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PANTAMI ORDERS BROAD POLICY DEACTIVATION OF AUTOMATIC VOICEMAILS ON EXISTING PHONE LINES
Super User Written by November 14, 2019

The attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has been drawn to the latest trend of financial exploitation by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, through the automatic activation of the Voicemail Service on their platforms. Based on recent reports reaching the office, the practice has gained momentum in recent times.

The Voicemail service should be accessed at the discretion of the subscriber and not by default. The Honourable Minister finds it worrisome and totally unacceptable, that telecoms subscribers incur financial charges, for a service they are compelled to use by default. Voicemail is not a popular service among mobile phone users in Nigeria, coupled with the language challenge among rural dwellers, who mostly do not understand the language deployed by these networks.

It is apparent, that the recent clampdown on the exploitative activities of some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, has beamed the searchlight on the sector properly, and some unpatriotic elements in the system are devising subtle, ingenious methods of defrauding Nigerians. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the current leadership of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), will neither overlook any acts, regardless of how subtle, that undermine the Anti Corruption Crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, nor condone any attempts to defraud Nigerians and indeed, all subscribers.

In the light of this, Dr Pantami has issued a broad policy directive to the sector regulator Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to immediately ensure that issues regarding automatic voicemails are addressed on all existing phone lines and the subscribers, given the option of accessing the service via an activation code.

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected, while providing a conducive business environment for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), in line with global best practice.
Signed

 

 

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy
14th November 2019

Super User Written by November 12, 2019

Following the five day ultimatum issued by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) on the 5th of November 2019, to resolve the challenges of illegal data deductions and review the cost of data downward, the commission has risen up to the task and efforts are in top gear to carry out the Minister’s directives.

In a letter from the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), received by the office of the Honourable Minister on the 8th of November 2019, the telecommunications regulator, intimated Dr Pantami of the strategies been taken to stem the tide of short changing subscribers by Mobile Network Operators.

In its earlier attempts to tackle the challenges, the Commission informed the Honourable Minister that it had issued a directive to all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on the attendant penalties associated with Automatic Renewal and Forceful Subscription to Data and Value Added Services. The penalties include considerable financial sanctions on the erring operator.

The letter stated that, in response to the directive of the Honourable Minister, the Commission reviewed the Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 on its rule-making powers and process. The Commission is in the process of carrying out a study on the End-of-Session Notification for Data Services and depending on the outcome, may issue a direction in accordance with the Act.

Furthermore, in a bid to protect consumers, the Commission also notified the Honourable Minister of their regulation of the initial directive to include refunds to the consumer in established cases of unauthorized subscription.

The Nigerian Communications Commission also assured the Honourable Minister that it has been working assiduously round the clock to enforce the Federal Government’s directives and has requested the good graces of the Minister to extend the deadline which expires today, 8th November 2019, to enable it properly re-strategise and fully implement long term solutions as directed, to the challenges.

Dr Pantami has graciously granted an extension with the understanding that the Commission will resolve these issues within the shortest time possible. The  Honourable Minister, hereby assures the general public that the current administration will neither tolerate acts of injustice nor the shortchanging of its citizens as it is working tirelessly to ensure that subscribers get full value for their money.

 

 

Signed

 

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy

9th November 2019

PANTAMI ORDERS TERMINATION OF CASH PAYMENTS IN NIPOST OFFICES NATIONWIDE
Super User Written by November 07, 2019

It has come to the attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM that some unscrupulous elements, have been taking undue advantage of the cash payment system under the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), to engage in corrupt practices.

In line with the anti corruption Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Honourable Minister hereby directs the Post Master General, to with immediate effect, suspend all existing cash payment plans within its establishments nationwide. The Post Master General, is to ensure that all its offices revert to Point of Sales (PoS) and bank teller transactions immediately.

The general public and all customers of NIPOST, are hereby encouraged to insist on Point of Sales (PoS) or bank teller transactions, when conducting business with NIPOST. This directive is a temporary measure in the interim to tackle corruption, as we are currently working on fully automating the systems as a permanent solution to the challenge.

In the same vein, Dr Pantami also directs the Post Master General, to immediately implement strategies that will bring an end to unnecessary delays, in its service delivery to customers. The current trend of delays in postal services will not be condoned by the office of the Honourable Minister under whose purview, the supervision of NIPOST falls.

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy are committed to protecting the rights of all Nigerians and will not tolerate any acts of corruption under its watch.

 

 

Signed

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy

7th November 2019

WE ARE APPOINTED TO SERVE, PROTECT THE INTEREST OF NIGERIANS – DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by November 06, 2019

The main agenda of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as the telecoms regulator is to protect the interest of Nigerian telecom users (customers), a customer is a king, the cost of data in Nigeria is very high compared to other African Countries and also illegal deduction of Data persists, as I have also been a victim to this fraudulent activity, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has said.

The Digital Young Energetic Vibrant Minister made this assertion today shortly after administering the Oath of Office to the New Board Member / Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of NCC, Barr Adeleke Adewolu which was held at the Ministry's Headquarters, Abuja.

The Next Level Honourable Minister also commended the commission’s effort in exceeding the Broadband Penetration target set by 5% with broadband penetration currently standing at 35%, the role NCC played in ensuring all improperly registered SIM Cards were deactivated within the stipulated time frame and ensuring penalties were appropriately remmited to the government

The Honourable Minister further charged the commission to work on improving the penetration of 3G and 4G across Nigeria.

The Minister also noted that as a supervisor, he is not blind to the challenges facing the sector such as Right of Way (RoW), Vandalism of telecom equipment, Hooliganism among others and assured the telecoms regulator of his 100% commitment to address the situation systematically.

Dr Pantami as well urged the commission’s Governing Board to be upright in the discharge of their official responsibilities, shun corrupt practices and personal interests, and above all to be good ambassadors of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.

“As appointees of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, we are appointed to serve and protect the interest of Nigerians”, he said.

 

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

COME UP WITH DISTRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND CRAZY IDEAS-DR. PANTAMI
Super User Written by October 29, 2019

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami). FNCS, FBCS has charged young innovators to come up with disruptive technology and crazy ideas that would completely change the way we live in Nigeria.

He stated this during the presentation of the Young Innovators tag “Seeds for the Future” by the Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited, Mr. Zhang Lulu at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja.

Addressing the Young Innovators traveling to China, the Minister urged them to explore emerging technology and come up with disruptive technology and build applications that will completely change the way we live and interact with one another. 

Pantami reiterated that the expectation of the Federal Government is for the young innovators to come back from the scheme to create jobs as digital economy has potential to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

In his words “as potential digital personality, you must think about being potential employers. Come up with big ideas as you become potential employers instead of job seekers. Each and every one of you should think of employing 50,000 people in a few years”.

Pantami said “in the next few years most probably one may not need to travel to India, Egypt, USA or UK for medical attention or surgery, Surgery can be conducted by using 5G and through artificial intelligence”.

He urged them to focus more on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, quantum computing, mega storages, internet of things, visual reality and augmented reality.

The Minister thanked the Huawei Technologies for keying-in to the capacity building of the young innovators in the country and urged them to focus on the hands-on training and bridge the gap between the academia and the industry.

The Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited, Mr. Zhang Lulu while presenting the students from different institutions in Nigeria noted that Huawei has been investing in digital skills in Nigeria and had implemented various programs in the country.

He said during the young innovators visit to China, they would be able to attend hands-on trainings at the Huawei’s world class labs, learn the latest trends happening in the industry and exchange ideas with the experts from around the world at their global headquarters in China.

The Young Innovators selected from different Universities are Ugwu Obinna, University of Ibadan; Udohi Young, Covenant University; Akingbola Oluwapemisin, University of Ibadan; Onuora Chiamaka, University of Lagos; Ihenyen Joy, Igbinedion University and Fatima Rabiu, Ahmadu Bello University Others are Kolade Joseph, Cloud Exchange Technical School;  David Kemdirim, University of Port Harcourt; Abdussamad Musa and Abdulrahman Aliyu, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University.

 

Source: Press Unit, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

Nigerian Youths are Disruptive in Nature - Dr Pantami
Super User Written by October 29, 2019

Building on the fact that Nigeria has a youthful population with an average age of 18 years whom are digital natives and addicted to ICT, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has challenged the youths to channel their enthusiasm towards critical thinking that will result in disruptive innovative ideas that can move the country forward.

The progressive thinking Minister gave this advice today while delivering a lecture as a special guest speaker titled "ICT as a catalyst for Nigeria economic development in the 21st century", during the 7th Convocation Ceremony of Nile University held in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister stated that Nigerian youths are naturally talented with crazy ideas that can transform the country into a regional and global ICT powerhouse, highlighting that the world is on the brink of a technological revolution known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which will completely alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another.

The Minister further emphasized that the ministry under his watch will create an enabling environment for the creation of digital jobs across all the geopolitical zones in the country, “we want to help a large number of Nigerians to acquire digital skills to the point that we become a potential destination for digital jobs from across the globe”, he said.

Dr Pantami revealed that plans are underway to embark on a large scale intensive ICT digital literacy programme, which is targeted at preparing Nigerian youths to take advantage of digital opportunities, underlining that the programme is a deliberate effort to make Nigeria a regional hub of software engineers and a global outsourcing destination.

Pantami concluded by calling on the graduating students to possess self-determination and fighting spirit, willingness to start from somewhere, chases their passion vigorously and also challenge their successes.

He said “be passionate about your career, be very hardworking and ensure that you always raise the bar of your level of integrity”, adding that, this way you will position yourself for notable success.

 

 

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

 

PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI RENAMES COMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY TO FEDERAL MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL ECONOMY
Super User Written by October 23, 2019

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, has granted the prayers of the Honourable Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM to properly position and empower the Ministry to fulfill his Digital Economy objectives. The Ministry which supervises the ICT Sector has been renamed The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to further expand its mandate to capture the goals of digitalization of the Nigerian economy in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP), one of the key agenda of the present administration.

According to the Honourable Minister, the former name was not only limiting in pursuing the objectives of a digital economy, but obsolete as it did not reflect the trends as emphasized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).  ICT contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 13.85% in the second quarter of 2019. The change of nomenclature will propel the Ministry to reposition its strategic objectives as laid out in the priority areas of this administration while accelerating growth and social inclusion.

Dr Pantami cited examples of global and African economies like Scotland, Thailand, Tunisia, Benin Republic and Burkina Faso among others who have adopted deliberate strategies and created Ministries of Digital Economy in line with global best practice, and especially the European Union which has a commissioner for Digital Economy.  

In a letter containing his approval, the President noted that the request is in line with global best practice which will further reflect the priorities of his administration. The approved name has been announced and adopted by the Federal Executive Council today, 23rd October 2019.

 

 

Signed
Philomena Oshodin
Deputy Director
Press & Public Relations
23rd 0ctober 2019

 

DISCONTINUATION OF ALLEGED USSD SERVICE CHARGE BY MTN NIGERIA
Super User Written by October 20, 2019

The attention of the Federal Ministry of Communications has been drawn to the viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria and other Mobile Operators notifying subscribers of a four naira (N4:00) charge per 20 seconds on USSD access to banking services from the 21st of October 2019.

The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM is unaware of this development and has hereby directed the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ensures the operator suspends such plans until the Honourable Minister is fully and properly briefed.

 

Signed
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications
20th October 2019

PANTAMI DIRECTS NCC TO ADDRESS HIGH COST, ILLEGAL DEDUCTIONS OF DATA, GALAXY TO IMPROVE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES
Super User Written by October 20, 2019

According to the report from UK-based price comparison website — Cable, Nigeria is not among the top 10 African countries with low average price of data, a position the Honourable Minister of Communications, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami finds worrisome considering the fact that the country has over 174 Million internet users according to the report made public by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Similarly, the Minister also finds it unacceptable that with the prevailing high cost of data in Nigeria, the citizens still do not enjoy value for money as subscribers’ battle daily with illegal deduction of data, poor Quality of Service (QoS) among others.

It is on this backdrop that the Honourable Minister directed NCC, the telecom regulators as a matter of urgency to immediately work hand in hand with the telecom operators and ensure they are a downward review of the price of data in Nigeria, improved quality of service provided and also checkmate the illegal deduction of subscribers’ data.

The Communications Minister gave this marching orders shortly after being briefed by the commission on the progress made in the implementation of the Short-Term Performance targets set for it to achieve.

It would be recalled that early last month, the Minister directed the commission;

  1. To bring to an end the issue of sales of pre-registered, unregistered and partially-registered SIM cards; and
  2. To stem the tide of illegal deduction of the data of subscribers and work towards the downward review of the cost of data; and
  3. To ensure compliance with the maximum 2% Call Drop Rate directive to telecom operators.

The move was in line with His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari directives to ensure that all agencies under the supervision of a ministry are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Dr Pantami also reminded NCC that as a regulator, their major priority should be protecting the interest of Nigerians and urged them to uphold professionalism and diligence in the discharge of their official responsibilities. 

The commission also tabled challenges of the operators which includes vandalism of telecom infrastructures, inadequate power supply, right of way, hooliganism, multiple taxations among others and used the opportunity to call for the swift intervention of the Minister to address the issues.

In the same vein, the Communications Minister also directed Galaxy Backbone Plc, a government-owned Information Technology service provider to think out of the box, leverage on the advantage it has as a government-funded entity to deliver effective and efficient services to Nigerians, and in turn attract more revenue for the government. 

The Honourable Minister reminded Galaxy that the Nigerian government invested in it to reap the dividend of its investment, consequently, the Minister Challenged Galaxy to ensure more Ministries (,) Department (and) Agencies (MDA) are patronizing it services, stressing that excuses would not be accepted or tolerated.

The Minister further urged Galaxy to work hand in hand with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to expand its reach and take advantage of NITDA's regulatory authority. 

It would be recalled that early last month, the Minister directed Galaxy;

  1. To improve the reach and coverage of its services in the public sector; and
  2. To significantly improve the quality of services provided. 

Dr Pantami also notified the Chief Executives that the scorecard of their performance on Short-Term Targets and new targets will be sent to them for implementation.

Pantami, a Next Level Prime Mover maintained that Nigeria as a nation can only grow if the citizens patronize what she produces and also produce what she needs. 

The Federal Ministry of Communications is a Ministry created to foster a knowledge-based economy and information society in Nigeria, it was conceived to facilitate ICT as a key tool in the transformation agenda for Nigeria in the areas of job creation, economic growth and transparency of governance.

 

 

Signed

Yusuf Abubakar

Personal Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Communications (New Media)

20th October, 2019

The Honourable Minister of Communications,  Dr Isa Ali Pantami  with the  Vice President, IBM Citizenship Global Markets & Digital Hub, Jean-Christophe Knoertzer at the Ministry's Headquarters, Abuja
Super User Written by October 16, 2019

Young Nigerians are blessed with crazy and disruptive ideas, what they require is mentorship, guidance and an enabling environment to thrive, the Honourable Minister, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has said.

The visionary Minister made this assertion today while addressing a delegation from International Business Machines (IBM), who paid a working visit to the Ministry’s Headquarters, Abuja.

The tech giants were at the Ministry to explore partnership which is aimed at promoting education and skills development for Nigerian Digital Natives.

Dr Pantami used the opportunity to commend IBM for upholding high ethical standards and pointed out that Government alone cannot be employers of labour, stressing that, the Ministry under his watch is coming up with a broad policy that will focus more on creating jobs outside the government.

The Minister further pledged the Ministry’s 100% commitment to work with IBM, stating that the vision of the Ministry is not just to produce job seekers, but rather, job providers.

 

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