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Super User Written by October 15, 2020

The Federal Executive Council approved the Policy on Virtual Engagements for the Public Service at its meeting on the 14th of October, 2020.  This followed the presentation of the draft policy by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr(Mrs) Folashade Yemi-Esan. 

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden migration of official meetings from the conventional physical meeting format to virtual platforms.  Much as these changes were welcome, provision was not made for such meetings in the Public Service Rules. 

This Policy on Virtual Engagements for the Public Service was therefore developed to legalize as well as provide the framework and standards within which Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), Parastatals, and Government-owned companies can use virtual engagements as an administrative procedure in the Public Service. 

The Policy aims to achieve the following:

  1. to institutionalize the use of virtual platforms for effective and efficient service delivery;
  2. to encourage remote collaboration among stakeholders, including the private/public sector, individuals and International Organizations;
  3. to effectively adopt and deploy digital technology for virtual engagements in order to improve service delivery in the Public Sector;
  4. to enhance learning and manpower development across the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to create a smart workforce; and
  5. to improve transparency in government and fight corruption. 

The Honourable Minister urges all MDAs, Parastatals and Government-owned companies to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Policy and ensure full compliance.  To ensure the inter-operability of technologies adopted for inter-governmental meetings, Government institutions at the State and Local Government Levels are also encouraged to adopt the Policy. 

The implementation of the Policy will improve service delivery in the country and will support in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria. The Policy can also be supported by subsidiary legislation from our regulatory parastatals supervised by the Ministry.

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to supporting all government institutions towards the successful implementation of the Policy.

 

 

Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
15th of October 2020

PANTAMI ENCOURAGES NIGERIANS AS THE WORLD MARKS CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH IN OCTOBER 2020
Super User Written by September 30, 2020

As the world marks the Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has called on Nigerians to embrace healthy practices on Cyberspace.

Cybersecurity awareness has become imperative due to the attendant risks that emanate from the appreciable migration of several transactions, meetings, lectures and other forms of interaction to online and digital platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of cybersecurity awareness is emphasized in Pillar #6 (Soft Infrastructure) of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. The Soft Infrastructure pillar aims to ensure that Nigerians are secure online.

Furthermore, Section 106(1(c)) of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 states the role of the Nigerian Communications Commission in the protection of consumer information. Similarly, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act 2007 Section 6(l) states the role of NITDA in promoting the development of information technology to enhance national security. The Nigeria National Cybersecurity Framework also prescribes guidance for public and private sector organizations for instituting measures for enshrining cybersecurity culture and enthrone cyber-resiliency in Nigeria.

Cybersecurity is essentially about awareness and the Honourable Minister has directed parastatals under the purview of the Ministry- NCC, NITDA, NIMC, Galaxy Backbone and NigComSat- to embark on a nationwide Cybersecurity Awareness Programme.  This 31-day awareness drive, throughout the month of October, will enable Nigerians obtain the knowledge required to embrace the digital economy and its many benefits, while protecting themselves against the tactics of cybercriminals.

The Honourable Minister urges everyone to be extra-cautious and reinforce security measures while interacting online, especially when it involves sensitive information. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to keeping Nigerians safe online and wishes citizens a successful Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 


Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
30th of September 2020

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES DIGITAL NIGERIA PORTAL AND MOBILE APP
Super User Written by September 28, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today, 28th September, launched the Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile App. This move is in furtherance of the Digital Nigeria Programme which was kicked off by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR,  on the 19th of March, 2020 as part of the Federal Government’s key initiatives aimed at empowering innovators and entrepreneurs with the requisite skills to thrive in our emerging digital economy. The Digital Nigeria programme is a key component of the Digital Literacy and Skills Pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria championed by Dr Pantami. 

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in delivering this key mandate, is in partnership with global institutions including the African Development Bank (AFDB), Microsoft, to enable Nigerians acquire cutting edge digital skills within the comfort of their homes.  Speaking at the virtual launch, the Honourable Minister reiterated the government’s strategy of promoting skills over paper qualifications. “We are championing a paradigm shift that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills. Degrees are only meant to validate skills. This is a growing trend across the globe. The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens”.  

The "Digital Nigeria" mobile app is available on playstore, enabling Nigerians to enroll in ICT courses within the comfort of their homes.  Much of the content was provided through AfDB's partnership with Microsoft.  Students can download certificates after they complete the courses.  The portal also allows us to include additional courses from time to time.

Across the globe, there is a growing focus on the need for developing skills, rather than merely acquiring degrees.  To this end, Nigerians are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity by enrolling today at

  1. https://digitalnigeria.gov.ng; or
  2. https://academy.nitda.gov.ng/

The portals will give details on how to register and how to download the relevant Mobile Apps.

 

The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to developing the capacity of Nigerians to use technology to solve problems. We will keep updating the course offerings to reflect global trends. The Digital Nigeria programme will provide a platform to empower Nigerians to develop relevant skills and build innovative solutions to address challenges within our community.

 

Signed

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy.

28th September 2020

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT APPRECIATES ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THE DIAMOND JUBILEE CHALLENGE
Super User Written by September 17, 2020

As part of Federal Government’s initiative of having an inclusive Diamond Jubilee Celebration, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, yesterday launched and unveiled the anniversary logo that was earlier presented to the public virtually.

It may be recalled that a Press Statement was released by the  Diamond/Innovation/Change Challenge Sub-Committee of the Nigeria @60 Inter-Ministerial Committee, on Friday 4th September, 2020, calling for the active participation of Nigerians in voting for the preferred logo as well as the design of the creative aspects of the event.

We are pleased to note that many Nigerians contributed to the Challenge. Four Logos were made available to the public, on the Challenge Portal - https://nigeriaAt60.gov.ng. Analysis of the results revealed that the winning logo attracted 44.9% of the total votes cast. The first runner up received 23.2% of the votes while the second runner up attracted 22% of the votes.

The Diamond Jubilee Logo, to be found on the Challenge Portal, depicts our togetherness, a country of approximately 200 million people whose natural talent, grit and passion glitter together like the precious diamond that we are. It is a clear illustration of the saying “…we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” 

Mr President, while unveiling the Anniversary Logo, appreciated Nigerians for their active participation. He also reiterated Federal Government’s commitment in ensuring that citizens are actively involved in the development and implementation of Government policies, programmes and projects. 

We want to also inform the general public, especially those who participated in the Challenge by submitting their entries for the Anniversary Slogan, Poem and Photograph, that selection process for these aspects of the Challenge is still ongoing and results will be announced as soon as the process is complete.

We thank Nigerians for making it possible to realise the goal of the Challenge.

 

 

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM

Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,

Chairman, Diamond/Innovation/Change Challenge Sub-Committee,

Nigeria @60 Inter-Ministerial Committee.

PANTAMI GALVANIZES NIGERIANS TOWARDS INTERNATIONAL IDENTITY DAY 2020
Super User Written by September 14, 2020

The 16th of September (16.9) has been declared as the International Identity Day.  Following the approval of the Federal Government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, Nigeria also formally adopted 16.9 as the National Identity Day. This year’s edition of the National Identity Day will take place virtually on the same date and will have the theme: Identity for Health, Sustainable Development and Growth. 

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM uses this occasion to remind Nigerians of the importance of Digital Identity.  He also assures Nigerians that the Ministry is developing the right policy environment to support enrolments for Digital IDs across the country.  We will start by capturing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria and will also support the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and other stakeholders to ensure that we make the process of obtaining Digital IDs swift and secure. 

One of the key objectives of Pillar #6 (Soft Infrastructure) of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) is support for the accelerated implementation of a Digital Identity Programme.  The importance of a digital identity programme to the successful development of a digital economy cannot be overstated.  Digital Identity plays a critical part in the development of a digital economy is also called the fabric of the digital economy.  

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa rightly noted that “Digital Identity and the digital economy are not only linked, but are also, reinforcing, as digital ID is the basis for digital economy platforms… Digital identification can be an important catalyst for various development initiatives in the continent, impacting on trade, governance, social protection, financial inclusion, domestic resource mobilization, as well as security and human rights.”

As the world and Nigeria mark the International Identity Day and National Identity Day, respectively, Dr Pantami urges Nigerians to support the development of the digital economy by embracing the use of digital identity. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to ensuring that Nigeria derives the benefits of a functional digital ID system and calls on all stakeholders to support this process. Nigerians are encouraged to visit NIMC accredited centres soon for their Digital ID.

 

 

 

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
September 14, 2020

NIGERIA’S DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATION: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT OF NIGERIANS IN CREATING A BRAND AND OTHER EVENT ELEMENTS
Super User Written by September 05, 2020

On the 1st of October, 2020, Nigeria will be celebrating its Diamond Jubilee as it turns 60 years. It is a day that reminds every citizen about the dawn of the nation we call our country, a diverse nation with resilient and hardworking people. Nigerians have gone far and wide, impacting their communities and the world at large.

To celebrate Nigeria’s Diamond Jubilee, the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR has approved an inclusive National Independence Celebration program in line with Covid-19 protocols and guidelines. To ensure inclusiveness, the thematic and creative aspects of the event would be designed by Nigerians for Nigeria. The theme of the celebration is “Together at 60.”

As the saying goes, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. The Federal Government therefore wants to use this opportunity to celebrate our strength as one indivisible country. Also provide opportunity for Nigerians to choose their brand and harness the power of our creative minds to create other elements that will form the Brand of the Anniversary. The Sub Committee of the Interministerial Committee came up with a challenge in which they are looking for talented, critical thinking and creative individuals or teams to produce the slogan, photograph, and a poem for Nigerians to mark the country’s 60th Anniversary, from 1st October 2020 to 30th December 2021. 

To vote for the best brand and participate in the challenge, visit the challenge portal: https://nigeriaAt60.gov.ng. The best brand and concept will be presented to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and will be used in celebrating Nigeria’s 60th Anniversary. The winners will also receive prizes, in addition to being part of this epoch-making event.

As the country eagerly awaits the unveiling of the winning brand and other elements of the celebration, we look forward to the active participation of all.

 

 

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM

Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,

Chairman, Diamond/Innovation/Change Sub-Committee,

Nigeria @60 Interministerial Committee

Super User Written by August 31, 2020

In an effort to ensure that synergy and effective ministry supervisory mechanism is put in place to coordinate, monitor and track the progress of Federal Government’s digital transformation initiatives, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the transfer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

The approval for the transfer was based on Mr President’s consideration for the critical role of NIMC towards the realisation of the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS). Furthermore, Mr President’s directives for NIMC to be under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is an illustration of Mr President’s vote of confidence on Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, based on an unprecedented performance. He has, within his first year in office, amongst others, resolved the ICT sector’s decade-long dilemma of Right of Way charges. He was also able to secure Mr President’s approval for the provision of security as well as designation of Telecommunications Infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure, regularization of improperly registered SIM cards and deactivation of unregistered ones, the deployment of over 250 digital projects across the country under his policies and supervision as well as built the capacity of over 36,000 Nigerians.

It may be recalled that NIMC is mandated to create, manage, maintain and operate the National Identity Database established by the NIMC Act, 2007.In an effort to realise this, the Commission has so far registered around 41 million eligible enrollees for the National Identity Number (NIN). The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the other hand has details of over 191 million mobile subscribers. Furthermore, the National Information Technology Development Agency has recorded huge successes in the development and implementation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), the country’s first codified data protection regulation. The Agency has also reached an advanced stage on the implementation of the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI). Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) also provides services to Government Agencies – Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service. The need therefore for NIMC, NCC, NITDA and GBB to work closely together under the supervision of one Ministry towards harnessing what has already been achieved cannot be overemphasized.

The NIN, considered as a social security as well as civil number, is very important for economic planning and social intervention. With Federal Government’s digitalization initiatives in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, access to services and interventions will require it. We therefore urge all eligible individuals to enroll as soon as possible. Furthermore, the Honourable Minister is assuring Nigerians as well as residents that appropriate measures will be put in place to ensure that opportunities for enrolment are provided to all.

 

 

Uwa Suleiman,

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,

Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

31st August 2020

DR PANTAMI IS A GOAL GETTER IN THE TEAM OF PRESIDENT BUHARI – ICT JOURNALIST
Super User Written by July 13, 2020
“The Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami is a goal-getter in the team of His Excellency, President Buhari”, the President, FCT Chapter, Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), Mr Blessing Olaifa has said.
 
Mr Olaifa made this assertion today while delivering a goodwill message on behalf of his colleagues during the opening ceremony of a five-day capacity development programme on digital skills in News Reportage for ICT Journalists taking place at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, Abuja.
 
Mr Olaifa also commended the Honourable Minister for being the first cabinet member to address journalist and give an account of his stewardship early this year.
 
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM stated that the digital Nigeria project cannot be achieved without capacity development, stressing that ICT Journalists have a role to play.
 
The Minister also highlighted that similar training will be conducted for people living with disabilities, farmers, artisans, civil servants among others, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
 
Dr Pantami further called on the media practitioners to upheld professionalism and integrity in reporting, stressing that responsible journalism is key to democracy and good governance.
 
Pantami also underscored some of the achievement recorded under his leadership such as the development National Broadband Plan 2020 - 2025, protection of telecom infrastructures, addressing the challenges of Right of Way among others.
 
“With all sense of humility as at the time I assumed office, Broadband Penetration was at 31.5%. As of today in less than a year in office, Broadband Penetration stands at 40.18%. We have achieved an almost 10% increase”, the Minister said.
 
The highlight of the day was the presentation of ICT tools to the media practitioners.
 
 
Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister
SMART AGRICULTURE IS THE WAY FORWARD – DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by July 10, 2020
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has emphasized on the need of coming up with innovative ideas that will promote smart agriculture in Nigeria as a means of diversifying the nation’s economy, highlighting that Nigeria is blessed with a large fertile landmass.
 
The innovative thinking minister maintained that embracing smart agriculture in Nigeria and enhancing the capacity of farmers digitally will create millions of digital jobs and improve the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
 
The NEXT LEVEL minister stated that the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) is part of the main policy of the National Digital Economy policy and strategy for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
 
Dr Pantami stressed that the best way to improve the output in the agricultural sector in Nigeria is through the deployment of emerging technologies.
 
The Honourable Minister said, “today, the whole world is focusing more on skills rather than certificates”. Citing an example with china which has announced the intention of converting 600 universities to skill acquisition centres.
 
The minister made his position known today while making his remarks virtually in the capacity as the Chief Host during the closing ceremony of the pilot NAVSA programme which took place in Jigawa State.
 
The Host Governor, His Excellency, Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar also in attendance virtually appreciated the vision of the Minister for bringing the project to the state and promised to ensure its sustainability.
 
The Governor also called against beneficiaries selling or underutilizing materials and knowledge given to them to excel in life, maintaining that the state in the last few years has produced a lot of millionaires through rice farming precisely.
 
The Highlight of the day was the presentation of Smart Devices; Internet Connectivity; Seed Fund; and Certified Seed to the 130 farmers who received training on a series of digital skills.
 
 
 
Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister
THE CONSUMERS ARE KING- DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by July 07, 2020
As part of an effort to enhance effective and efficient service delivery to Nigerians, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today received a briefing from the Management of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), led by its EVC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta at the Ministry's Corporate Headquarters, Abuja.
 
The Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami while making his brief remarks reminded the EVC and team that their main responsibility as the regulator is to protect the consumers, while emphasizing that the customer is a king.
 
The Minister reminded the commission that governance is all about teamwork, maintaining that the success of the commission is also the success of the ministry being its supervisor.
 
 
 
Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister