The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributes about 5.7% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)of the Nigerian economy, according to the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.
The minister was quoted by the private BusinessDay newspaper Thursday as making the disclosure at the just-concluded 18th economic summit in Abuja, the Nigeria capital city.
She said the sector was the fourth largest contributor to GDP in the third quarter of 2012 and was growing at about 29%, faster than any other sector of the economy.
In 2010 and 2011, the sector contributed 5.46% to GDP, making it the fastest growing sector of the economy.
Official statistics attribute the growth to mobile network operators, device sales and distribution; value added services, equipment sales and distribution as well as software sales and distribution.
The minister expressed delight that young persons in Nigeria were driving innovation and creating businesses in the sector.
She said the ICT sector was the next most prominent after the agricultural sector, out of the 1,500 awardees of the Federal Government’s YOUWIN programme.
YOUWIN is an innovative programme set up by the government to identify young entrepreneurs with good business models and provide them with the necessary supports to start up their businesses.
She said the ministry would launch IT Incubation Centres in the commercial city of Lagos and the southern city of Calabar to create an infrastructure-rich environment that would enable ICT entrepreneurs to thrive.
Mrs. Johnson also announced that government would launch, in 2013, an ICT Innovation Fund that would raise about US$20 million for ICT entrepreneurs.