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CHOGM 2022: PANTAMI MEETS WITH RWANDA’S ICT & INNOVATION  MINISTER, TO STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIP
Super User Written by June 28, 2022

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), had a meeting with Rwanda’s Minister for ICT and Innovation, Her Excellency Paula Ingabire.  The meeting took place on the sidelines of the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which took place in Kigali, Rwanda.

At the meeting, both Ministers discussed the implementation of their similar mandates and commended each other on the strides they have made in the development of the digital economy in both countries.  They also explored areas of partnership between Nigeria and Rwanda and they identified areas such as developmental regulation, policy formulation, digital identity and cybersecurity, among other things.

Prof Pantami and Her Excellency Paula Ingabire were joined at the meeting by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigeria- Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE.  Others at the meeting included the Director-General of Rwanda’s National Identification Agency (NIDA), Mukesha Josephine, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), Innocent Muhizi.

As two of the leading digital economies in Africa, the Ministers also discussed ways of strengthening partnerships across Africa in order to achieve a vibrant digital economy across the continent.

 

Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Research & Development) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
28th of June, 2022

E-GOVERNMENT: PRESIDENT BUHARI INAUGURATES PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL, TASKS MEMBERS ON IMPROVING NIGERIA’S RANKING ON EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
Super User Written by June 10, 2022
President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja inaugurated the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and E-government, promising that his administration will continue to take advantage of digital technologies to transform every sector of the economy.
 
The President directed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) to chair the Council on his behalf and give regular updates.
 
He tasked members of the Council to work towards further strengthening the capacity of government to develop, adopt and deploy digital technologies to make government more efficient and transparent, thereby improving Nigeria’s global standing in the ease of doing business index.
 
The President noted that the Council, whose members have been arrived at after a painstaking and thorough process, would provide the oversight needed to bring about a veritable structure for accelerating achievements in digital economy and in the implementation of e-government in the country.
 
He enjoined every member of the Council to consider the task as a national assignment and justify the trust reposed in their ability to support and significantly enhance the digital transformation of Nigeria.
 
‘‘I launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) on the 28th of November, 2019 and expanded the mandate of the then Ministry of Communications to include Digital Economy.
 
‘‘The implementation of that policy and mandate has enabled us to achieve significant progress and record a number of unprecedented achievements.
 
‘‘The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy showed that the steps we took in developing and implementing NDEPS were indeed timely.
 
‘‘For example, the Information and Communications Technology sector was the fastest growing sector in both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the entire year 2020, based on the Report by the National Bureau of Statistics.
 
‘‘The sector’s 14.70% double-digit growth rate was instrumental in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, far earlier than predicted by experts.
 
‘‘The significant contribution of 17.92% by the ICT sector to our GDP in the second quarter of 2021 is another example of the important impact of the digital economy on the overall economy.
 
‘‘In the same vein, the growth of our digital economy sector enabled us to cope with the effect of the lock-down as both activities of the government and private sector, as well as educational activities, were able to move to online platforms,’’ he said.
 
Furthermore, President Buhari expressed delight that the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions has helped to formalise government online meetings.
 
He noted that statutory meetings like the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Council of State, and other meetings can now effectively and legally take place online.
 
He added that Nigeria’s progress in e-governance has been noted by the international community, eliciting recognition from international stakeholders including the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Chairman of the 2022 Forum of the highly regarded World Summit of the Information Society.
 
While congratulating the Minister, the President acknowledged that the Ministry has partnered with the Korea International Cooperation Agency to develop a National e-government Master Plan, approved by FEC in August 2019.
 
The President listed benefits from the partnership including; “the training of over 1,400 Nigerian public servants in both Nigeria and South Korea on e-governance; the launching of an E-Government Training Centre handed over to the Federal Government in November 2019 and the signing off of Phase II of the e-government Project – “Project for Building Foundations Towards Digital Governance in Nigeria (2020-2026).’’
 
In his remarks, Prof. Pantami noted that NDEPS launched in 2019, made provision for the establishment of the Presidential Council to coordinate the development of an indigenous digital economy.
 
Describing the implementation of NDEPS for a digital Nigeria as very successful, the Minister said in the last two years, the sector has provided ICT intervention to no fewer than 1,667 institutions at the Federal and sub-national levels.
 
He added that the recent auctioning of spectrums by the Ministry generated over 400 per cent revenue to the Federal Government coffers while two virtual institutions established by government have trained some 500,000 Nigerian on digital and emerging technologies.
 
The 27-man committee chaired by Pantami on behalf of the President has the following members: Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, Governor of Gombe State; Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State; Abdullahi Sule, Governor of Nasarawa State; Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State and Senator Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State.
 
Others are Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation; Prof. Umar G. Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Nigerian Communications Commission; Prof. M.B Abubakar, Managing Director/CEO, Galaxy Backbone Limited; Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director/CEO, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited and Engr Aliyu A. Aziz, Director General/CEO, National Identity Management Commission.
 
Also in the committee are Mr. Oswald Osaretin Guobadia, Senior Special Assistant, (Digital Transformation) to the President; Engr Olufemi Olufeko, Director, e-Government Dept, Federal Ministry Of Communications and Digital Economy; A.B. Okauru, Director General, Nigeria Governors Forum; Prof. Simon Adesina Sodiya, President Nigeria Computer Society and Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).
 
Other members are Prof. Kabiru Bala, Representative of Academia and Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira; Prof. Nnenna Oti, Representative of the Academia and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Secretary and the Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency.
 
Mr. Sungil Son, Country Director (KOICA), Dr Olufemi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Research & Development) to Hon. Minister of Communication & Digital Economy and Abubakar A. Dahiru, Special Assistant (Cyber Security & Digital Identity) to the Minister are also members of the Committee.
 
 
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 10, 2022
PANTAMI SETS VISION FOR ACCELERATING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF WSIS ACTION LINES
Super User Written by June 02, 2022
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Chairman World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2022, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has unveiled his strategy for ensuring that the objectives of the WSIS Action Lines are achieved optimally. He made this disclosure while receiving the reports of the high level tracks during the Ministerial round table at the ongoing event in Geneva, Switzerland.
 
Addressing global Ministers of technology at the end of the two day multi-stakeholder deliberations, the Chairman informed his counterparts that “my vision for this year’s WSIS Forum includes a paradigm shift from a focus on the five day activity to one that will entail a set of activities over the period of the year to enhance the ability of the stakeholders to achieve the objectives of the WSIS Action Lines, with the reports of the high-level tracks as our baseline and launch pad for the year-long activities. ”
 
The intense high level track deliberations, which consisted of eleven sessions, explored the areas such as bridging digital divides, inclusiveness and access to information for all, applications and services, climate change, enabling environment, digital economy and trade, financing for development and the role of ICT, cultural diversity and identity, dimensions of information and knowledge societies, media, ICTs and gender mainstreaming, among others.
 
The Chairman further emphasised that the WSIS Action Lines are crucial for advancing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals hence, it is important to continue to align the process with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of
Communications & Digital Economy
2nd June 2022
NIGERIA’s DIGITAL ECONOMY MINISTER CHAIRS WSIS FORUM 2022, CALLS FOR HIGH LEVEL MULTISTAKEHOLDER ADVISORY COUNCIL
Super User Written by May 31, 2022
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) today Tuesday 31st May 2022 made history as he formally chaired the on-going World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The Honourable Minister led global economies converging on the headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to declare the high level policy sessions open.
 
Addressing participants from over one hundred countries, Professor Pantami leveraged on this year’s theme titled: ICTs for well-being, Inclusion and Resilience; WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to call for more support for technological development through multi stakeholder engagements, partnerships and collaborations between institutions and global economies, as it is the enabling tool for global economic prosperity and development. “There is a need for this forum to constitute a high level multistakeholder advisory council and a multistakeholder implementation committee to ensure that we continue to track and monitor outcomes and engagements post event.”
 
Speaking further, Professor Pantami noted that “Today, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is no longer a choice but a necessity as the world has come to realise particularly during the pandemic, as technology enabled us to continue with our activities and especially the business of governance virtually”. Using Nigeria as a case study, the Forum Chairman disclosed that “Nigeria exited the recession brought about by the pandemic a year earlier than predicted, ahead of several other countries in spite of global projections, largely due to the influence of technologies. Available statistics further provide proof that ICT played a principal role in achieving this feat”.
 
In the last quarter of 2020, the Nigerian ICT Sector grew by 14.70% and 12.90% for the whole year, and the sector continues to make quantum leaps as we take advantage of resources at our disposal to enable economic development. Nigeria’s youthful population with an average age of 18.3 years, coupled with the advantage of having the largest economy on the African continent, positions it strategically to explore digital technologies for optimal growth.”
 
The forum consists of eleven high level panel discussions with globally recognised sector experts, policy makers, heads of governments, corporations and civil society organisations.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of
Communications & Digital Economy
31st May 2022
MY APPOINTMENT IS A WIN FOR AFRICA - Pantami
Super User Written by May 30, 2022
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has described his appointment as the Chairman World Summit on Information Societies Forum (WSIS) as a win not just for Nigeria, but the African continent as a whole.
 
The Minister made this remark today, Monday 30th May 2022 at a meeting with the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Mr Houlin Zhou at the Union’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. “We are very pleased about the recognition accorded us based on our modest achievements within the sector particularly on our continent and by extension, we consider the appointment not as a personal or national recognition but as a continental achievement because Nigeria is strategically the leader of the continent, the most populous country in Africa with the biggest and the largest economy on the continent among other things, so occupying this position as the giant of Africa is an honour for Africa and an opportunity for us to continue to contribute our quota to the success of our sector globally. We assure you that we will give the maximum attention it requires.”
 
Professor Pantami also noted that “the sector has the support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and particularly President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) whose interventions have made the achievements in the sector possible. Recall that the Honourable Minister was appointed as forum chairman for the 2022 Summit and is to retain the position for a year.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of
Communications & Digital Economy
30th May 2022
HOULIN ZHAO ENLISTS PANTAMI’s SUPPORT FOR ENGAGEMENT OF SECTORS IN THE WSIS PROCESS, COMMENDS ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE SECTOR.
Super User Written by May 30, 2022
Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Mr Houlin Zhao has called on Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) to use his good offices as Chairman of the World Summit on the Information Society(WSIS) to encourage the participation of other relevant sectors like education and agriculture, in the WIS process. This will enable the engagement of the global agriculture sector in the use of technologies to enhance food production and the use of emerging technologies to enhance education, among others.
 
Mr Zhao made the call today Monday, 30th May 2022 during a meeting with the Minister at the ITU Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. “We have tried to engage Ministers of agriculture in various countries but we have not made the desired headway, so your excellency if you can help us enforce this strategy, it will make a difference. Nigeria occupies a very important position in Africa and the world and especially with your achievements in the ICT sector, we believe your influence will make a notable difference”.
 
Responding to the call, Professor Pantami while thanking the Secretary General for the confidence reposed in him by his appointment as forum chairman, assured that he will take up the challenge and ensure global participation of the relevant sectors in advancing the WSIS process across the globe.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of
Communications & Digital Economy
30th May 2022
Super User Written by May 09, 2022

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has appointed the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), as the Chairman of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2022.  The event will take place at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The appointment was conveyed to the Honourable Minister through a letter from the Secretary-General of the ITU, who noted that Professor Pantami was appointed "in light of his overall commitment to Information and Knowledge Societies and the active role he has played in the WSIS Process" and it followed consultations with various stakeholders. The Forum is to be attended by several high level stakeholders, including Cabinet Ministers from ITU countries.

The WSIS Forum 2022 serves as a key forum for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, with due regard to the global mechanism for follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNGA Resolution A/70/1). The WSIS Forum also provides a platform to track the achievements of WSIS Action Lines in collaboration with the UN Agencies involved and provides information and analysis of the implementation of WSIS Action Lines since 2005.

The WSIS Forum, is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD with the engagement of 24 other United Nations Agencies, including FAO, ILO, ITC, UNDESA, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNHCR, UNODC, UNEP, UPU, UN Tech Bank, WMO, WIPO, WHO, WFP, UN Women and UN Regional Commissions. In a follow up to the UN General Assembly outcomes in 2015 on the Overall Review of the implementation of the WSIS Outcomes that called for a close alignment between the WSIS Process and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the overall theme for this year is ”ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs”. The Forum aims at enhancing cooperation, partnership, innovation, exchange of experiences and good practices in ICTs for sustainable development.

The appointment of Professor Pantami has given Nigeria, and indeed the African continent, the unique role of coordinating the activities of the WSIS in its 20th year, following the WSIS Phase I meeting that took place in 2003. It is apparent that the world has taken notice of the giant strides of Nigeria’s digital economy under the supervision of the Honourable Minister.  Prof Pantami extends his immense gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the constant support he has given the sector.



Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Research & Development) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
9th of May, 2022

GOOGLE WEST AFRICA VISITS PANTAMI, TRAINS 6 MILLION NIGERIANS TOWARDS A DIGITAL NIGERIA
Super User Written by April 07, 2022

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), welcomed the team from Google West Africa at his office on Thursday, 7th of April, 2022. The team was led by the Director of Google West Africa, Mrs. Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor. The team visited the Honourable Minister to give him an update on the activities of Google in Nigeria and affirm their commitment to supporting the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.

The Director commended the Honourable Minister for his efforts that have promoted Nigeria’s Digital Economy and increased its impact on all sectors of the economy. Mrs Ehimuan-Chiazor also informed the Honourable Minister that Google’s Office in Lagos serves all the countries in the West African sub-region. She updated the Minister on Google’s commitment to invest $1billion in Africa over the next 5 years, from October 2021. The investment includes funding for the Equiano subsea cable.

The Equiano cable is expected to enable a five-fold increase in average Internet speeds in Nigeria and create 1.6million jobs. Equiano, whose name was inspired by a Nigerian, is being launched as it lands at different points on the continent, much like a road construction that is launched as construction progresses. According to the Director, Nigeria is a major landing point for the cable and the launch of this major milestone is expected to take place in April 2022.

The Director also informed the Minister of the Google’s support for the tech ecosystem in Nigeria through skills development programs and grants. For example, the Google Startup Accelerator program has benefited 82 startups, including some of the startups that are now the leading unicorns in Africa. About 6 million Nigerians have also benefited from other digital skills initiatives and the target is to reach 10 million Nigerians. About 30,000 citizens have participated in the Africa Developer Program and provision has been made for cash and non-cash grants of over $100 million.

Professor Pantami commended Google for their activities in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He reminded them of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, towards improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The Honourable Minister also assured Google that the Federal Government will continue to promote regulations that support, rather than stifle, development and innovation.

 

 

Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Research & Development) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
7th of April, 2022

PRESIDENT, MICROSOFT CORPORATION COMMENDS PANTAMI, SEEKS FURTHER PARTNERSHIPS ON DIGITAL ECONOMY.
Super User Written by April 01, 2022
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has received commendations from the president of Microsoft Corporation, Mr Brad Smith. Mr Smith who was on a working visit to the Minister’s office today, Friday, 1st April 2022 in furtherance of the existing collaborations with the sector, eulogised the leadership style of Professor Pantami which he noted has impacted significantly on the nation’s economy as well as drawn global attention to the sector in particular.
 
“We are here today because we are very excited about the future of Nigeria, especially concerning the role you are playing. We are excited about the opportunity for digital transformation which is the centre of your vision for the country. We are thankful to you for launching the Microsoft Development Centre in Lagos. That was a huge step for Microsoft and it reflected our belief in the future of Nigeria. Already, we have more than one hundred software developers working in Lagos and we hope to have three hundred by next year. We are committed to building our digital infrastructure here and we are committed to investing and sustaining the relationship with your Ministry”
 
In the area of digital skills, Mr Smith further informed the Minister that “we already have seven hundred people who are trained to be trainers and we need to get that number up to seventeen hundred so they can fan out and train the youths across the country. We are also committed to partnerships in expanding broadband connectivity across different parts of Nigeria. We are especially grateful for all your efforts in helping companies like ours, expand their presence in the country”
 
In his response, the Minister conveyed the Federal Government’s appreciation to Microsoft for citing the Africa Development Centre in Nigeria. “This is particularly beneficial to our young innovators. We are also appreciative of the current training of our citizens by Microsoft as this has given a commendable boost to our digital skills capacity building initiatives’”.
 
Professor Pantami enumerated some of the initiatives and strategies the government has put in place to ensure an enabling environment for ease of doing business in the country including; Visa on arrival and developmental regulation. “This administration has done a lot when it comes to Ease of Doing Business. Under the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), there are over thirty six major initiatives supporting Ease of Doing Business and that catapulted our nation’s ranking a lot higher in the global ranking of countries implementing the same initiatives and for the first time in our history, particularly in the ICT Sector, we initiated and implemented developmental regulation. This is regulation to facilitate fast track development whereby a regulatory instrument can be amended within twenty four hours if it is found to constitute an obstacle to investment, or contradicts Ease of Doing Business”
 
Professor Pantami assured the President and his delegation of government’s unwavering support for investors in the sector and the country at large. The meeting was attended by the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Crole Ann Browne, Chief of Staff to the Microsoft President, Teresa Hutson VP Tech and Corporate Responsibility, Daniel Brown, External and Legal Affairs Lead Middle East and Africa, John Edokpolo External and Legal Affairs Lead for MEA Emerging Markets, Ola Williams, Country Manager for Nigeria and Ghana and Nonye Ujan Government Affairs Lead for the MEA Emerging Markets.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister
Communications and Digital Economy
1st April 2022
NIGERIA’s PANTAMI ADVOCATES FOR A SECURE AFRICA CYBERSPACE AT GISEC 2022
Super User Written by March 24, 2022
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has called on African governments to ensure the safety and security of the continent’s cyberspace through actionable policies, strategies and initiatives that support and drive cybersecurity.
 
Professor Pantami made the call today, 23rd March 2022 while delivering the opening address at the Global Africa Forum of the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GISEC), holding at the World Trade Centre Dubai. In his detailed presentation, the Minister who quoted copiously from his book; CYBERSECURITY INITIATIVES FOR SECURING A COUNTRY, emphasised the need for a deliberate and inclusive plan centred around developing a National Digital Economy Policy to serve as the overarching policy for issues relating to cybersecurity, conducting a baseline study to identify the main cyber threats and the key elements of the cybersecurity ecosystem and developing a National cybersecurity policy or law. He also talked about enhancing and protecting critical ICT national infrastructure, capacity building, establishing a national cybersecurity centre to include a shield to scan and provide a safety score for government and critical websites, and the enhancement of data protection and privacy, among others.
 
 
The Minister who further harped on the importance of digital identity as an enabler for cybersecurity as acknowledged globally said “the international community through the agreement of target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals, calls for all UN member states to provide legal identity for all including birth registration by the year 2030. This is in recognition of the role of digital identity systems in supporting multiple development goals”.
 
The Minister, who oversees the largest digital economy in Africa, illustrated the strategies to a secure continental cyberspace using Nigeria as an example as most of the strategies outlined have already been adopted or are in full effect in the country. As a Professor of cybersecurity with the Federal University of Technology Owerri, (FUTO), the Minister also discussed the importance of the government-industry-academia triple helix model for promoting cybersecurity in Africa.
 
In attendance were Osai Bonsu Dickson, Chief Legal Adviser, Ministry of National Security Ghana, Ishaaq Jacobs Chief Cybersecurity Officer, South Africa, Kashif Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General of Nigeria’s Information Technology and Development Agency, Engr Abdulaziz Aliyu, Director General of the nation’s Identity Management Commission and cybersecurity experts from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of
Communications and Digital Economy
23rd March 2022