Sunday, 24 January 2016

E-commerce can employ over 40m Nigerians –Minister

The Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu has said electronic commerce could employ over 40 million Nigerians. Electronic commerce is commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet.

Shittu, who spoke at the maiden Communications Sector Retreat organised by the Ministry of Communications in Ibadan, lamented that with such huge potentials, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), industry’s commensurate impact has not been felt in the lives of many Nigerians.
The forum, which was tagged: ‘Continuing Innovation while Innovating Continuity: Creating a Smart Digital Nigeria’, was organised to reposition ICT in the country, which is the key sector of the economy.

Shittu maintained that the retreat would open up strategic and suitable roadmap in the country, adding that ICT has come to stay and could soar especially as it currently contributes 9.58 per cent as much to the GDP as Oil and Gas.“It is arguably one of the fastest growing sectors of the Nigerian economy and is the second largest, soon to be the largest, ICT market in Africa. Given the absence of fiscal buffers in a time of low oil prices and rising unemployment, ICT, which already employs more Nigerians than the oil and gas sector, is poised to drive growth.

“Industry analysts suggest that ICT tools, devices, software solution, IT outsourcing and e-commerce sector alone could employ over 40 million Nigerians and contribute billions of dollars to our economy when appropriately channelled and nurtured,” he said.

Also, Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, urged stakeholders in the ICT sector to evolve new ways that would take Nigeria out of the doldrums and re-launch its economy.

He observed that ICT was useful in virtually all aspects of human life, especially now that crude oil price was experiencing a free fall in the international market, thus impacting negatively on the nation’s economy.
Quoting the National Bureau of Statistics, Ajimobi said that ICT was a major contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with 8.68 per cent, adding that the country was the largest ICT user in Africa, with over 94 million internet users.

Besides, he noted that ICT had created over 12 million jobs in the country in the last two years, stressing that it could create even more if necessary frameworks were put in place.

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