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FG ENSURES INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION STANDARDS IN DEPLOYING ICTS IN NIGERIA
Super User Written by May 18, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS,FBCS, FIIM has emphasized that Federal Government has strictly complied with the International Telecommunication Union standards in the deployment of  Information Communication Technology(ICTs) in Nigeria.

He stated this via Skype in Abuja on the commemoration of the World Telecommunication Information and Society Day Celebration (WTISD-20) which is marked 17th May every year. This year theme is “Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” held in Abuja.

The Minister pointed out that the top priority of government in the deployment of ICTs in Nigeria is to ensure the safety, security and health of the citizens in the country.

According to him, “This is our own priority whenever we deployed ICTs. There are standards of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) when it comes to deployment of ICTs. We always ensure Nigerians followed the standards and regulations and that will go a long way in reducing or eliminating any negative impact that could be perceived”.

Dr. Pantami stated that with the challenges of COVID-19 worldwide, government is effectively promoting social/physical distancing by leveraging on ICTs noting that, presently, government carries out most of its activities within and outside the offices through the use of ICTs.

He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy and strategy is more focus on ICTs hence he came up with the concept of Nigeria eGovernment Master Plan, Digital Economy, National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for digital Nigeria and implementation of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

In his words, “These are the policies in place and we have started to implement them which is a clear indication that Nigeria now focuses more on ICTs. Pantami stressed.

Since 1969, the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is being celebrated worldwide, which marks the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865 when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris.

 

 

Oshodin P

(Info/PPRU)

May 18,2020

PANTAMI COMMENDS GOVERNOR FAYEMI FOR IMPLEMENTING RIGHT OF WAY RESOLUTION
Super User Written by May 18, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, is delighted to hear about the Executive Order No. 007 of 2020 on Right of Way Charges on Telecommunications Infrastructure that was signed by the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, CON, on the 12th of May, 2020. 

The Executive Order shall “specifically target all sectors of Ekiti State including rural homes, farms, small businesses, manufacturing and production sites, transportation systems, and healthcare and educational facilities”. It is also noteworthy that the Order specifies that “Right of Way charges related to the laying of broadband or any other telecommunications infrastructure in Ekiti State shall not exceed N145 per linear metre”. 

This action of providing a policy backing to the Right of Way charges is truly commendable.  It is also in consonance with the resolution of the State Governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum on the 22nd of January 2020 to address the lingering issue of Right of Way (RoW) charges in a bid to deepen broadband penetration in the country and promote a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria. 

At that meeting the Executive Governors had resolved to adopt the 2013 resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NEC) which agreed on a maximum RoW charge of N145.00 per linear meter of fibre. Implementing this resolution will go a long way in implementing the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was launched by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 19th of March 2020. 

An increase in broadband access will have a positive impact on the economy of the various States as well as the entire country.  One of the key benefits is the rapid growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) of any country that increases its broadband penetration. The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the importance of broadband in supporting economies around the world.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, congratulates and commends the Executive Governor of Ekiti State for this landmark action.  The Honourable Minister would like to use the occasion of the World Telecommunications Day to encourage other Executive Governors to emulate this action in order to accelerate broadband penetration across the country.

 Signed

 

 

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy

18th May, 2020

Super User Written by May 13, 2020

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus has called for more collaboration on data protection and privacy assessment in the country.

He stated this during an online meeting between the Ministry and Data Analytics Privacy Technology Limited (DAPT) led by its Executive Director/Partner, Ambassador Segun Olugbile held on Zoom Webinar platform from 11am to 12noon, Monday, May 11, 2020.

The Director, Radio Monitoring and Survey, Engr. Kilyobas Binga who represented the Permanent Secretary thanked the organization for their insightful and timely presentation which according to him is crucial now at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic downturn.

He noted that the new normal due to the pandemic calls for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to leverage technology through virtual/online platforms to transact government business.

Engr. Binga stated that the Ministry’s E-Government Department in the Ministry and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) are collaborating with the Ministry of Health to work out a robust e-health policy and action plan for the country, to enable it reach out to the public at this time of COVID-19. 

In his presentation during the online meeting, Director (DAPT), Mr. Franklin Akinsuyi enumerated the importance of Data Protection and Privacy Impact Assessment (DPIA) in the present and post COVID-19 era, the socio-economic effects and how to help organizations identify and minimize the data protection risks of a project/programme or system change where personal data is being processed.

In his words, “processing data is conducted in a manner that breaches the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and other international data protection laws.  Government institutions need to collaborate to properly assess, co-ordinate and identify the data protection and privacy risks to the population”.

Akinsuyi added that the benefits of implementing DPIA is to improve awareness and to reduce data protection and privacy risks while executing MDA projects as well as making provision for a uniform and consistent way of assessing risks across Ministries.

The Executive Director, Business Development (DAPT), Olutoyin J. Oloniteru in his presentation urged the Ministry to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to drive the technology aspect of the E-health process noting that before any technology could be deployed there is the need for impact assessment on the country’s economy.

 

Source: Press Unit, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

COVID19: NIGERIAN TECH STARTUPS TO ENJOY RESEARCH GRANTS - DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by May 07, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has directed all agencies under the supervision of the Ministry to;

1. Work on providing research grants for promising innovative solutions that will help in the fight against COVID19.

2. Incubate the proposed solutions

3. Transfer / Deploy solutions to relevant government agencies.

The active, focused, result-oriented Federal Executive Cabinet member gave this marching order today while making his remarks during the Nigeria COVID19 innovation challenge; virtual demo day and prize-giving ceremony organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The concern agencies include the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Communications Satellite Systems, Galaxy Backbone and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

Dr Pantami said “with COVID19, there is a need to fast-track the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria, adding that “ICT will play a great role in supporting contact tracing and physical distancing in the war against the virus”.

The highlight of the day was the presentation of research grants to the tune of 2.2 Million Naira to the selected best 3 promising Nigerian startups who participated in the innovation challenge.

The Minister further directed that half of the fund be invested in translating the proposed ideas into solutions.

 

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

DR PANTAMI SUPERVISES TEST RUN OF VIRTUAL FEC MEETING
Super User Written by May 11, 2020

In preparation for the upcoming Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting to be held virtually on wednesday, which will be chaired by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami today supervised a test run.

Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry, Galaxy Backbone, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigerian Communications Satellite Systems will be providing a digital platform and technical support for the meeting.

 

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

 

DIGITAL NIGERIA: DR PANTAMI LAUNCH NIGERIA’S VIRTUAL ACADEMY PLATFORM
Super User Written by April 30, 2020

https://academy.nitda.gov.ng.

In line with the blueprint of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a digital Nigeria launched and unveiled on 28th November 2019 by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today officially launched Nigeria's Virtual Academy Learning Platform (NITDA Academy).

The move is part of an effort to enhance Digital Literacy and Skills Development during the #COVID19 pandemic and beyond.

Dr Pantami, a strong advocate for skills development, upon assumption of office as the Honourable Minister, rallied stakeholders in the ICT industry to come up with the NDEPS which was endorsed and unveiled by His Excellency, President Buhari. It was on this backdrop that the NITDA virtual academy was conceptualized to serve as the foremost centre of excellence for research and development in emerging technologies and other related ICT fields of study.

In his virtual keynote address via Microsoft Teams, the Honourable Minister stated that the objective of the academy was to

1. Encourage continuous learning;

2. Enhance capacity development;

3. Empower Nigerians with the required digital skills and;

4. Bridge the gap between the academia and industry.

Pantami also reiterated the importance of digital skills to the social-economic development of Nigeria and further applauded Nigerian youths for embracing the IBM Digital Nigeria programme which was unlevied last month by the Ministry and can be accessed via https://digitalnigeria.gov.ng or "IBM Digital Nation Africa " App on Google Play Store.

 

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

THE USE OF DATA IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 WILL BE IN LINE WITH APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS
Super User Written by April 17, 2020

The attention of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), has been drawn to reports of devious schemes perpetrated by some unscrupulous persons claiming they have access to personal data of Nigerians such as SIM databases, bank verification numbers or any other personal records of Nigerians. The Ministry also notes the concerns of well-meaning stakeholders on the privacy implications of government’s legitimate use of private data to check the spread of COVID-19, provide palliatives to vulnerable members of society and prevent criminal activities accentuated by the global health crisis we are currently dealing with.

For the avoidance of doubt, neither the Ministry nor any organ of the Federal Government directed that any such database be shared to any person for any purpose other than the legitimate, statutory purpose they were collected for. The public is therefore urged to disregard any information from any group or individuals seeking to confirm or collect personal records for any purpose.  The Federal Government will never ask citizens to confirm their records via phone calls or digital means without an elaborate structure to ensure the safety of these records and effective communication to the public in this regard. To this end, I have directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as the custodian of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), to issue a comprehensive framework to guide public institutions on the lawful processing of personal data for public and vital interests such as public health, welfare, security and related matters.

The Ministry notes the concerns of our well-meaning stakeholders on the possibility of privacy infringement in the use of private data to combat COVID-19. Government’s ultimate purpose in its fight against COVID-19 is to minimise direct and collateral damages. In the face of the threat to life arising from public health, hunger and security factors, Nigeria like every progressive society, is utilising its digital assets and infrastructure to tackle the pandemic and its effects. Every use of private data is strictly for the promotion of the security and welfare of Nigerians. Any unlawful disclosure, abuse or misuse of private data constitutes a criminal offence, punishable under the laws of Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister therefore use this medium to encourage all regulators or institutions that utilise personal data for public good to prioritise information and cyber security. Compliance with the NDPR and other laws relating to personal data processing is mandatory for public and private organisations. All data controlling organisations are further expected to provide a means for efficient public communication across all platforms available throughout this period to respond to public enquiries and comments.

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to ensuring that the use of data in the fight against COVID-19 complies with laid down regulations.

 

Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

17th April 2020

A CALL FOR EXTRA VIGILANCE AS CYBERCRIMINALS EXPLOIT COVID-19
Super User Written by April 09, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed how we interact as individuals. In particular, there has been an appreciable migration of several meetings, lectures and other form of interactions to online platforms.

Furthermore, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM notes that the implicit requirement of social distancing has increased the adoption of online platforms and e-payment systems. This, no doubt, is a positive development that will support our implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. However, this migration to home-based unsecure digital platforms, often with outdated security systems, can make users more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Our cybersecurity teams have intercepted following cases, amongst others:

i. Phishing attacks aimed at infecting systems or extracting sensitive information;

ii. Campaigns that defraud citizens by offering essential products and services at suspicious prices;

iii. Fake news and misinformation aimed at spreading panic, creating instability and promoting distrust; and

iv. Video-teleconferencing (VTC) hijacking (also called “Zoom-bombing”).

The Honourable Minister urges everyone to be extra-cautious and reinforce security measures while interacting online, especially when banking online. It is important to observe basic cyberspace rules such as:

i. Ignoring suspicious online offers;

ii. Being circumspect in sharing VTC details;

iii. Using complex passwords;

iv. Keeping software up to date; and

v. Refraining from sharing unverified information.

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to keeping Nigerians safe online. To this end, the Ministry and its parastatals will issue regular cybersecurity advisories.

 

Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
9th of April 2020

COVID 19: DR PANTAMI HOLDS VIDEO CONFERENCE MEETING WITH WORLD BANK
Super User Written by April 09, 2020

In line with the Digital Nigeria drive, the Honourable Minister of Communications and
Digital Economy of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today held a video conferencing meeting with the representative of the World Bank on "The Role of Digital Technologies in the Fight Against #COVID-19: Early Lessons from the Frontline".

In his remarks, the Nigerian Minister informed that Federal Government had deployed the use of data mining from data generated from the SIM card registration in Nigeria to identify the most vulnerable Nigerians that require the government urgent intervention.

Dr Pantami also informed that the government has been holding virtual meetings, sending bulk SMS to sensitize Nigerians through the telecommunications companies, creating and sharing digital posters on various social media platforms, encouraging the use of online channels to conduct business among others.

 

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

NO LICENCE HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR 5G IN NIGERIA
Super User Written by April 04, 2020

The attention of my office has been drawn to the public concern about the health implications of the deployment of Fifth Generation Mobile Networks (5G) in Nigeria. Based on available records at my office and the earlier report received from the regulator, I would like to clarify as follows:

  1. The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G;
  2. No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country;
  • A 3-month study trial commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria;
  1. As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial; and
  2. The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.

His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, places a premium on the welfare, health and security of Nigerians.  As such, our desire for technological advancement will never be at the expense of the health and welfare of our citizens.

Government will not act on the speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public.  I have also directed the NCC to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.

I wish to thank the general public for reaching out to us on this issue.  We advise you all to remain rest assured that government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.

 

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
4th of April 2020