The Minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Umar Danbatta may be in a heated war of data articulation and synchronisation.
Both the Ministry and the Commission have been issuing conflicting statistics to the media in the last couple of months.
These conflicting statistics have made international observers to become wary and worrisome and are beginning to question if the Ministry and Commission have a symbiotic working relationship in the first instance.
The recent statistics that has ridiculed the country was the disagreeing figure on investment since 2001 in the Information and Communication Technology,ICT sector . While Danbatta gave the figure in his speech at the just concluded 2017 International and Telecommunications Union, ITU in Busan, South Korea as being over $70 billion investment and most of it were acquired from foreign Direct Investment, FDI.
But the Communication Minister, said that over $60 billion was invested during the launch of digital mobile services and global attention returned to Nigeria with the highest potential for investment.
This was contained in a press release signed by Victor Oluwadamilare, the Special Adviser Media to the Minister.
According to the minister, the government of Nigeria has been conscious of the role ICT play in national development and has therefore been committed over the last 15 years to ensuring that ICT facilities and services are expanded rapidly.
Shittu made the disclosure in a keynote address he delivered at the 6th European Union-Nigeria Business Forum 2017 recently.
The disparity in this figure among other statistics has become worrisome, causing the industry watchers to doubt the competence and relationship between the ministry and Commission.
The previous ministers had always aligned with the commission for data verification but Shittu administration works alone without verifiable data.
Gtech sources disclosed that the ministry is under funded and there was no a thorough research work could have been carried out.
Meanwhile, IT analysts have begun to question the veracity of the data of both the Ministry of Communications in recent times.
According to some of them, the inconsistent data also raises questions about the veracity of the data and statistics churned by the Ministry especially now that it conflicts with that issued by the telecoms umpire, NCC.
“If telecoms alone generated $70 billion, it presupposes that IT which makes up the ICT component would generate a lesser figure. If he had stated $70 or $80 billion for the ICT sector, no one would begrudge him but attributing the whole ICT industry to $60 billion since 2001 raises much question about the Research and Statistics department of the Federal Ministry of Communications”.