Microsoft Contributes 47 Percent to Nigeria's IT and Economic Growth

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The International Data Corporation, (IDC) last week released details of a global research study showcasing the information technology (IT) industry's impact on "job creation, company formation, local IT spending and tax revenues" in 82 countries and regions worldwide.

Commissioned by Microsoft, the study covers the areas that comprise 99.5 per cent of the global IT spend with Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as countries in focus for Africa.

The study predicted that IT spending would create just over seven (7) million new jobs and 100,000 new businesses worldwide over the next four years. It also predicted that in 2007, Microsoft-relaated activities would be responsible for almost 15 million jobs in an IT industry of just over 35 million people 42 per cent of total IT employment globally. In the Middle East and Africa, (MEA) of the 1.2 million people in IT-related employment this year, 53 per cent are involved with Microsoft and its ecosystem of partners.

Over the next four years, IDC predicts that the IT sector will generate more than 393,000 new jobs and account for the creation of more than 9,000 new companies in the region. This will help produce $12.5 billion in new tax revenues and contribute $34.4 billion to GDP. In Nigeria, the figures show that 47 per cent of the 84,000 people in IT related employment are involved with Microsoft and its ecosystem of partners. More than 23,000 new jobs and 400 new companies are expected from IT over the next four years, producing more than N29.5 billion ($200m) in tax revenues and contributing N141 billion ($1.1 billion) to GDP.

In terms of market growth, IDC predicts that spending on IT in the MEA markets will grow at just under 10 per cent per annum for the next four years, with software growing at almost 11 per cent. In 2007, just over $31bn was spent on IT, almost $5bn of which was on software almost 15 per cent. The report also shows that almost 40% of IT employees are engaged in creating, distributing, installing or servicing software. Spending on IT in Nigeria will grow at almost 15 per cent per annum for the next four years, with software growing at just over 14 per cent.

In 2007, the report shows that almost N74 billion ($560 million) is being spent on IT in 2007; N7.4 billion ($56 million) of which is on software around 10 per cent. Mba-Uzoukwu reiterated Microsoft's strong commitment to contribute significantly to local software economies. "Information technology has already helped empower more than a billion people, but there are another 5 billion we have yet to reach," he said.