IT is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in Nigeria accounting for a bulk of the nation’s GDP. However, due to the pandemic that plagued the entire world, the contribution of the Information and Communications (ICT) sector to Nigeria’s total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) dropped to N1.28 trillion after the first quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). This represents 7.65% of the total GDP. ICT Contribution to Nigeria GDP drops by 8.02%.
Adding all sectors together, the GDP stands at N16.74 trillion for the first quarter of 2020, a 14.27% decrease from the N19.53 trillion recorded in Q4 2019. This performance shows a growth of 1.84% year-on-year (YoY) but it had been a smaller growth compared to the 2.55% YoY recorded in Q4 2019 and therefore the 2.28% YoY recorded in Q3 2019.
According to NBS, the slump was caused by a mixture of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis, a pointy fall in oil prices, and restricted international trade. The virus slowed a lot of activities and shut down a lot of small businesses in the country. Even tech giant, Andela laid off over 100 staff due to the pandemic.
ICT Contribution to Nigeria GDP drops by 8.02%
Nigeria’s ICT sector was one of the main contributors to Nigeria’s GDP in 2019. However, the world ’s contribution dropped by about 8% reducing the quantity contributed by the sector to N1.28 trillion. The sector contributed N2.57 trillion in Q4 of 2019.
The Information and Communications sector comprises Telecommunications and Information Services, Publishing, Motion Picture, Sound Recording, and Music Production, and Broadcasting.
The sector recorded a positive rate of growth of 7.65% YoY but the speed recorded compared to an equivalent period in 2019 showed a decrease of 1.84%.
Also, the world contributed a better margin to the GDP in comparison to petroleum, the country’s pride commodity. The ICT sector contributed 14.07% while the oil sector contributed 9.50%. This is considerably above its 13.32% contribution a year earlier and 13.12% within the half-moon. The oil sector contributed just 7.32% in Q4, 2019.
As a subsector, the Telecommunications and knowledge Services had a rate of growth of about 9.71% in Q1 2020. However its growth was but the ten .26 percentage growth recorded in Q4 2019, and 12.18% recorded in Q1 2019.
Although ICT contribution compared to other sectors is critical, the large drop by the quantity contributed shows that the economic situation caused by the pandemic also had a substantial impact on ICT. A suggestion to the federal government, the country needs to put more effort into achieving its goal of 65% broadband penetration in order to improve ICT’s contribution to the country’s GDP. This is because the large adoption of remote work and other technology-related services is certain to considerably boost ICT if the broadband is improved.
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