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FG MANDATES THE PROVISION OF QUALITY ASSURANCE CERTIFICATES, AS IT PROJECT CLEARANCE SAVES OVER N24 BILLION IN 2021
Super User Written by March 09, 2022
The Federal Executive Council approved the Implementation of Strategies for the Enhancement of the Quality of Government Digital Technology Projects and Services during its meeting on the 9th of March, 2022. This followed the presentation of a memo by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
 
The approval will enable the implementation of strategies for the enforcement of the Information Technology (IT) Project Clearance by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in accordance with the NITDA Act (2007), and under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
 
The implementation of the IT Project Clearance process is in alignment with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria, as well as the Nigeria Government Interoperability Framework and Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture, among others. Furthermore, it provides many benefits for the country, including the following:
 
IT projects are not unduly duplicated;
 
the technology being implemented is up to date;
 
ensuring that there is an indigenous capacity for after-sales-service to sustain the project beyond its initial deployment;
 
supporting the integration of IT systems and services by Federal Public Institutions to save cost, reduce corruption, promote shared services, enable interoperability and improve efficiency;
 
ensuring that the technology and services procured are suitable for the country from the point of view of security and the environment, among others; and
 
the projects promote indigenous content, with preference being given to indigenous companies where capacity, product or service exists.
 
The implementation of the IT Projects Clearance process has already recorded tremendous success. For example, in 2021, there was unprecedented total of 280 new applications for clearance, of which 258 projects were successfully cleared and a total savings of ₦24,403,266,842.86, estimated at 343.2% increase in savings compared to 2020. Furthermore, there was also a significant increase in the use of the IT Clearance Portal in the year 2021- a total of 248 new users from 52 Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) were registered on the portal.
 
The approval of Council will further enhance the benefits of the IT Clearance process. Council's approval also mandates FPIs to obtain a Quality Assurance certificate from the NITDA Regulatory Instruments Enforcement Team for any project that is up to N1,000,000,000 (one billion naira).
 
As part of the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the Ministry will continue to position Nigeria to take advantage of emerging technologies in order to transform Nigeria into a sustainable and secure digital economy.
 
 
Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Research & Development) to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
9th March, 2022
NIGERIA’s AUTOMATIVE COUNCIL SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH DIGITAL ECONOMY SECTOR
Super User Written by March 07, 2022
The Director General National Automative Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu MFR, has called on the digital economy sector for support and partnership in its efforts to develop and sustain the automotive industry in Nigeria. He made the call during a working visit to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami today, Monday7th March 2022.
 
Jelani Aliyu in his detailed presentation to the Minister, disclosed that the automative industry with the right support was capable of producing four hundred thousand vehicles annually. He commended the federal government’s efforts in restoring the industry to its lost glory and boosting indigenous production through the institution of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP). “The NAIDP has five elements which include; Investment promotion, infrastructural development, improvement of standards, skills development and market development. We believe that building a partnership with the digital economy sector based on these initiatives will engender the need support for the industry to thrive. The vehicles manufactured and assembled in Nigeria are very tech-driven and it is only natural to seek your support as the driver of the digital economy in the country”. He emphasised that the resuscitation of the Nigerian automative industry will create jobs, encourage innovation and build indigenous capacity among others.
 
In his response, Professor Pantami while commending the Director General for exhibiting skillful leadership, conveyed his sector’s willingness to partner with the industry. He reiterated his advocacy for skills over mere paper qualifications citing Jelani Aliyu as an excellent example of the value of proven skills. “We are more than willing to collaborate with the industry and it is exciting to note that your presentation is in alignment with at least four of the the pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), particularly in the area of software development and digital design. The sector has an important role to play in supporting your parastatal so that we will jointly create many more jobs for our citizens and support our economy”.
 
The Minister remarked that one of the major challenges facing the nation is importation and this cannot be sustained. “We must therefore heed Mr President’s call to produce what we consume and consume what we produce. We also need to create awareness among the populace to take pride in our indigenous products and patronise them”
 
The highlight of the visit was the presentation of various models of locally manufactured, tech-driven, battery and gas powered vehicle to the Minister.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister
of Communications and Digital Economy
7th March 2022
PANTAMI PARLEYS WITH DIGITAL INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM
Super User Written by February 23, 2022
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) on Tuesday, 22nd February 2022 met with indigenous innovators in Lagos, to explore avenues of developing the Ecosystem to further drive the digital economy agenda. The interactive session organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was themed; Fostering an Enabling Environment for Start-up Growth.
 
Addressing an impressive turnout of techprenuers, startups, innovators, and founders, Professor Pantami disclosed that the objective of the session is to understand first hand, what the ecosystem requires from the government in order to thrive. “The importance of a vibrant, functional innovation ecosystem cannot be underscored and that is why we have taken deliberate steps to organise this interactive session specifically, to address certain pertinent issues. Firstly, how to consolidate our ecosystem, secondly to understand the market and its challenges thirdly, to map our market and set targets, to strengthen our networking strategies and more importantly, collaborating and partnering with government. This is key to the success of our ecosystem because government has a major role to play in providing an enabling environment”. The Minister emphasised that the Federal Government is open and willing to suggestions on what it can do to further ensure the success of the ecosystem.
 
Speaking further, Professor Pantami challenged startups and innovators in the Nigeria ecosystem to take ownership of existing policies to further consolidate and enhance the success of the ecosystem. “If there are challenges in implementing any of the policies we have put in place for the sector to thrive, please let us know”. He cited the National Startup Bill, the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the National Policy for the Development of Indigenous Content in the Telecommunications Sector among others, as examples of government’s commitment to enact and implement policies that enable the ecosystem.
 
Pantami disclosed that incentives like grants, tax and fiscal incentives, startup labelling, seed funding for startups, tax holidays have been provided for, in the plan to provide the necessary support by government. He noted that Nigeria as the largest digital economy in Africa which is in the process of deploying fifth generation networks (5G), the immense human potential and the necessary collaborations and partnerships between government and the ecosystem, the country will in no time take its pride of place as the continent’s technology giant.
 
The Honourable Minister thereafter, led a high powered delegation on a working visit to some of the innovation hubs including Flutterwave, Treepz and Reliance Health.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
23rd February 2022
NATIONAL FREQUENCY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL PRESENTS SPECTRUM FOR 5G DEPLOYMENT AS STAKEHOLDERS RECEIVE NATIONAL POLICY ON 5G NETWORKS
Super User Written by February 17, 2022

The National Frequency Management Council has formally handed over the 3.5GHz spectrum allocation for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Networks to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Performing the handover ceremony today Thursday, 17th February 2022 in Abuja, Chairman of the Council and Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) also made the public presentation of the National Policy on Fifth Generation Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy.

Addressing participants at the event, Professor Pantami recalled that the country’s journey to the actualization of 5G was fraught with challenges many of which were superstitious and unscientific. “Amidst health rumors linking 5G to the source and spread of Covid19, the Federal Government took deliberate, painstaking steps to ensure its safety through trials, expert reviews and advise from professional and relevant authorities and stakeholders because the safety of our citizens is our priority” Professor Pantami emphasized the need for Nigeria to take its pride of place in the fourth industrial revolution by exploring the tools of digital technology. He highlighted some of the benefits of 5G to include enhanced security, transparency, agricultural boost among others.

While handing over the allocated spectrum to the Chairman Governing Board of NCC, Professor Adeolu Akande and the Executive Vice Chairman Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the Minister directed that the spectrum be distributed to the companies whose bids were successful during the auction in December of 2021. Similarly, he called on all stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the National Policy of 5G for Nigeria’s Digital Economy.

Recall that the initial trial to ascertain the risks involved in the deployment of 5G in Nigeria was conducted in November of 2019 while the policy was launched on the 25th of January 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR).

 

Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy
17th February 2022

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT APPROVES NATIONAL POLICY ON THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT SECOND-LEVEL DOMAINS
Super User Written by February 16, 2022

The Federal Executive Council approved the National Policy on the Nigerian Government Second-Level Domains during its meeting on the 16th of February, 2022.  This followed the presentation of a memo by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

The Policy was developed to strengthen public confidence in the use of digital technologies and participation in the digital economy. The Policy is also in line with the implementation of the Nigerian e-Government Master Plan, approved by the Federal Executive Council in August 2018.  The Master Plan has a vision to create a world class open and digitalized government that connects with people to drive efficiency in public administration, responsiveness of civil services and transparency in governance leading to improvement of the quality of life of Nigerians.

The increasing rate of cyber-related incidences has inspired countries to develop Policy instruments to effectively regulate and manage their use of Information and Communication Technologies in Government Institutions, specifically electronic correspondences within the government.  Several countries have put policies in place to ensure that official correspondences are only conducted using approved domains and platforms in Government Institutions.

The use of generic domains and private emails for Government businesses and correspondences impedes the identity, security and global recognition of the Nigerian Government on the Internet. Furthermore, the use of private emails for Government business is a major limitation to the capabilities to archive and back-up sensitive Government data thereby making it difficult to preserve historical correspondences and documents hosted on non-Government servers. Similarly, Government documents that should be deleted or destroyed after a period of retention are permanently hosted on unsecure servers.

The Policy will be implemented by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.  It seeks to promote transparency in governance; protecting the Nigerian cyberspace; and promotion of the Digital Nigeria agenda. It also seeks to accelerate the adoption of the second level domain (.gov.ng, .edu.ng, .mil.ng) under the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD.ng) with the main objective to eliminate the use of top-level domains for Government business and the use of private emails for official correspondences by the end of year 2022

The Policy gives direction for the enforcement of the mandatory use of the Nigerian Government second-level domains by all Federal Public Institutions, and recommends its adoption by States and Local Governments. The scope covers the Nigerian Government second-level domain and email services on .gov.ng, .mil.ng, .edu.ng, .sch.ng, and any other Nigerian Government owned second-level domains that could be approved in the future.

As part of the implementation of this Policy, Federal Public Institutions are to obtain a Nigerian Government Second-level Domain from NITDA and migrate to that platform with immediate effect. As part of the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the Ministry will continue to position Nigeria to leverage technology in order to transform Nigeria into a sustainable and secure digital economy.

 

Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Research & Development) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
16th February, 2022

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COMMISSIONS IT INNOVATION CENTRE IN KATSINA STATE
Super User Written by February 15, 2022

Pursuant to its digital skills empowerment drive, the Federal Government of Nigeria, today Tuesday 15th February 2022 commissioned the Muhammadu Buhari IT Innovation Centre in katsina state, Northwest Nigeria.

Commissioning the fully completed project on behalf of the President, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) noted that the centre was established to empower the youths with the requisite digital skills, drive innovation and challenge creativity as part of the economic digitalisation agenda of the Federal Government. “There is a paradigm shift globally with emphasis on proven skills over certificates, there is also the need to diversify away from natural resources like oil and gas and Nigeria is no exception in the quest for digital capacities in the fourth industrial revolution. It is because of this we feel the necessity to establish innovation centres in at least every geopolitical zone in the country, identify existing talent, support and provide the enabling environment and mentorship so that in the next few decades, Nigeria can boast of its own Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

Speaking further, Professor Pantami noted that the leading economies in the world today are innovation - driven and with the commitment of the present administration to digitalise the Nigerian economy, the inherent potential Nigeria is abundantly blessed with, it is achievable.

Present at the commissioning were the Katsina State governor His Excellency, Rt Honourable Aminu Bello Masari, members of the State’s Executive Council, The Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashif Inuwa Abdullahi, Chairman Nigeria Communications Commission Governing Board, Professor Adeolu Akande and a host of top public and private sector officials.

Earlier, the Honourable Minister was at the Katsina State Talent Hunt Award Ceremony where prizes were awarded to deserving young innovators in various fields ranging from ICT to creativity in arts and entertainment.

 

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

15th February 2022

EUROPEAN UNION TO PARTNER WITH NIGERIA’s DIGITAL ECONOMY
Super User Written by February 14, 2022

The European Union (EU) under its Gateway Initiative has disclosed plans to invest about Eight Hundred and Twenty Million Euros in the Nigerian Digital Economy sector over the next three years. This disclosure was made today Monday, 14th February 2022 by the Executive Vice President of the Union Her Excellency, Margrethe Vestager during a working visit to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) at the Digital Economy Complex in Abuja.

Mrs Vestager while extolling the exemplary leadership style of the Minister, noted that this, and the need for stronger partnerships has brought global attention to the country’s Digital Economy sector. She enumerated the Union’s intervention in the sector to include; Digital Infrastructure Investments, Digitalisation of Public Services, Digital Entreprenuership, Digital Skills and Digital Governance.

“Nigeria has immense potential for digitalization and with a combination of One Hundred and Sixty Million Euros in grants and Six Hundred and Sixty Million Euros in loans, the European Union aims to comprehensively support Nigeria’s digitalization strategy” she emphasized.

In his reponse, Professor Pantami while expressing his delight and appreciation for the intervention reiterated the Federal Government’s willingness to partner with the European Union.

“Africa has always looked up to Europe in the area of technological advancements and this partnership is a welcome development that will project the digitalization aspirations of our country. Professor Pantami was particular about digital entrepreneurship and the immense impact it will bring to bear on the nation’s economy. “This partnership with regards to digital entrepreneurship, will address the challenge of unemployment and unemployability alongside the Nigeria Startup Bill which also aims to address a myriad of issues within the ecosystem.” The Minister further informed the delegation that Nigeria hopes to achieve the paperless office by the year 2030 and it is on track, taking into cognizance the rate at which public institutions are embracing the digital economy drive.

The Europen Union intervention is in alignment with the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), a digital roadmap initiated and championed by Professor Pantami towards the economic digitalization drive of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR).

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister
14th February 2022

Super User Written by February 03, 2022

President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB).  This followed a request made by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami). The NDPB has been established in line with global best practice and will focus on data protection and privacy for the country, among others.

The successful implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria has significantly increased the adoption of data platforms and accelerated the datafication of our society. This has increased the importance of having an institution that focuses on data protection and privacy.

Furthermore, the issuance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in January 2019, as a subsidiary legislation to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act 2007, has increased awareness about the need for data protection and privacy.  The Bureau will be responsible for consolidating the gains of the NDPR and supporting the process for the development of a primary legislation for data protection and privacy.

President Buhari also approves the recommendation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Pantami, for Dr. Vincent Olatunji to serve as the National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau.  Dr. Olatunji hails from Ekiti State and, at the time of his appointment, was the Director of the eGovernment Development and Regulations Department at NITDA. The appointment takes effect immediately.

 

 

Mrs Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
4th February, 2022

PANTAMI UNVEILS NIPOST DIGITAL PROJECTS
Super User Written by January 27, 2022
As part of the ongoing effort to reposition Nigeria's Postal Sector to be effective and efficient in service delivery to Nigerians, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami today launched and unveiled 3 key projects of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), a parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry.
 
The innovative projects launched and unveiled by the Minister include; NIPOST Debit Card, Agency Banking Platform and the NIPOST Logistics Vehicles.
 
The official launch and unveiling was held at the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Abuja.
 
 
 
Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister
27th January 2022
FIFTH GENERATION NETWORK WILL AID SECURITY INSTITUTIONS -Pantami
Super User Written by January 25, 2022
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has said that the deployment of fifth Generation (5G) network will play a vital role in improving the security situation in the country. He made this remark during his address at the launch of the National Policy on Fifth Generation Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today Tuesday 25th January 2022.
 
The Minister in his presentation to the President, emphasized that “5G network is a viable platform for security institutions to leverage on, in tackling the security challenges that have bedeviled the country, by harnessing the potential of digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Robotics etc. which explore real time information for maximum efficiency.” He further disclosed that the “5G Network will enhance transparency and economic development as its potential for job creation is unprecedented.”
 
Professor Pantami who expressed gratitude to the President for the immense support enjoyed by the Digital Economy sector, also disclosed that the National Policy on 5G will achieve numerous goals, including the security of the ecosystem and the protection of data, ensuring that international best practice and globally accepted standards and specifications are entrenched in Nigeria’s ecosystem.
The formal launch of the 5G Network in Nigeria today is in furtherance of the Federal Government’s commitment to develop a thriving digital economy. Recall that the National Policy on 5G Networks was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the 8th of September 2021 after a series of trials and multi stakeholder engagements eliminated perceived health risks.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister
25th January 2022