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Buhari Pledges To Create ICT-Based Jobs For Nigerians This Year

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – President Mohammadu Buhari has reassured Nigerians that his administration will deliberately leverage Information Communication Technology (ICT) platforms to create more jobs this year.

The ICT sector of the Nigerian economy has recorded impressive performance in the last two years. According to the Q4 2020 Report on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the sector recorded the highest growth rate.

The report shows that the 14.7 percent growth rate recorded by the sector was greater than the combined 14.21 percent growth of the 2nd to 7th fastest growing sectors in 2020. The telecommunication sector alone recorded growth rate of 15.90 percent , representing its highest growth rate in the last 10 years.

Similarly, in the NBS report for the first quarter of 2021, the ICT sector maintained its position as the fastest growing sector of the economy. This therefore indicates that the Digital Economy sector has proven to be vital for the diversification of the Nigerian economy.

President Buhari said his administration will also ensure that the diversification of our economy creates more support to other emerging sectors.

“I am proud to announce that several foreign investors are taking advantage of our ranking as one of the leading start-up ecosystems in Africa to invest in our digital economy”, he said in his  his New Year Message to Nigerians on Saturday.

He also noted that the economy has demonstrated a high level of resilience to record some significant achievements despite the turbulence that has characterized our economy and indeed the global economy.

“The lessons we have learned and keep learning from COVID-19 have encouraged us to intensify efforts to mitigate its socio-economic effects on our Nation. The major wins we have recorded can be clearly seen in Nigeria’s most recent GDP figures released by the NBS. The 4.03 percent growth recorded in the third quarter of 2021 is indicative of the recovery being recorded in our economy and the confidence that is being shown through the policies that our Administration has put in place after the outbreak of the pandemic.

“We may also recall that this recent growth is closely followed by the 5.1 percent (year on year) growth in real terms recorded by Nigeria in Quarter 2 of 2021. This growth was one of the best recorded by any nation across Sub-Saharan Africa. The 5.1 percent growth at that time was and remains the highest growth recorded by the Nigerian economy since 2014.

“Despite the challenges we have faced as a nation, the good news is that we have so far recorded four consecutive quarters of growth after the negative growth rates recorded in Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 of 2020 due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic”, he added.

The President further explained that the accomplishments that have been recorded so far can be traced to the dedication of the nation’s anti-corruption agencies who, according to him, have received the necessary support needed to effectively prosecute their duties.

Buhari also applauded the 9th National Assembly for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill which he signed into law on August 16, 2021, adding that the signing of this legacy legislation is a watershed moment in the history of our nation, considering the massive positive impact the new Act would have on the economy.

“I would like to sincerely commend the 9th Assembly for the grit they demonstrated, succeeding where others have failed, and the cooperation that led to the completion of this process after almost two decades.

“The legislation is expected to serve as a liberalizing force in the energy industry, and we are optimistic that this law will provide the much-needed legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the development of the energy sector, the host communities, and Nigeria as a Nation. Our objective to increase Liquefied Natural Gas exports and expand our domestic market is still very much at the forefront of some of the policies we would be pushing in the new year”, he stressed.

He said despite the challenges in 2021, it was also a year in which the administration executed successfully, key projects, programmes, and initiatives to fulfil the promises made under the Security, Economy Anti-corruption (SEA) agenda.

“As we welcome 2022, let us, with hope, envision a year of continued progress against our combined challenges arising from security and socio-economic issues. As it is said, the past is but a story told, the future will still be written in gold. Let us be united in our fight to keep our nation united against all odds and with gratitude, celebrate life in this new epoch”, he added.

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