N14.1 trillion.
This also represents a six per cent growth compared with the N13.3 trillion contributed by the sector in 2020. An analysis of the first three quarters of 2021 showed that telecoms’ contribution at the current basic price stood at N3 trillion in the first quarter of the year. By the second quarter, telecoms boosted the economy by N3.8 trillion, while it added N3.4 trillion in the third quarter. T he telecommunications sub-sector accounted for eight per cent of the aggregate nominal GDP for the economy in 2021, which, according to NBS, stood at N173.5 trillion. The NBS data showed that the Information and Communications Technology sector, led by telecommunications, remained one of the major drivers of the economy.
According to NBS, ICT sector, which is one of the main drivers of non-oil growth, is composed of the four activities of telecommunications and information services, publishing, motion picture, sound recording and music production and broadcasting. While ICT’s total nominal contributions to GDP in the year stood at N17.7 trillion, telecommunications alone accounted for 80 per cent of the total figure. For the year, the ICT sector’s percentage contribution to nominal GDP stood at 10.24 per cent, which is lower than the 11.03 per cent recorded in 2020. The NBS report revealed that the non-oil sector grew by 4.73 per cent in real terms in Q4, 2021. “This rate was higher by 3.05 per cent compared to the rate recorded in same quarter of 2020 and 0.71 per cent point lower than the third quarter of 2021.
This sector was driven in the fourth quarter of 2021 mainly by agriculture (crop production), trade, information and communication (telecommunication) and financial and insurance (financial institutions), accounting for positive GDP growth,” it said. NBS added that in real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 94.81 per cent to the nation’s GDP in the fourth quarter of 2021, higher than the share recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020, which was 94.13 per cent and higher than the third quarter of 2021 recorded as 92.51 per cent.
The annual contribution in 2021 was 92.76 per cent. According to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, the growing contribution of ICT sector to GDP was a result of the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the development of the digital economy. According to him, the 16 National Policies developed by the ministry, the 1,667 projects and programmes, the large scale digital skills and general capacity-building efforts, stakeholder engagement and the creation of an enabling environment have all played an important role in this achievement.
“The support of President Buhari has contributed immensely to the impressive developments in the sector. The unprecedented contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP can also be attributed to the dynamic and results-oriented leadership of the sector, which has been acknowledged and appreciated by a wide spectrum of stakeholders in the sector, both locally and internationally. For example, Mr Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) commended the minister for Nigeria’s “accelerated digital transformation.” Similarly, the Chairman of the United States-Nigeria Council (USNC) also commended him for the “commitment to diversifying Nigeria’s great economy through digital technology and innovation,” he said.