Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu, has said that software solution and e-commerce sector could employ over 45 million Nigerians and rake in significant revenue. He also described the ICT sector as one of the key pillars of the Nigerian economy that is contributing more than 10 per cent of the GDP.
Shittu who spoke yesterday in Abuja at the inauguration of boards of agencies under the ministry stated that the sector has great potential for contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth through economic diversification, creating opportunities for social inclusion, job creation and youth empowerment, improving human capital and facilitating economic competitiveness.
He cited the major challenges to the sector as lack of an integrated framework for coordinated development, inadequate infrastructure leading to low access of Nigerians of the benefit of ICT, poor local content in the industry, inadequate investments in the sector and low capacity including lack of globally competitive skills.
He maintained that increased ICT infrastructure will help to solidify national security, strengthen sovereignty and promote good governance.
“We are well on our way there with the kind of infrastructural investments we envisage, including regional fibre optic links and metro rings. Recently, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the implementation of the national ICT infrastructure back bone 11 project,” he said. According to him, skill issues remain a major constraint to employment of Nigerians in the sector. He explained that employers in the sector are increasingly finding it difficult to source for emerging 3rd platform technologies such as cloud, mobility, security and big data/analytics, which is where the world is going now.