President Muhammadu Buhari had said Nigeria has generated the sum of $547 million through 5G spectrum auctions so far this year.
This was disclosed on Tuesday at the opening of the National Shared Services Centre, a one-stop-shop for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) interface with citizens, which also house a Cyber Security Operations Centre, Network Centre and Call Centre in Abuja.
Beyond the 5G auctions, The President also noted that Nigeria’s I.T. industry has contributed positively to the growth of the economy, with its 18.47% contribution to the country’s GDP.
On the continuous growth of the Information, Communication and Technology Sector (ICT) towards economic diversification, he said:
“As part of our efforts to expand our digital infrastructure; we increased our 4G base stations from 13,823 to 36,751 from August 2019 to date, and this has increased the percentage of 4G coverage across the country from 23 per cent to 77.52 per cent also from August 2019 to date.
”We have also followed this up with the roll-out of 5G services. It is noteworthy that the digital economy sector has excelled in generating revenue for the government.
He stated that Nigeria’s digital economy had outperformed its expectations, citing 5G auctions:
”In particular, at the Ministerial Retreat that I chaired from Oct. 18 to Oct. 19, 2022, our independent analysts adjudged the digital economy sector to have generated 594 per cent of its revenue target from the 2019 baseline.
”This is very commendable. As part of these unprecedented achievements, the sector generated over 547 million dollars from the auctioning of the 5G spectrum alone”.
He said, his administration has also contributed to the growth of the sector, through certain policies including the suspension of excise duty in telecoms.
“These initiatives are part of our administration’s efforts to position the digital economy as a key enabler for the diversification of our economy and as a catalyst for the transformation of every sector of our economy.
“You will recall that I unveiled and launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria on the 28th of November, 2019 and I am very proud of the giant strides and the unprecedented progress that we have made in less than one year since the unveiling.
“To ensure that the digital economy sector remains successful and in order to reduce the burden on citizens, I recently approved the suspension of the proposed excise duty in the telecoms sector, as any initiative that will lead to hardship for the citizens would not be pursued,’’
Apart from the 5G auctions, other policies he said, include the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions on Oct. 14, 2020, which enabled FG to formalise government online meetings.
He added his administration’s commitment to promoting data promotion and privacy is receiving praise across the world and we have increased our digital identity enrolments from 39 million in October 2020 to about 92 million today.
”We aim to make Nigeria a global hub for digital talent. It was an executive bill that was initiated by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,” he added.
Recall that last month the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said that anyone interested in participating in the forthcoming 3.5GHz spectrum 5G auction will have to pay the sum of $27.36 million as Intention-to-Bid Deposit (IBD).