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Super User
Super User Written by December 07, 2020

Nigeria is both a geographic and an economic gateway to sub-Saharan Africa. As a geographic gateway, it has a prime location between West and Central Africa. In other words, investing in Nigeria gives investors easy access to close to 550 million people- 200 million from Nigeria, another 200 million West Africans and about 150 million Central Africans, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has said.

The Nigerian Minister made this assertion today while delivering the keynote address at the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) titled “NIGERIA’S DIGITAL ECONOMY: A GOLDEN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY. The investment forum is part of the official activities at the ongoing 40th edition of the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX).

Dr Pantami who doubles as the leader of the Nigerian delegation called on potential investors not to shun the golden opportunity of investing in the largest economy in Africa (Nigeria), “Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, with a 2019 GDP estimate by the World Bank putting our GDP at $448 billion”, he said.

Adding that “Nigeria is part of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and it gives us access to the African continent covering an area worth over US$3 trillion in GDP and eliminates tariffs on 90% of goods traded across the continent. This is no doubt a unique opportunity for investors in Nigeria”.

Pantami informed that in a bid to provide policy direction for the digital sector in Nigeria, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR launched and unveiled the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria which is based on the following 8 pillars.
1. Developmental Regulation;
2. Digital Literacy and Skills;
3. Solid Infrastructure;
4. Service Infrastructure;
5. Digital Services Development and Promotion;
6. Soft Infrastructure;
7. Digital Society and Emerging Technologies; and
8. Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.

Nigerians are very friendly people and our business environment is conducive, Pantami concluded.

 

Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister

7th December 2020

Super User Written by December 07, 2020

The leader of the Nigerian Delegation at the ongoing Gulf Information Technology Exhibition ongoing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has called on prospective investors to take advantage of the large pool of youthful and skillful talents Nigeria has to offer to invest in the largest economy in Africa.

Dr Pantami said, “Innovation is second-nature to Nigerians and there are so many Nigerians that have made their mark through innovative solutions that they have developed”.

The Nigerian Minister added that “A Nigerian-trained Doctor is credited to have played a leading role in the development of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Reports indicate that this vaccine is expected to pull in more than $8 billion in revenue by the end of 2021.

Pantami made this call today while delivering the keynote address at the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) titled “NIGERIA’S DIGITAL ECONOMY: A GOLDEN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY.

The minister informed that the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria appreciate the importance of identifying and supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and it also focusses on encouraging many of these SMEs to go a step further by aiming to become Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs).

 

Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister

7th December 2020

Super User Written by December 07, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, felicitates with the Secretary General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) on the ATU Day. As Nigeria joins the rest of the African Continent to mark the 2020 ATU Day amidst the novel Covid-19 pandemic, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to promoting the use of digital technologies to drive the economic development of the nation.

 This is evident in the development and implementation of some strategic policies of the Ministry, which include the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), Nigerian National Broadband Plan, National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Telecom Sector, National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy, Policy on Virtual Engagements in the Public Service, amongst others. The facilitation of Virtual Federal Executive Council, Council of State and National Economic Council Meetings also reflect the progress we have made.  The Ministry’s policies are consistent with ATU's statutory objective of promoting programmes for the development of the African Information Society and the Pillar on promotion of Quality Broadband Infrastructure and Affordable ICT services under the current 2019-2022 ATU Strategic Plan

The theme of this year’s celebration, which is being observed today, Monday, 7th December, 2020, is titled “Post COVID 19: Role of Telecoms/ICT in the Resumption of Socio-Economic Activities”.  It has reinforced the effort of the Ministry to collaborate with relevant public and private sector stakeholders on the acquisition of requisite skills and competences to leverage Telecommunications/ICT to solve a myriad of problems in our societies.

The COVID -19 pandemic has further shown how connected and interlinked the world is and the need to ensure the coherence of policies and programmes across the Telecommunications/ICT sectors and to focus on promoting the accessibility of all people including the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the society.

One of the initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, aimed at bridging the gap of digital skills in Nigeria, is the recent Commissioning of an eGovernment Training Centre for capacity building. The e-Government Centre will go a long way in bridging the gap of different skills required to promote good governance through the training and retraining of Civil Servants in Nigeria.

COVID-19 has made the world a more challenging place than ever for many people. However, the Ministry has remained focused on the implementation of laudable programmes and projects that will enable the economy to thrive in spite of the pandemic.

Once again, Nigeria congratulates and celebrates with the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), as it celebrates the 2020 ATU Day.  We look forward to continued partnership between Nigeria and the ATU.

 

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

7th December 2020

Super User Written by November 26, 2020

The attention of the Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, has been drawn to some newspaper articles which claimed that the Senate summoned him concerning the role of communication devices in national security.

Dr Pantami awaits the official invitation and would like to sincerely thank the Distinguished Senators for their concern and support towards improving national security. The Honourable Minister has supported security agencies in their statutory duty of protecting lives and property and this is why his first action after his appointment was to issue a directive that no improperly registered subscriber identification module (SIM) be allowed to remain on our networks. Based on the report submitted by the regulator (Nigerian Communications Commission) on the 26th of September 2019, there is currently no improperly registered SIM on our networks. In the event of evidence to the contrary, the Honourable Minister will sanction any individual or institution found wanting.

Furthermore, Dr Pantami wrote to all security agencies on the 14th of October 2019 asking them to collaborate with the Ministry by contacting us whenever a crime has been aided and abetted through the use of telecommunication devices. No request by security agencies for assistance in the identification of owners of SIMs used for crime has gone untreated in his office. The Honourable Minister also submitted a detailed memorandum to the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Nigerian Security Challenges on the 12th of February 2020. It contained details on policies developed by the Ministry to enhance security.

In a similar vein, the Honourable Minister has directed the NCC to ensure that they put modalities in place to tie the National Identify Number (NIN) to SIMs, as well as see to it that no unregistered SIMs are sold. He has also directed the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to significantly scale up the number of monthly NIN registrations. Moreover, Dr Pantami recently presented a Draft National Policy on Digital Identity for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) which took place on the 11th of November, 2020. The memo was approved and will support in the provision of Digital IDs for Nigerians, thus assisting in the implementation of the Policy to tie NINs to SIMs.

The Honourable Minister wishes to assure the Distinguished Senators and Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to using technology to support the growth of our economy and the security of our nation. To this end, we look forward to collaborating with the Senate and security agencies in this regard.

Dr ‘Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
26th November, 2020

Super User Written by November 11, 2020

The Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, is pleased to note that Broadband penetration in the country increased to 45.43% by the end of October 2020.  This is due to an increase of 4,061,731 broadband subscriptions between September and October 2020.

This notable increase in broadband penetration has been as a result of conscientious implementation of the National Digital Economy Policyfor the overall benefit of the economy to achieve a Digital Nigeria. In particular, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), along with the harmonization of Right of Way charges across the States and protection of Critical National Infrastructure across the country, amongst others, have had a significant impact on the broadband penetration.

Broadband is critical to sustainable economic growth and according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Broadband Series, broadband contributes to economic growth through more efficiency in business processes, acceleration of innovation and more efficient functional deployment of enterprises. A Report titled "How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development” shows that 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6% to 2.8% rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In some countries, it increases the GDP by over 6%.

The increase in broadband penetration is leading to the growth of Nigeria’s economy in a way that transcends the ICT sector. Broadband has supported growth and enabled financial institutions in the delivery of services to their customers.  It has also enabled the provision of digital services across the different sectors of the economy. 

It is noteworthy that all these are part of the digital economy, which has been defined as “that part of economic output derived solely or primarily from digital technologies with a business model based on digital goods or services” – consisting of the digital sector plus emerging digital and platform services.

The Honourable Minister has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the regulators of Internet services, to ensure that quality of service improves.  Dr Pantamiwould also like to urge all stakeholders to keep supporting the Ministry in the implementation of the Broadband Plan for the overall benefit of the economy.

 


Dr ‘Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
11th November, 2020

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