It is no news that the ICT sector contributed about 15.05% of the GDP of Nigeria in 2020, as the country recorded about N70 trillion GDP.
This meant that the ICT sector recorded about N10.535 trillion towards Nigeria’s GDP in 2020.
This figure, interestingly, surpassed the contribution of the Nigerian oil sector, which contributed only about 8.89%, or about N6.223 trillion, to Nigeria’s GDP in 2020.
This, I must say, is a plus for the ICT sector, which has been championing the switch to the digital economy.
This remarkable feat, in my view, cannot be unconnected with the increase in the use of online tools and platforms in the wake of the lockdown, occasioned by the emergence of COVID-19 from the beginning of the second quarter of 2020.
That was the period when many organizations decided to have their staff work from home. Working from home, essentially, entailed the use of a device, such as a laptop, desktop, smartphone or iPad, with internet connectivity.
In addition to the provision of these devices and connectivity, physical meetings that were usually held in physical offices were also discarded during the lockdown.
This was replaced with virtual meetings, which have been sustained to this day by many organizations. Many are learning fast to catch up in using the various tech tools and gadgets to leverage communications.
Listening to a radio program a few weeks ago, I heard an analyst say that his 90-year-old mother, jumped on a Zoom meeting from Nigeria, to send a congratulatory message to one of his siblings, who was celebrating his birthday in one of the European countries.
It would be recalled that, after the lockdown was eased, many businesses decided to retain the working from home strategy, after realizing that they could afford to allow their workers to work from home and still, be productive on the job.
Many scheduled physical events were also organized and held online during the lockdown. Today, some event organizers, still prefer to hold virtual events, now that the lockdown had been eased.
From the lockdown days to now, we have also seen an increase in activities by Fintechs as well as online banking transactions.
All these are positives, to the country’s push for embracing digital economy. It is, however, not yet ‘uhuru’, as more still needs to be done, to have a full-fledged digital economy structure in Nigeria.
These include the upgrading of infrastructure, such as expanding the reach of broadband penetration, providing faster internet connectivity, improve power supply, as well as work a lot more on digital inclusion in the grassroots areas of the country.
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