The Federal Ministry of Communications has been renamed the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
Minister of communications Isa Pantami made the announcement while briefing state house correspondents after a Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Pantami said the digital economy had become a global trend and was contributing immensely to Nigeria’s gross domestic product.
“I am here to convey the message to Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Communications which I supervise, has been renamed and re-designated as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, so that the amendment is that digital economy should be added to the name,” he said.
“We came up with the proposal knowing that digital economy today is about to dominate the world and even in Nigeria, if you look at it critically, the contribution of ICT to gross domestic product is increasing by the day.
“If you look at the second quarter of 2019, you will find out that oil and gas contributed 8.82% to our GDP while the non-oil sector collectively contributed 91.18% and ICT contributed 13.85% to our GDP.”
He stressed the need to have a ministry that can supervise the development and implementation of the digital economy in Nigeria with regards to its economic recovery and growth plan.
He said that many nations were creating ministries for the digital economy and the move had to be made to align with the global best practice.
“In Nigeria, looking at the contributions of ICT and, secondly, at how our population, most importantly youths, are addicted to ICT, I feel it is very important. No one will argue with me that if you look at the richest people today in the world, they come from that aspect of the digital economy,” said Pantami.
“For example, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, came up with that idea of Amazon in 1994. Up to 2003, he couldn’t get any profit. By 2004, he got his first profit and he became the richest person in the world.
He added that Nigeria was blessed in terms of its population and resources and should harness digital to improve its economy.