FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES NATIONAL POLICY ON BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY FOR NIGERIA, INAUGURATES IMPLEMENTATION AND STEERING COMMITTEE, GRADUATES 32,022 NIGERIANS.
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has inaugurated the National Committee on the implementation of the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria. The ceremony which took place on Tuesday, 16th May 2023 followed the approval and directive of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, on Wednesday 3rd May 2023 at the Federal Executive Council Meeting.
The President while conveying his approval to the Honourable Minister also directed all relevant regulatory bodies including; the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to develop regulatory instruments for the deployment of Blockchain Technology across various sectors of the economy. He further directed that all relevant government agencies should with immediate effect, commence the implementation of the Policy, along with stakeholders to ensure the creation of a Blockchain-powered economy that enhances innovation, growth and prosperity for all.
The Policy, initiated and developed under the supervision of the Professor Pantami, is in furtherance of the economic diversification agenda of President Buhari and primarily aimed at strengthening the nation’s Digital Economy to further enhance its unprecedented contributions to national development and economic growth as recorded in the last four years. The National Blockchain Policy, is developed to serve as a Roadmap for Nigeria’s adoption and utilization of the Emerging Technology.
The successful implementation of the policy, which lays out a comprehensive framework for integrating the technology into various facets of the economy, will ensure the growth of indigenous talent in Blockchain Technology solution development leading to a robust and globally competitive ecosystem, effectively address core issues including governance, security, interoperability, regulatory compliance, accountability and transparency. It will boost innovation, improve government services, create job opportunities, drive economic growth, enhance public trust in governance and promote citizen engagement among others.
The membership of the Committee is made up of twenty-nine institutions drawn from the public and private sectors, including the academia. In a related development, thirty thousand Nigerians graduated from the Blockchain Technology training organised by the Federal Government to equip citizens with the requisite skills required to drive the policy. In attendance at the hybrid event were the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Chief Executive officers of agencies and parastatals of the sector, permanent secretaries of public institutions, the organized Private Sector, captains of industry and innovators to mention but a few.
The National Policy on Blockchain Technology for Nigeria, brings to twenty-one, the number of policies initiated, developed and in various stages of implementation under the leadership of Professor Pantami.
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
SSA Meda/spokesperson to the
Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy
17th May 2022
The attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has been drawn to a document circulating online titled; Approval for the implementation of the 2023 fiscal policy measures and tariff amendments allegedly emanating from a government institution.
However, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, wishes to clarify the public misconception and press enquiry contained in the letter.
President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, had on 21st March 2023, approved the exemption of the Telecommunications Sector from the proposed excise duty in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in the Digital Economy Sector.
The six-member Committee which was constituted at the behest of the Honourable Minister and approved by the President, was formally inaugurated on the 5th of September, 2022 and membership included; the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as Chairman, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Executive Chairman Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as Secretary and two representatives of the Mobile Network Operators (MN0s). The Committee’s mandate was to critically and objectively assess the potential effects on the economy, of an additional 5% Excise Duty tax charge on the Digital Economy Sector.
After five months of intensive and objective deliberations, the Committee submitted its report to the President precisely on the 13th of February 2023. The report had recommended the exclusion of the proposed, and then suspended 5% excise duty tax on the Digital Economy Sector, citing incontrovertible facts including; the unprecedented contribution of the sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the sustained quantum leap in government revenue which currently stands at a staggering Five Hundred and Ninety four Billion Naira quarterly, its position as the baseline driver of innumerable businesses at the Micro, Medium and Small scale levels among others.
The Committee further analyzed the existing forty one (41) taxes, levies and charges already imposed on the sector and concluded that instead of burdening the sector with more taxes, concessions should be considered, in order to sustain its unprecedented contributions to the growth of the Nigerian economy. Based on the strength of its findings, the Committee prayed that the President exempts the Digital Economy Sector from the proposed additional Excise Duty.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) further emphasized that besides overburdening the sector, imposing additional taxes to the sector will bring hardship to the citizens of the country and appealed to the President’s compassion in his decision.
President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on the On 13th March 2023, approved the following prayer:
The Government exempts the Digital Economy Sector from excise duty charges in order to sustain and enhance use of Digital Economy services and to further benefit from their positive impacts on the economy.
The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, hereby assures the sector and the general public that the President’s approval, supercedes all other declarations regarding the issue and we stand by it. Any contrary proclamation should be disregarded by the general public.
Recall that Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has vehemently opposed the proposed 5% Excise Duty for Telecommunications Services, on the grounds that it is unjustifiable, as it will be burdensome for the citizens of the country.
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
SSA Media/Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of
Communications & Digital Economy
3rd May 2023
DR. WILLIAM ALO INAUGURATES TEAMS TO DRIVE PMS INPLEMENTATION IN COMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY AND ITS AGENCIES – CHARGES MEMBERS TO BE COMMITTED
The Permanent Secretary Dr. William Alo has officially inaugurated the Ministerial and Sectoral Project Management System Implementation Teams for the Ministry and its agencies.
Speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary said the inauguration of the Performance Management System (PMS) Implementation Team is contained in the Head of Service Circular with directives and some guidelines dated 1st December, 2022 to all MDAs to set up their PMS Implementation teams.
He reiterated the resolve of the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi Esan to ensure the successful implementation of the reform initiatives aimed at having a world-class Civil Service that will deliver efficient and effective service.
Dr. Alo added that the Performance Management System (PMS) which replaces the Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) provides a more detailed, comprehensive and digitally-driven culture of performance management with scientific approach in the civil service.
Performing this task in his office, the Permanent Secretary said “PMS is not new in the Federal Public Service, he charged the team to take the assignment with deep sense of commitment and seriousness to work assiduously by bringing their vast experience to bear on the work with a view to projecting Ministry and its agencies.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the implementation of PMS which is a better means for staff appraisal will now be deployed to appraise, assess and judge staff performance on their work schedule assigned to them and their promotion also is dependent on it. He further mentioned that “each staff is expected to have a job schedule and would be assigned a supervisor to check the staff’s performance. In line with this, the work of the members of the team would be to assess the officer based on his output”.
He further said “each Department is to set up a PMS team that would be headed by an officer not below the rank of SGL 14 and the Ministry’s PMS team is expected to hold a monthly meeting to assess the level of implementation and achievements in the various Departments and Units”.
The Permanent Secretary advised that there should be strict compliance with the PMS guidelines and the timeline given. He directed members of the Sectoral team to brief their CEOs for a smooth implementation of the PMS because adding, “no PMS, no staff promotion”.
In his speech, the chairman of the team and Director, Human Resource Management in the Ministry, Dr. Famous Eseduwo thanked the Permanent Secretary on behalf of the members of the team and promised that they would put in their best to ensure the policy works successfully in the Ministry.
DD/Head (Press & Public Relations Unit)
8th March, 2023
IN WASHINGTON, PANTAMI SIGNS ARTEMIS ACCORDS AND ANNOUNCES SPACE X PARTNERSHIP AT THE US-AFRICA LEADERS’ FORUM
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of Nigeria. He also announced partnership with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to provide broadband access across the whole of Nigeria. These two events took place at the ongoing US-Africa Leaders’ Forum (USALF), taking place in Washington DC, United States of America. The Summit is hosted by President Joe Biden of the United States and brought together leaders from across Africa.
Pantami signed the Accords to signal Nigeria’s participation in the next phase of space exploration to be coordinated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). President Paul Kagame also announced Rwanda's endorsement of the Accord. President Paul Biya of Cameroon, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Don Graves, also spoke at the event. Nigeria and Rwanda were the first two African countries to sign the Accord and the 22nd and 23rd in the world. The signing took place on the 13th of December 2022 at the U.S.-Africa Space Forum- a side event at the USALF.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said “I’m thrilled Nigeria and Rwanda are committing to the safe, sustainable use of outer space. In an era where more nations than ever have space programs, today’s signings highlight a growing commitment to ensure space exploration is conducted responsibly.” He also stated that “as the first African nations to sign the Artemis Accords, Nigeria and Rwanda exemplify the global reach of the accords and are demonstrating their leadership in space exploration.”
Artemis Accords were established by NASA in 2020, as a set of principles to guide the next phase of space exploration, reinforcing and providing for important operational implementation of key obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. The Accords also serve to reinforce the commitment of the United States and signatory nations to the Registration Convention, the Rescue and Return Agreement, as well as guidelines and best practices NASA and its partners have supported, including the public release of scientific data.
The Honourable Minister also announced Nigeria’s partnership with SpaceX, having approved their application as a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Operator in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector. As part of the partnership, Space X is to provide broadband access across the whole of Nigeria, enabling nation-wide access to broadband connectivity way ahead of the December 2025 schedule, as outlined in our National Broadband Plan. With this collaboration with SpaceX’s Starlink, Nigeria is set to be the 1st African country to introduce the service. The nation-wide rollout shall take place before the end of 2022, after conclusion of a few administrative processes. The announcement was made at the US-Space Forum, where Professor Pantami also served as a speaker.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, under Professor Pantami’s leadership, will continue its committed implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) to ensure that Nigeria’s digital economy remains a leading light, both in Africa and across the globe.
Dr. Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Research & Development)
to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
December 14, 2022
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and first ever, of Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has emerged winner of the distinguished award for digital innovation.
The award which was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), today, 21st October 2022, during the Excellence in Public Service Awards at the Presidential Villa, Abuja is yet, another attestation of Professor Pantami’s game changing leadership qualities which he has brought to bear in the nation’s economy.
President Buhari had earlier in the week paid glowing commendations to the Minister describing him as “one of the most resourceful, innovative and effective public officials that I have in this administration. His depth of knowledge of complex issues is amazing and remarkable and his loyalty and dedication to duty is worthy of emulation”
The President further noted that “the appointment of Pantami was one of the best choices I have made because he has added tremendous value to good governance”
Recall that since assumption of office in August of 2019, Professor Pantami has made global history with his aggressive initiatives and reforms towards digital transformation.
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of
Communications & Digital Economy
21st October 2022
In furtherance of its digital capacity building initiative, the Federal Government of Nigeria has entered into partnership with Coursera, a global online digital skills acquisition platform, to empower twenty four thousand Nigerians with digital and developer skills in various fields over a three year period.
Declaring the training open on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), today Wednesday, October 19, 2022, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), noted that “we are championing a paradigm shift of prioritizing hard, soft and social skills over theory and this collaboration will go a long way in supporting this shift. Coursera is one of the world’s top online learning platforms hosting thousands of courses for some of the best universities and companies, and has remained at the forefront of providing the global society with the education and resources it needs to build and maintain digital systems”.
Professor Pantami also reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that the nation’s citizenry is digitally empowered and properly positioned for the fourth industrial revolution. “The recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into, with Microsoft to train five million Nigerians in various fields of technology, is part of government’s efforts to fulfill the requirements for digital transformation as laid down in the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) document.”
While expressing delight over the partnership, the Honourable Minister called on Coursera to expand its presence in Nigeria and especially in the academia where it already has an existing partnership with Covenant University. “Coursera is in partnership with Covenant University which is one of the best private universities in Nigeria based on their annual rankings and publications which I have keenly observed. I have no doubt that this partnership has had a huge impact on the institution’s excellent standing. I therefore request that Coursera engages more academic institutions, at least one, in each geo-political zone and bring their expertise to bear within the identified environments.”
The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, is spearheading this collaboration under the auspices of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of
Communications & Digital economy
19th October 2022
The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR has approved the appointment of a new Postmaster General/Chief Executive Officer (PMG), for the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). This is following the recommendations made by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).
The new Postmaster General of NIPOST, Hon. Adepoju Adeyemi Sunday, is appointed for an initial term of five (5) years.
Hon. Adepoju is a professional accountant and a former member of the Federal House of Representatives from 2011 – 2015 and 2015 – 2019, representing Ibarapa East/Ido Federal Constituency.
NIPOST is an agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the appointment of Hon. Adepoju as the new PMG of NIPOST is with immediate effect.
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
5th October 2022
Minister of ICT for Algeria is statutorily the Chairman of ATU-CPC 2022 as the hosting country.
Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami from Nigeria was unanimously voted by the 54 African Ministers on the 23rd of July, 2022, as the Vice-Chairman even before he arrived in Algeria.
Prof Pantami led a discussion that led to the adoption of a consensus candidate, from Kenya to serve as the Secretary General of the African Telecommunication Union, where Mauritania stepped down.