Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson says the turnover of information communications technology, ICT companies into the Nigerian economy has reached N185 billion in 2013 and is expected to hit N200 billion by 2015.
The minister disclosed in Abuja at a public function organized in Abuja, and also revealed that the ministry has linked about 50 universities in the country on internet connectivity.
She noted that the increase was necessitated by the new policy drive of the ministry that spurred the increase from N181.8 billion to N183 billion in 2011 and 2012 respectively to the present status.
As part of efforts to encourage innovation and local content, she said that the ministry has made available $15 million as venture capital to ICT with plans to increase it to $50 million by 2015. This according to her, is aimed at encouraging local software manufacturers, innovative hubs, original equipment manufacturers and young entrepreneurs, who are yearning for support.
Mrs. Johnson also announced plans by the ministry to establish information technology, IT incubation centres in six geopolitical zones.
The idea according to her, is to catalyze ICT industry by helping Nigerian ICT entrepreneurs create successful businesses, enable public-private partnership and private-sector managed innovation centres.
With Lagos Centre already launched and Calabar to be launched in July, she assured that the centre would have presence in all the six geopolitical zones in the next two years. On e-government, the minister said that the number of Government services delivered online has increased in the past two years to 45 and is expected to reach 100 by 2015. This is as she said that the number of ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs with effective web sites has also increased to 480 this year and all expected to hook up by 2015.
On device ownership and penetration, she disclosed that the number of personal computers in Nigeria increased from 7.0 percent in 2012 to 12 percent in 2013. In the area of mobile devices, Johnson said that the penetration in Nigeria has moved from 70 percent in 2012 to 82 percent in 2013.
Mrs. Johnson further disclosed that public access venues were not left out in the ministry’s plan to increase access to service all Nigerians. She noted that high number of Nigerians are excluded from infrastructures that can meet their basic needs, saying that increasing the spread of ICTs can be a means through which the gap can be closed.
By Emma Elebeke