WorldStage Newsonline-- Nigeria is applying information and communication technology (ICT) to help the country save money and diversify its income base, according to the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.
Delivering a lecture organized by the University of Ibadan School of Business at the University of Ibadan at the weekend, the minister said the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is one of the ICT products developed by a local company which is transforming government spending and plugging financial
Speaking on the topic: "Maximizing the Potentials of the Telecommunications Industry for Reversing Recession and the Economic Growth of Nigeria," Shittu said his ministry was collaborating with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to use ICT to transform government service delivery.
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.
Shittu added that the overall goal of the efforts was to "increase ICT interaction and usage in agriculture, health, trade, finance, insurance and transport."
According to him, "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 revealed that the overall vision of his ministry was to make the ICT sector the main pillar of the Nigerian economy as it mainstreams ICT into all aspects of national life.
Emphasizing the importance of the ICT to modern economies, Shittu said the TSA alone has radically transformed governance, eradicated ghost workers and promoted efficiency and accountability.
"For Nigeria to be part of the 21st Century knowledge economy, there is a need to leverage on the potentials of the ICTs. Economists have extrapolated that there is a strong correlation between the increase in broadband penetration and GDP of any country. That's why the ministry is not leaving any stone unturned on the implementation of the ICT Strategic Roadmap, eGovernment Masterplan and Broadband plan for the country," he said.
When achieved, Shittu said the policy intervention being worked out with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation would facilitate digital service delivery with benefits including saving of running cost, enhanced budget implementation and easy identification and enumeration of government assets.
As perhaps the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy, the minister said the ICT sector was able to employ over 40 million Nigerians with obvious benefits to the overall economy of the country.
The Chairman, Board of Director of the school, Prof. Ademola Ariyo, explained that the school holds the eminent persons lecture series to synchronize various aspects of the business sectors together for complete education of students and other stakeholders in the society.
Ariyo said the ICT communications sector had the capacity to galvanize the Nigerian economy if the potentials are well harnessed.