ICT, key to diversification efforts, says Shittu


• Govt to create 2m jobs through information technology
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is the way to go in Nigeria’s diversification drive, according to the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.

Shittu, at the University of Ibadan School of Business, UISB’s Eminent Person Business Lecture Series on Saturday said the Federal Government would establish an ICT university to make the industry have enough skilled manpower.

The minister also disclosed government determination to create over two million jobs through ICT, a technological park and ICT exhibition centre.

He also hinted on how ICT has been applied to diversify the economy and help the country to save money through the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

He disclosed that the telecoms sector had contributed over $60billion to the economy in the last 17 years. The minister, however, stressed that diversification of Nigeria’s economy into various sectors is not enough to take the country out of recession, until the process leverages on ICT in an effective and efficient manner.

To stimulate the Nigerian economy, he pointed out that the current administration was working at achieving increased ICT penetration in both mobile telephony and broadband services to all the nooks and crannies of the country.

According to Shittu, the overall goal of the efforts was to increase ICT interaction and usage in agriculture, health, trade, finance, insurance and transport.

He said: “This would automatically affect the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), improve the quality of life, reduce dependency on foreign exchange and improve the value of the Naira.”

Shittu stressed that the vision of his ministry was to make the ICT sector the main pillar of the Nigerian economy, mainstreaming ICT into all aspects of national life.

Speaking on the concept of the UISB eminent person’s business lecture series, Chairman, Board of Directors, Prof Ademola Ariyo said the lecture is to be appraised with a view to extracting its various implications for business such as policy, operational, financial, managerial and technical.

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