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FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL APPROVES 5G POLICY FOR NIGERIA
Super User Written by September 08, 2021

The Federal Executive Council has approved the National Policy on Fifth Generation (5G) Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy.  The 5G Policy was approved at the Council meeting today, Wednesday, 8th September 2021, following the presentation by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami). The implementation of the National Policy is with immediate effect.

The National Policy has been developed over a period of 2 years, due to the need for extensive stakeholder engagement and the need to ensure adequate public awareness and sensitization.  The stakeholder engagement was thorough and multi-sectoral in nature.  It also took into account the report of the 3-month 5G trials that commenced on the 25th of November 2019.  The report critically reviewed and studied the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria.

Leading international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an organ of the United Nations, have confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks leave no adverse health effect and are safe. 

5G networks offer significant advantages over the current technologies. Some of its advantages include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater device density, longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility. Several countries have already commenced the deployment of 5G and are enjoying its benefits.  These countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Lesotho, to mention but a few.

The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by Minister Pantami, will soon release spectrum to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that meet all the required conditions.

The NCC, as the regulator of the telecommunications sector, will continue engaging stakeholders with a view to developing the regulatory instruments required for the successful deployment of the technology in Nigeria.

 

Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (on Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
8th of September 2021

from LR: Engr Ladan A. Abdullahi (Director NFMC), Samuel Thomas - SA to Perm Sec, Okokon Udo Director (HRM), Dr (Mrs) Nonye Nwachukwu Director (PRS), Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu, mni - Permanent Secretary, Amb. Sadanabu Kusaote Umer - Japan Ambassador, Allan Number - SA- Tech/Perm Sec .
Super User Written by August 30, 2021

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) represented by Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu,mni Permanent Secretary, on Thursday 25th August, 2021 received in audience the Ambassador-designate of Japan, His Excellency, Mr. Kazuyoshi MATSUNAGA and his entourage in his office in Abuja on a courtesy call. The Permanent Secretary said it was a pleasure to have the Ambassador to interact with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy at a time like this when the Ministry is working assiduously towards digitizing the Country’s economy. He noted that the economy of Japan is being driven by modern technology and that it will be of immense benefit for Nigeria to collaborate with the Government of Japan to develop her digital economy sector which will in turn increase her Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He said that the Digital Economy added to the Communications Ministry is to enable it digitize the economy thereby enhance economic growth, create employment especially for its teaming youths and bring about better life for the people generally. He reiterated that to partner with Japanese Companies on Technology Development particularly in the area of Digitalization of Nigeria Economy is a very welcome development.

According to Mr. Nabasu, Nigeria is a mono economy of which its main source of revenue is oil and that the price of crude oil is no longer attractive in the global market, therefore Nigeria can no longer depend on oil alone to advance as a nation. He stated that the time has come to “think out of the box” by diversifying our economy in the area of digitalization of the Nation’s Economy.

He said the Ministry is looking forward to a stronger partnership with the Japan technology companies for employment generation for its people who are unemployed, especially its youths. He noted that the Hon. Minister, Dr. Isa Ali (Pantami) is very passionate about the digitalization of the Nigerian Economy and has been working assiduously to actualize that.

Speaking earlier, the Ambassador-designate said that the purpose of Japan’s cooperation with Nigeria are numerous; first; for the realization of a digital Society in the country; introducing digital technology for more effective and efficient development cooperation in various areas; through infrastructure development for building a digital society; supporting spontaneous development through the spread of digitalization; and developing a secure, free and open cyber environment to ensure Nigeria’s ownership of data. He added that other areas of cooperation include existing projects and future plans.

 

 

P.O. Abiamuwe-Mowete

DD/Head (Information, Press/PR)

30th August, 2021

ICT SECTOR RECORDS AN UNPRECEDENTED 17.92%- ITS HIGHEST EVER CONTRIBUTION TO NIGERIA’S GDP
Super User Written by August 26, 2021

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, PhD is highly delighted to hear of the growth of the contribution of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021). The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated this in the ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ for Q2 2021 released today, the 26th of August, 2021. It is noteworthy that the ICT sector contributed 17.92% to the total real GDP in Q2 2021, 20.54% higher than its contribution a year earlier and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 14.91%. This is the highest contribution of ICT to the GDP and is truly unprecedented. According to the NBS, "Nigeria’s GDP grew by 5.01%(year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2021, marking three consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020." The negative growth was triggered by COVID-19, not only in Nigeria but also globally. Even within that period, the ICT sector in Nigeria continued to experience positive growth. The oil sector contributed 7.42% to total real GDP in Q2 2021, down from figures recorded in the preceding quarter, where it contributed 9.25%. The non-oil sector grew by 6.74% and contributed 92.58% to the GDP. The Honorable Minister notes that the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP is as a result of the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to the development of the digital economy. The 16 National Policies developed by the Ministry, the 1,667 projects and programmes, the large scale digital skills and general capacity building efforts, stakeholder engagement and creation of an enabling environment have all played an important role in this achievement. The support of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has contributed immensely to the impressive developments in the sector. The unprecedented contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP can also be attributed to the dynamic and results-oriented leadership of the sector, which has been acknowledged and appreciated by a wide spectrum of the stakeholders in the sector, both locally and internationally. For example, Mr Houlin Zhao, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) commended the Minister for Nigeria's “accelerated digital transformation”. Similarly, the Chairman of the United States-Nigeria Council (USNC) also commended him for the “commitment to diversifying Nigeria’s great economy through digital technology and innovation.” The GDP Report has shown how critical the ICT sector is to the growth of our country’s digital economy and, by extension, the general economy. The Honourable Minister renews his call to all sectors to take advantage of the Federal Government’s new focus on the digital economy to enable and improve their processes through the use of ICTs. This would enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP. Dr Femi Adeluyi Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy 26th August 2021

MICROSOFT SEEKS FURTHER PARTNERSHIPS FOR DIGITAL ECONOMY DEVELOPMENT
Super User Written by August 16, 2021

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami today Monday, August 16th 2021 played, host to the new Country Director of Microsoft, Mrs Ola Williams, when he received the Microsoft delegation in his office at the Digital Economy Complex, Abuja.

The delegation was on a courtesy call to the Minister, to strengthen the already existing relationship with the supervisory Ministry of the digital economy sector and to further seek the support of the Federal Government in establishing a Data Centre in the country. In her submission, Mrs Williams noted that “the exemplary leadership of Dr Pantami has built confidence and encouraged investments in the sector. We are here to solicit your continuous support to make sure we get the right level of engagements required in terms of timeline for us to build the required business case to land the Data Centre in Nigeria. In the same vein, we are also soliciting the collaboration of your office in commencing the digital skills training targeted at five million Nigerians over a two year period”.

In his response, the Honourable Minister extended his goodwill to Mrs Williams on her milestone achievement as the first female Country Manager for Microsoft in Nigeria, as well as the first indigenous Nigerian to rise through the ranks at Microsoft to become its Country Manager in Nigeria. Dr Pantami reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to support all legitimate endeavours geared towards the growth and development of the Digital Economy sector. “We are excited about your elevation because firstly, you are a Nigerian and this fulfills part of the policies of the President to ensure that indigenes are considered first, except where capacity is lacking”.

Dr Pantami expressed delight that after over three years of exploring collaboration on the project, the Data Centre was finally coming to fruition and he assured the delegation of the support of the Federal Government, through his office.”This will ensure the safety and security of our national data as it will be domiciled within our shores. Similarly, we are keen on empowering our citizens with the requisite digital skills and have initiated various programmes in that regard. The DigitalNigeria and NITDA Online Academies are part of our interventions and we have recorded tremendous success as over two hundred and ten thousand Nigerians have benefitted so far”.

 

Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister
August 16th 2021

DIGITAL ECONOMY SECTOR SETS UNPRECEDENTED RECORD AS PANTAMI COMMISSIONS MORE PROJECTS
Super User Written by August 13, 2021

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), today Friday 13th August 2021 in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, commissioned seven more projects across the country in furtherance of the Federal Government’s resolve to leverage on technology in empowering the nation. This brings the number of projects established under the leadership of Dr Pantami to over one thousand, six hundred and sixty seven across all geo-political zones in the country.

Speaking at the hybrid event, the Honourable Minister noted that the sector had witnessed unprecedented growth both infrastructurally and policy - wise within two years of his assuming office. “When we came on board in August of 2019, the ministry had only one valid policy which was sponsored by the Korean Integration and Cooperation Agency, KOICA. But within the time we have been in office, we have developed sixteen national policies and established over one thousand six hundred and sixty seven digital economy centres. Of the sixteen policies we have developed, twelve are already being implemented while four are awaiting approval from the Federal Executive Council”

The projects numbering seven, under batch 11 of completed digital economy infrastructure include; four digital economy centres with e-learning facilities, domiciled in Abia, Sokoto, Akwa Ibom and Oyo states, a Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre (TIKC) located in Gombe state, a School Knowledge Centre in Borno state and an Emergency Communication Centre (ECC) in Kogi State.

Recall that under the leadership of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), every state of the federation is a beneficiary of the digital economy projects.

 

Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister
August 13th 2021

KOREAN AMBASSADOR COMMENDS MINISTER PANTAMI, AS FG, KOICA SEAL $13M AGREEMENT TO FOSTER DIGITAL GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA
Super User Written by August 05, 2021
The South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Kim Young – Chae has commended the supervisory leadership of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), PhD over Nigeria’s ICT sector. In the last 2-years, the ICT sector has consecutively been the fastest-growing sector in Nigeria.
The Korean Ambassador made this known today while making his opening remarks during the Signing Ceremony of Cooperation between the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for building a foundation towards Digital Governance in Nigeria (2020 - 2026 / $13M). The brief ceremony was held in the South Korean Embassy, Abuja.
Amb Kim Young – Chae further urged Minister Pantami to maintain the tempo in ensuring ICT contributes more to National Development in Nigeria. The Ambassador informed that the Korea Government is willing to share its experience and expertise with the Nigerian Government.
Responding, the Nigerian Minister, Dr Pantami appreciated (KOICA) for the kind gesture. “The Republic of Korea through KOICA is the number 1 country supporting Nigeria in the area of eGovernance”, Pantami said. Adding that “The support Nigeria has received from the Republic of Korea cannot be matched by any other Nation.
Minister Pantami informed that over 1000 civil servants from Nigeria have been trained on eGovernance in the world-class eGovernment training centre located in Abuja which was built and donated to the Nigerian government by the Korea Republic as part of Phase 1 of the e-Governance cooperation signed in the year 2013.
The Minister hailed the achievement of the Korean Government in the area of Government Digital Service, highlighting that Nigeria could adopt a similar model.
It will be recalled that in the year 2013, the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and KOICA signed phase 1 of the agreement that cost $8.5M, phase 2 is projected to gulp another $13M. The funds are mostly donated by the Republic of Korea through KOICA.
 
 
Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister
CYBERSECURITY: KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL ECONOMY
Super User Written by August 03, 2021
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has tasked Information Technology professionals to prioritise the safety and security of the country’s cyberspace. Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) made the call today 3rd August 2021 during his address titled- The Imperatives of Cybersecurity for a Digital Economy. The Honourable Minister was the Chairman of the annual International Conference of the Nigeria Computer Society, which is taking place in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
Dr Pantami who addressed participants virtually, remarked that the theme of this year’s conference- Innovative Systems for a Digital Economy, was apt and in accord with the needs of a growing digital economy. “However, priority and preference should be given to cybersecurity as the capacity and quality of solutions, particularly, indigenous solutions deployed to address existing or new problems must meet the minimum global requirements.”
The Honourable Minister further emphasised that Digital Innovation and Digital Entrepreneurship are the building blocks of a successful indigenous Digital Economy. Such an economy will only thrive in a safe and secure cyberspace and this is why the Federal Government has instituted strategies and policies to ensure that Cybersecurity is given priority. “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), a regulatory instrument established to protect the privacy and confidentiality of citizens, the National Cybersecurity Policy & Strategy and the Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Team (CERRT) are some of the initiatives put in place by government to ensure the success of a Digital Economy and a safe cyberspace.”
While commending the Nigeria Computer Society for its consistency in organising the annual event, the Honourable Minister called for all hands to be on deck in the pursuit of safety and professionalism in the sector and gave the assurances that the Federal Government was willing to enforce compliance.
 
 
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy.
3rd August 2021
GOVERNMENT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: FG FLAGS OFF CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS
Super User Written by August 02, 2021
With the zeal of strengthening the partnership between the various tiers of government in Nigeria to apply digital technology in governance, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), PhD has formally flagged off a capacity development programme on eGovernance and Digital transformation for Kano State Executive Council Members chaired by His Excellency, Gov Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
The programme aims at tutoring the top state government officials on the application of modern technology to improve performances at all levels and also deliver services and programs more efficiently, transparently, and cost-effectively.
In his Keynote address, the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami applauded the state for the plan to deploy fibre optics across its boundary within the next two years, stressing that the move is in alignment with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS), launched and unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari on 29th November 2019. “This policy cannot be implemented by the Federal Government alone, state governments need to key in”, Pantami said.
The Honourable Minister then urged the council members to take full advantage of the training, stressing that e-governance is key to the success of any economy at all levels.
Minister Pantami also called on the Kano state government to adopt other initiatives and strategies of the Federal Government such as the Nigeria Interoperability Framework, and the Nigeria e-government Enterprise Framework and make them the mirror for the implementation of e-governance in the state.
Dr Pantami further advised the state government to study other National policies of the Federal Government and key into them so that the IT investment plans of the state will be in alignment with that of the federal government and also ensure interoperability.
“E-governance is a necessity for the success of every government”, Pantami said, adding that, “according to the World Bank diagnostic report of 2019, it was projected that by 2025, e-commerce activities in Nigeria will reach up to USD 75 Billion within a year”.
“COVID 19 has exposed the need for digitization, which is now a necessity”, Pantami stated.
Pantami furthermore disclosed the donation of over 100 digital devices to the state by the Federal Government and called on the beneficiaries to make good use of the devices to be provided.
The Minister revealed that the Ministry is open to partnership with all state and local governments that expresses interest to key into the NDEPS.
On his part, Gov Abdullahi Umar Ganduje appreciated Dr Pantami for matching words with action following his visit to the Communications and Digital Economy Complex in Abuja where he initiated talks on the possible collaborations and partnerships with the Ministry to foster ICT development in Kano state.
The Governor also thanked the Ministry for the provision of digital intervention projects in the state such as a digital training centre which is ongoing and also the consideration to use Kano as the pilot state for the GOVERNMENT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION training.
Gov Ganduje similarly expressed gratitude for the training of over 1000 youths from the state on digital skills and also the support rendered to the state to come up with a State ICT policy which he described as the blueprint guiding the state over the years.
The Executive Governor further solicited support from the Ministry to update the policy to reflect current realities.
 
 
Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister
PANTAMI FLAGS OFF MAIDEN STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL TRAINING ON E-GOVERNANCE AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN KANO STATE
Super User Written by August 02, 2021
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami today, August 2nd 2021 flagged off the training on e-governance and digital transformation for the members of the Kano State Executive Council. The training which is the pioneer programme at that level, is aimed at equipping the leadership of the state with the requisite skills for effective governance in line with global trends.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Honourable Minister noted that “e-governance is key to the success of any economy at all levels as it enhances transparency, cost effectiveness and accountability while ensuring the effective delivery of government digital services to the people. Kano is strategic in terms of population and commerce and the timing is apt”
Dr Pantami disclosed that the training was at the behest of the state governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who had initiated talks on possible collaborations and partnerships with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy during a courtesy call earlier this year. The Minister, while commending the state governor for the plan to deploy fibre optics across the state within the next two years, also urged other state governors to emulate Ganduje and embrace the digital transformation training. “We are open to partnering with any state that is willing to take advantage of this laudable initiative”
 
 
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy.
2nd August 2021
PANTAMI VISITS PROPOSED PEN RESOURCES UNIVERSITY
Super User Written by July 20, 2021
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, PhD has today visited Pen Resources Secondary School and proposed Pen Resources University in Gombe.
During the visit, Pantami toured the campus along with the founder, Dr Sani Jauro and Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Limited, Prof M. B. Abubakar. Prior to that, he had an interaction with both academic and non-academic staff of the institution.
 
The Minister was invited to visit the campus, in which he went and interacted with the students and staff. Among the places visited by the Minister, include Robotic Centre, ICT Centre, proposed Faculty of ICT, Administration block, and other proposed faculties.
Pantami commended the effort of the staff and students where they prioritise Skills over theory. The students developed many start-ups in the area of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 3D and Virtual Reality. We may recall that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has been championing a paradigm shift of focusing more on soft skills and hard skills over empty paper qualifications.
Pantami encourages the Management of the school to continue to work hard and ensure the school continues to produce potential employers, rather than potential employees.
 
 
Source: Dr Isa Ali Pantami, The Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy