NCC HIGHLIGHTS TELECOMS SECTOR’S 12.45% BOOST TO GDP TO TAKE NIGERIA OUT OF RECESSION
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated that the telecommunication sector is one of the sectors whose performance took the country out of recession in the fourth quarter of 2020, with a contribution of 12.45% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to the press statement signed by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Afairs, telecommunications & information services under Information and Communication grew by 17.64% in Q4 2020 from 17.36% in Q3 2020 and 10.26% in Q4 2019.
”In the latest NBS report, agriculture, industries, and services sector, under which telecommunications is categorised, contributed 26.95 per cent, 18.77 per cent, and 54.28 per cent respectively. This is a pointer to the fact that telecommunications, trade, services and crop production are the main drivers of Nigeria’s exit from recession. “
In specific terms, NBS report showed that largest sub-sectors in Q4 2020 are crop production at 3.68 per cent, crude petroleum and natural gas at 8.2 per cent, trade at 14.9 per cent, telecommunications & information services at 12.45 per cent, and real estate at 5.7 per cent,” the statement read. What you should know For the past 5(five) years, the telecommunications sector has consistently been driving the digital economy agenda of the government, as it provided the needed impetus in the digital space in supporting the economy, more especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
It is important to note that the growth trend since 2015 has reawakened hope that the economic diversification dreams of the country may finally be a reality as the sector continues to energize significant economic activities in the services sector of the economy. According to the press statement, “Through efective regulatory regime emplaced by the Commission, under the leadership of its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, telecoms investment grew from about $38 billion in 2015 to over $70 billion currently.
“Also, broadband penetration increased from 6 per cent in 2015 to 45.02 per cent in December 2020, indicating that 85.9 million Nigerians are now connected on 3G and 4G networks which provide enhanced high-speed Internet that has continued to boost eficiency and increase productivity across the economic spectrum.” “Recent statistics also indicate that between 2015 and December 2020, active voice subscriptions have increased from 151 million to 204.6 million, with teledensity standing at 107.18 per cent.
Basic active internet subscriptions grew from 90 million to 154.3 million during the period.” a global pandemic, threatening to wipe us all away.” Dr Obinna Aduba, another Medical Practitioner and a specialist in disease control, decried the attitude of some Nigerians toward the vaccine.
He said “this is no time to play politics with such a global pandemic that has wiped out over two million people with over 500,000 from United States alone, and the fear of second and third outbreak being predicted.” The World Health Organization (WHO) says the priority is to start vaccinating health workers at high risk of exposure, followed by older adults, before immunizing the rest On people with allergies, especially people with history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine, they are advised not to take it.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 than non-pregnant women, and COVID-19 has been associated with increased risk of pre-term birth. However due to insufcient data, WHO did not recommend the vaccination of pregnant women at this time. In case a pregnant woman has an unavoidable risk of high exposure (e.g. a health worker), vaccination may be considered in discussion with their healthcare provider.
If a breastfeeding woman is part of a group (e.g. health workers) recommended for vaccination, vaccination can be ofered. WHO did not recommend discontinuing breastfeeding after vaccination. On children, WHO did not recommend vaccination below 16 years of age, even if they belong to a high-risk group.
On people with known medical conditions, the WHO says the vaccine has been found to be safe and efective in people with various conditions that are associated with increased risk of severe disease. This includes hypertension, diabetes, asthma, pulmonary, liver or kidney disease, as well as chronic infections that are stable and controlled. However, the WHO says, further studies are required for the impacts on immune-compromised persons.
“The interim recommendation is that immune-compromised persons who are part of a group recommended for vaccination may be vaccinated, though when possible, not before receiving information and counselling. “Persons living with HIV are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
Limited safety data exists on HIV-infected persons with well controlled disease from the clinical trials,’’ the WHO report said. Experts also advised that known HIV-positive vaccine recipients should be informed, and when possible,