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ICT 2nd to oil & gas in contributions to national GDP—NITDA boss, Pantami

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Pantami has disclosed that the aggregate contributions of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to the nation’s Gross Domestic product (GDP) is second to support from the oil and gas sector.

In a recent media chat, he revealed that “In Nigeria, for two or three years now, the contribution of ICT is second to oil and gas and there are implications. We think that in next few years, ICT could replace oil and gas”.

Explaining more on the specific areas his agency is seeking for investments, he said “We don’t have any single level of investment we are looking for in the ICT but we are more interested in the area of wooing the investors first. We are not only asking for investors that will come to Nigeria just because they want to get our money, but rather, we are looking for investors that will come and domesticate their products in Nigeria”.

Continuing, Pantami noted that “That is what we are after. If they domesticate their products in Nigeria, such products will be made-in-Nigeria, not made-in-the US, not made-in-the UK; it must be made in Nigeria”.

“By having Made-in-Nigeria products, the implication is that all transactions will be Naira-denominated, and by implication also, we are strengthening the Naira and by inference, we are strengthening our local currency. But if you invite an investor to come with made-in-US products in your country, the transactions could be in dollar and by implication; it is putting more pressure on our local currency.

“So, that is why our first focus, as NITDA, is to ensure that the foreign investment would strengthen our local content ecosystem. It will also strengthen our local currency. If it is made in Nigeria, then, it has become local content. If all the transactions are in Naira, then, by implication, we are strengthening our local currency. That is what we are after,” NITDA boss averred.