The information and communications technology (ICT) sector made a significant contribution to Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2023 as ICT activities accounted for 15.97 per cent of GDP, up from 15.35 per cent in the same period last year.
This is according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), indicating the growing importance of ICT in the Nigerian economy. The report also showed that the ICT comprises the four activities of telecommunications and information services; publishing; motion picture, sound recording, and music production; and broadcasting.
While the contribution of the ICT sector to the real GDP increased year-on-year, it declined when compared to the preceding quarter. The NBS data showed that the ICT sector contributed 19.54% to real GDP in the second quarter of 2023, which was 3.57 per cent higher than the figure recorded in the third quarter.
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The NBS report disclosed that the growth of the ICT sector in the third quarter of 2023 was primarily driven by the telecommunications subsector. In real terms, the telecommunications subsector grew by 13.50 per cent in the third quarter, accounting for a major portion of the overall growth of the ICT sector. The subsector’s growth was attributed to an increase in mobile phone services, fixed wired telephone services, and internet services.
The growth of the telecommunications subsector is not only due to an increase in demand for ICT services, but also because it is driving growth in other sectors of the Nigerian economy. The telecom industry, which comprises mobile network operators such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile, as well as Internet Service Providers (ISPs), has been instrumental in supporting economic activity in a wide range of sectors, including banking, education, healthcare, and retail. These operators provide access to mobile services, data, and the internet, which are essential for conducting business and interacting with customers in today’s digital economy.
According to the NBS report, the second largest contributor to the ICT sector in terms of GDP growth was the broadcasting subsector. It contributed 1.39 per cent to real GDP growth in the third quarter, significantly lower than the telecommunications subsector, but still a relevant contribution. The broadcasting subsector includes television, radio, and cable television, which play an important role in the distribution of news, entertainment, and other information.