ANALYSIS: Nigeria to spend 0.2% of budget on ICT in 2020
DISTINCTION- There is a general consensus that information and communication Technology(ICT) could serve as a major catalyst for the socio-economic transformation of NIGERIA.
Despite substantial successes recorded in the ICT sector over the last two decades, there is still much ground to cover to ensure that the industry reaches its full potential in terms of revenue generation,job creation,digital literacy,local content growth,digital inclusion,innovation development,internet access,and enabling the digital economy,amongst others. Poor infrastructure especially with regards to the provision of broadband remains one of the critical issues bedeviling the sector.
Broadband is key in bridging the digital divide between urban and rural communities in education,health,transport and financial services through the evolvement of E-education, E-health, E-transport and E-finance.
ACCORDING to the World Bank, broadband is “a powerful tool for the delivery of essential service such as education and health, offers increased opportunities for women`
s empowerment, environment sustainability, and to enhance government transparency and accountability``
The Banks studies have shown that a 10% increase in broadband penetration in developing countries accelerates economic growth by 1.38%. Also, a joint study conducted by Ericson,A.D. Little and chalmers university of technology noted that “doubling the broadband speed for the economy increase Gross Domestic product(GDP)by 0.3%“.
Nevertheless, it currently appears that the priority of the NIGERIA GOVERNMENT Lies elsewhere. A closer look at the 2020 budget presented by the President, Muhammadu Buhari,to the national assembly on 8th October, 2019 shows that Nigeria ICT sector supervised by the ministry of communication and digital Economy has a total allocation of N18.7% billion representing just 0.18% of the total budget of 10.3trillion.
further break down of the allocation to the ICT sector show that a bulk of the funds, N12.8billion, has been budget for recurrent expenditures such as salaries,allowances,health insurances,trips,newspapers,fuel,and telephone bills of the stuff of the ministry of communication and digital economy.
Only N5.9billion representing 31.6% of the ministry`s allocation and 0.06% of the national budget has been set for capitals project related to broadband development and management of Nigeria communication satellite (NIGCOMSAT) amongst other.
ALLOCATION OF PRESIDENCY,NASS,SGF 13 TIMES LARGER THAN ICT SECTOR.
Further analysis of the budget shows that presidency,national assembly,and secretary to the company .
Further analysis shows that the total allocation of the presidency of three federation is 72.1billion, the allocations to these three institution are 3,6,and 4times respectively larger than the ICT sector for 2020.
THE FULL LIST OF THE ICT PROJECT IN THE BUDGET UNDER THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATION AND DIGITAL ECONOMY ARE LISTED BELOW.
1.Implementation of the national broadband plan policy(72.1million)
2.Feasibility studies for the optic fiber networks(165million)
3.digital jobs creation(N500million)
4.establishment of ICT park(2million)
5.continuous service wide,E-government capacity building program(120 million)
6.ICT girls competition empowerment program(15million)
7.perimeter fencing and renovation of abuja NIGCOMSAT office(60.8million)
9. establishment of legal organization firm work on E-government(20.2million)
10. Implementation of E-government master plan(72million)
11.development of national ICT road map 2021-2024 and final review of national ICT policy(7million)
12.world telecommunication and information society day(WTISD) and africa telecommunication union day(ATUD) (12.1million)
13.auditing and national development of electronic database of non-commercial radio frequency spectrum user(9.8million)