In an effort to consolidate the gains made in the telecommunications sector in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the reappointment of Professor Umar Garba Danbattaas the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission.
Professor Danbatta’s reappointment was based on the recommendation of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, in line with the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.
While wishing Professor Danbatta the best, the Honourable Minister directs him to significantly improve on the overall performance of the Commission as well as ensure that adequate mechanisms are put in place to facilitate the implementation of all policies of Federal Government through the Ministry. Furthermore, the Honourable Minister enjoined him to ensure that the interest of telecommunication consumers, Nigerians and investors are adequately protected.
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,
Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy,
Federal Secretariat Complex,
Phase I, Annex III,
Shehu Shagari Way,
Abuja - FCT
5th June 2020
The attention of my office has been drawn to the public concern about the health implications of the deployment of Fifth Generation Mobile Networks (5G) in Nigeria. Based on available records at my office and the earlier report received from the regulator, I would like to clarify as follows:
- The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G;
- No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country;
- A 3-month study trial commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria;
- As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial; and
- The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.
His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, places a premium on the welfare, health and security of Nigerians. As such, our desire for technological advancement will never be at the expense of the health and welfare of our citizens.
Government will not act on the speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public. I have also directed the NCC to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.
I wish to thank the general public for reaching out to us on this issue. We advise you all to remain rest assured that government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.
Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
4th of April 2020
The Nigerian telecommunications industry, depends on a number of infrastructure that play a critical role in the smooth delivery of telecoms services. These are part of Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) because of the important role they play, in ensuring security and in the delivery of other essential services.
As part of the policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, has championed efforts to identify telecommunications infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure, with a view to protecting them from vandalization and theft, amongst other things.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of Critical National Infrastructure to the sustenance of our economy and the security of the nation.
The Honourable Minister is delighted to inform stakeholders in the telecommunications industry that, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved and also directed that necessary physical protective measures be emplaced to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure deployed across the country. The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been notified of Mr President’s directive. We are also working towards the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments. Dr Pantami specially appreciates the security institutions, and commends the commitment they have demonstrated in securing these infrastructure.
The implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, both unveiled by Mr. President, have repositioned the ICT sector. This is evident by the recent ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed that the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.07% to the total real GDP in the first quarter of 2020.
The Honorable Minister is truly grateful for the timely approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and we are confident that this will address the challenge of vandalism of our Critical National Infrastructure. It will also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).
Finally, the Federal Government strongly urges the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduce the price of data and calls for citizens. This is to reciprocate this gesture, and to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country.
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy
2nd June 2020
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, is delighted to hear about the strides that have been made by the Executive Governors of Kaduna, Imo, Katsina and Plateau States with respect to Right of Way (RoW) charges. The RoW charges in these States have either been pegged at a maximum of N145 per linear metre or waived altogether.
The RoW charges in Kaduna State have been completely waived, while the charges in Katsina, Plateau and Imo State have been pegged at a maximum N145 per linear metre. On the 20th of May 2020, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State signed Executive Order No. 002, 2020, “significantly reducing Right of Way (RoW) of telecommunication companies in the state from N4,500 to N145 per meter in tandem with federal government policy”.
The actions of the Governors are truly commendable. They also align with the resolution of the State Governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum on the 22nd of January 2020 to address the lingering issue of Right of Way (RoW) charges in a bid to deepen broadband penetration in the country and promote a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.
At that meeting the Executive Governors had resolved to adopt the 2013 resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NEC) which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of N145 per linear meter of fibre. Implementing this resolution will go a long way in implementing the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was launched by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 19th of March 2020.
An increase in broadband access will have a positive impact on the economy of the various States as well as the entire country. One of the key benefits is the rapid growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) of any country that increases its broadband penetration. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important broadband is in supporting economies around the world.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy congratulates and commends the Executive Governors of Kaduna, Imo, Katsina and Plateau States for these very important actions. We would like to encourage other Executive Governors to do the same in order to support the development of our digital economy, facilitate digital literacy and accelerate broadband penetration across the country. This will also improve our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
21st May, 2020
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS,FBCS, FIIM has emphasized that Federal Government has strictly complied with the International Telecommunication Union standards in the deployment of Information Communication Technology(ICTs) in Nigeria.
He stated this via Skype in Abuja on the commemoration of the World Telecommunication Information and Society Day Celebration (WTISD-20) which is marked 17th May every year. This year theme is “Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” held in Abuja.
The Minister pointed out that the top priority of government in the deployment of ICTs in Nigeria is to ensure the safety, security and health of the citizens in the country.
According to him, “This is our own priority whenever we deployed ICTs. There are standards of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) when it comes to deployment of ICTs. We always ensure Nigerians followed the standards and regulations and that will go a long way in reducing or eliminating any negative impact that could be perceived”.
Dr. Pantami stated that with the challenges of COVID-19 worldwide, government is effectively promoting social/physical distancing by leveraging on ICTs noting that, presently, government carries out most of its activities within and outside the offices through the use of ICTs.
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy and strategy is more focus on ICTs hence he came up with the concept of Nigeria eGovernment Master Plan, Digital Economy, National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for digital Nigeria and implementation of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.
In his words, “These are the policies in place and we have started to implement them which is a clear indication that Nigeria now focuses more on ICTs. Pantami stressed.
Since 1969, the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is being celebrated worldwide, which marks the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865 when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, is delighted to hear about the Executive Order No. 007 of 2020 on Right of Way Charges on Telecommunications Infrastructure that was signed by the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, CON, on the 12th of May, 2020.
The Executive Order shall “specifically target all sectors of Ekiti State including rural homes, farms, small businesses, manufacturing and production sites, transportation systems, and healthcare and educational facilities”. It is also noteworthy that the Order specifies that “Right of Way charges related to the laying of broadband or any other telecommunications infrastructure in Ekiti State shall not exceed N145 per linear metre”.
This action of providing a policy backing to the Right of Way charges is truly commendable. It is also in consonance with the resolution of the State Governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum on the 22nd of January 2020 to address the lingering issue of Right of Way (RoW) charges in a bid to deepen broadband penetration in the country and promote a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.
At that meeting the Executive Governors had resolved to adopt the 2013 resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NEC) which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of
N145.00 per linear meter of fibre. Implementing this resolution will go a long way in implementing the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was launched by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 19th of March 2020.
An increase in broadband access will have a positive impact on the economy of the various States as well as the entire country. One of the key benefits is the rapid growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) of any country that increases its broadband penetration. The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the importance of broadband in supporting economies around the world.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, congratulates and commends the Executive Governor of Ekiti State for this landmark action. The Honourable Minister would like to use the occasion of the World Telecommunications Day to encourage other Executive Governors to emulate this action in order to accelerate broadband penetration across the country.
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy
18th May, 2020
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus has called for more collaboration on data protection and privacy assessment in the country.
He stated this during an online meeting between the Ministry and Data Analytics Privacy Technology Limited (DAPT) led by its Executive Director/Partner, Ambassador Segun Olugbile held on Zoom Webinar platform from 11am to 12noon, Monday, May 11, 2020.
The Director, Radio Monitoring and Survey, Engr. Kilyobas Binga who represented the Permanent Secretary thanked the organization for their insightful and timely presentation which according to him is crucial now at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic downturn.
He noted that the new normal due to the pandemic calls for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to leverage technology through virtual/online platforms to transact government business.
Engr. Binga stated that the Ministry’s E-Government Department in the Ministry and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) are collaborating with the Ministry of Health to work out a robust e-health policy and action plan for the country, to enable it reach out to the public at this time of COVID-19.
In his presentation during the online meeting, Director (DAPT), Mr. Franklin Akinsuyi enumerated the importance of Data Protection and Privacy Impact Assessment (DPIA) in the present and post COVID-19 era, the socio-economic effects and how to help organizations identify and minimize the data protection risks of a project/programme or system change where personal data is being processed.
In his words, “processing data is conducted in a manner that breaches the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and other international data protection laws. Government institutions need to collaborate to properly assess, co-ordinate and identify the data protection and privacy risks to the population”.
Akinsuyi added that the benefits of implementing DPIA is to improve awareness and to reduce data protection and privacy risks while executing MDA projects as well as making provision for a uniform and consistent way of assessing risks across Ministries.
The Executive Director, Business Development (DAPT), Olutoyin J. Oloniteru in his presentation urged the Ministry to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to drive the technology aspect of the E-health process noting that before any technology could be deployed there is the need for impact assessment on the country’s economy.
Source: Press Unit, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has directed all agencies under the supervision of the Ministry to;
1. Work on providing research grants for promising innovative solutions that will help in the fight against COVID19.
2. Incubate the proposed solutions
3. Transfer / Deploy solutions to relevant government agencies.
The active, focused, result-oriented Federal Executive Cabinet member gave this marching order today while making his remarks during the Nigeria COVID19 innovation challenge; virtual demo day and prize-giving ceremony organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The concern agencies include the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Communications Satellite Systems, Galaxy Backbone and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
Dr Pantami said “with COVID19, there is a need to fast-track the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria, adding that “ICT will play a great role in supporting contact tracing and physical distancing in the war against the virus”.
The highlight of the day was the presentation of research grants to the tune of 2.2 Million Naira to the selected best 3 promising Nigerian startups who participated in the innovation challenge.
The Minister further directed that half of the fund be invested in translating the proposed ideas into solutions.
Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister