Address By His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari At The Launch Of The National Shared Services Centre (NSSC) And Unveiling Of Initiatives To Promote Nigeria’s Digital Economy

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  • January 4, 2023
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I am pleased to unveil and commission a number of initiatives that further express our commitment to develop a sustainable digital economy in Nigeria. 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.
2. 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.
3. Our digital economy journey has accelerated the diversification of our economy and the Q2 Gross Domestic Product Report by the National Bureau of Statistics showed the extent of this growth, with the Information and Communications Technology sector contributing an unprecedented 18.44% to the GDP, close to 3 times the 6.33% contribution of the oil sector in the same quarter.
4. 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% to 77.52%, also from August 2019 to date. We have also followed this up with the roll-out of 5G services.
5. It is noteworthy that the digital economy sector has excelled in generating revenue for the government. In particular, at the Ministerial Retreat that I chaired from the 17th to 18th of October 2022, our independent analysts adjudged the digital economy sector to have generated 594% 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.
6. 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.
7. Furthermore, today’s commissioning of the National Shared Services Centre demonstrates our readiness to ensure that government provides a one-stop-shop for Ministries, Departments and Agencies to interface with the citizens in a way that is swift, secure and seamless.
8. I have been informed that the building will house a Data Centre, Cybersecurity Operations Centre, Network Centre, Call Centre and will provide office space, among others.
9. The digital economy sector ensured that we could keep up with government meetings during the restrictions that came into force as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We approved the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions on the 14th of October 2020 and this enabled us to formalise government online meetings. As such, statutory meetings like the Federal Executive Council meetings, Council of State meetings and other meetings can now take place online, effectively and legally.
10. Our 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.
11. The massive increase of about 63 million in about 2 years is a global success story and has led to several requests for partnership from countries within and outside Africa. I also approved the establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau on the 4th of February, 2022 to provide an institutional framework for data protection in Nigeria, in line with global best practices.
12. In addition to these initiatives, we have developed a number of policies and programmes to enhance the productivity of the digital economy sector. For example, National Policy on NIN-SIM integration has enhanced the integrity of the National Identification Number database. Similarly, the Nigerian Postal Service has been repositioned through the unbundling of its services to increase its efficiency and make it more viable as a revenue generating agency of government. The two subsidiaries are the Property & Development Company and the Transport & Logistics Company.
13. As part of the NDEPS, I approved the 24th of October as the Digital Nigeria Day. I am delighted that the maiden Digital Nigeria International Conference and Exhibitions commenced on the 24th of October 2022. I am confident that the outcome of the Conference, as noted in the Communique, will support the growth of the digital economy sector.
14. I signed the Nigeria Startup Bill into law on the 19th of October 2022. The Nigeria Startup Act is a landmark legislation of this administration to transform the pool of highly talented youth we have in Nigeria into a pool of highly innovative digital entrepreneurs. 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.
15. As part of efforts to make Nigeria the destination of choice for top digital talent, we are partnering with leading global ICT companies to train Nigerians in cutting edge, high demand digital skills.
16. This includes the training of 5 million Nigerians, as part of a partnership with Microsoft Corporation. It also includes the training of an additional 1 million Nigerians in skills, in areas such as blockchain technologies, cybersecurity and data analytics, among others.
17. The giant strides made by the digital economy sector under the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has been very impressive, I commend the Honourable Minister and other stakeholders in the sector. I urge you to keep up the good work.
18. I thank you all for your attention and I look forward to improved contributions from all the stakeholders towards the development of our digital economy sector.
19. God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
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