BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR,
Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said on Tuesday that Information and Communications Technology start-ups have generated over $101million to the Nigerian economy in the third quarter of 2018.
Pantami who revealed this in Abuja at the Start-up Friday organised by NITDA for ICT young entrepreneurs, said this achievement was unprecedented in the history of ICT sector in the country.
He explained that the ICT sector has been burgeoning, adding that in the second quarter of 2018 that ICT has contributed 13.63percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP).
According to him, “With the little efforts we have put in place, a lot has been achieved in the ICT sector today.
“In the case of our ICT start-ups, within the first quarter of 2018, start-ups generated $9m, in the second quarter, they generated $57million and recently in the third quarter, they generated $35million.
“This is only within 2018. This achievement is unprecedented in the history of ICT sector in Nigeria.”
The NITDA boss further disclosed that the patronage of local IT content has significantly increased as a result of strict enforcement of policies in the sector by his Agency.
He pointed out that in 2013,that over 82,000 ICT facilities of the local content were purchased, adding that in 2014 and 2015, 92,000 facilities of hardware were purchased.
While in 2016, he said, 150,000 facilities were purchased and in 2017, the purchases of local content rose to 300,750.
He attributed the enforcement of IT policy as being responsible for the quantum leap in the sales of Nigeria’s local content, particularly the hardware component.
His word: “Earlier before now, we had many policies. The problem lies with the enforcement of the policy.
“It is not easy to enforce because it will attract unnecessary enemies. Even if somebody is angry with you, history will be kind to you.
“In the course of enforcement, we reported some government officials to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC]. They were detained by EFCC for days.
“This is because they avoided local content and patronised foreign ones. It was on this premise that I reported them.
“When they came out of detention, they were able to patronise local content. Within three months in 2017, their patronage to local content was N10.5billion.”
Commenting on the initiative of Start-Up Friday, Pantami said the programme was designed to identify budding ICT entrepreneurs, assist them to develop their potentials as well as build IT producers in Nigeria.
He explained that the programme which was the 10th edition, had also been held by the management of NITDA in Kaduna, Gombe, Lagos and Akwa Ibom States.