By Kester Omu
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), today revealed that the country’s telecoms sector contributed a whopping N1.549 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2017.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, who revealed this while receiving the Chairperson of Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) Madam Angelique Weeks at the NCC headquarter in Abuja, said the contribution represents a 6.68 percent increase from the first quarter of the year (N1.452 trillion).
Danbatta said the figures were derived from recently released Bureau of Statistics (NBS’s) report on the economy, which confirmed that the telecommunications sector, during the second quarter of 2017, contributed 9.5 per cent to the GDP in contrast to 9.1 per cent contribution in the first quarter of the year.
“We are very proud of the remarkable contribution the sector is making. Even at the recent times when the whole economy was facing challenges, the sector had remained resilient and stable,” he told the visitor who was accompanied by a team of administrators from West Africa Telecommunication Regulators Association (WATRA).
Similarly, the NCC boss told the visitors that the commission has also noticed a remarkable increase of data usage in Nigeria, which he puts at about 40 million terabytes.
He, however, expressed optimism that the country would undergo a massive ICT transformation by the time the excess data capacity at the landing point in Lagos is deployed to the hinterland through licensing of infracos (infrastructure companies).
Speaking further, Danbatta noted that the broadband penetration in the country currently stands at 21 per cent, as Nigeria is inching toward 30 per cent penetration next year, which is in line with its National Broadband target. He said, the commission has approved spectrum trading consistent with an item of the 8-Point Agenda, optimizing the use and benefits of spectrum, to ensure that no acquired spectrum is left unutilized.