Buhari Calls for full Report of NITEL Sale, Charges ICT Sector to Increase Revenue Generation
President Muhammadu Buhari has in Abuja directed the Ministry of Communication Technology to work harder to fully develop the revenue-generation potential of Nigeria’s information technology sector. He also wants a full scale report and scrutiny of the sale of state-run telco, NITEL.
Speaking after receiving a briefing from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, President Buhari also directed the Ministry to bring forward for his consideration and approval, all pending proposals for the development of the country’s IT sector which require the approval of the Federal Executive Council.
“Where you don’t need EXCO approval and you are not in breach of the law and will not lose money, you can go ahead. Now that oil costs less and we are contending with its theft, we have to move to areas where we can realize revenue quickly,” the President said.
President Buhari welcomed the plan by the Ministry to use post-offices across the country for IT and financial transactions especially in the rural communities, saying that he was happy to hear that “we are recovering the post offices from rats and rodents.”
The President also asked for a comprehensive report on the sale of the Nigerian Telecommunications Company (NITEL), saying that he was concerned by the continuing protests of former NITEL employees and other Nigerians over the manner in which assets of the company were sold.
The Ministry’s presentation to the President dwelled heavily on the potential of the IT sector which, Dr. Olaopa said, contributes 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, but could grow to 20 percent if some proposals by the Ministry are approved and implemented.