Super User

Super User
DIGITAL NIGERIA: PRESIDENT BUHARI UNVEILS STRATEGIC ROAD MAP, COMMISSIONS ICT PROJECTS, FLAGS-OFF DIGITAL TRAINING
Super User Written by March 19, 2020

In line with the NEXT LEVEL agenda that seeks to diversify Nigeria’s economy from oil-based and enhance human capacity development to empower Nigerians with the required digital skills needed to compete favourably in the digital world and provide the enabling environment that will ensure youths become employers of labour and not potential employees, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, renamed and expanded the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy previously known as the Federal Ministry of Communications.

Mr President also set a performance benchmark for all cabinet ministers, a covenant the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM is not taking lightly, building on the fact that public office is a trust.

It was on this backdrop that His Excellency, President Buhari in the capacity as the Special Guest of Honour today officially:

1. Launched and unveiled the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025;

2. Commissioned the Communications and Digital Economy Complex;

3. Commissioned the Abuja Emergency Communication Center and National Emergency Toll – Free Number 112 and

4. Flagged off the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training.

The august occasion was held at the Communications and Digital Economy Complex Abuja and heard in attendance, top government functionaries, key players in the ICT industry, tech entrepreneurs, tech evangelist, among others.

Full text of the speech of the His Excellency, President Buhari

Protocols:

I am delighted to commission a number of projects today, all of which will enhance the development of our National Digital Economy and support our efforts at diversifying the economy.

2. The dwindling price of crude oil has adversely affected our budgetary projections and has increased our sense of urgency with regard to the diversification of the economy. The Digital Economy will also support us in fighting corruption through digitalization and enabling government digital services.

3. Digital technologies have become a useful platform for economic diversification. Having recognized the benefits of these technologies we have decided to adopt the Digital Economy paradigm early. This informed our decision to expand the schedule of the Federal Ministry of Communications to include the Digital Economy mandate, in line with global best practices. The Ministry has since developed the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for the realization of Digital Nigeria which we unveiled last year. We are also aware that mechanisms have been put in place for its implementation.

4. The development of the National Broadband Plan is in line with the objective of the Federal Government to provide broadband for Nigerians. The Plan is also expected to support our objective of deploying 4G across the country.

5. The Federal Government is aware of the challenges that the operators face, including the challenge of vandalisation of telecommunications equipment. We are committed to ensuring that all stakeholders have a conducive environment to ensure the successful implementation of the Broadband Plan.

6. I have directed the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy to work with all relevant government agencies to ensure that our critical national infrastructure are protected. I therefore urge the Mobile Network Operators to ensure full attainment of the targets set in the plan and to also give special attention to unserved and underserved areas while deploying their services.

7. The commissioning of the Emergency Communications Centre and Toll Free Number ‘112’ further demonstrate our resolve to keep Nigerians safe. We have taken advantage of digital technologies to ensure that Nigerians in distress are only a dial away from the relevant emergency response institutions in the country. This will go a long way in supporting our efforts to improve the security of lives and property.

8. The Digital Nigeria Programme is one of Federal Government’s key initiatives that will empower innovators and entrepreneurs with skills required to thrive in our emerging digital economy. It is part of our efforts to ensure that our youths, women, unemployed graduates and people living with disabilities either become employers of labour or get a large number of well-paying jobs thereby contributing to the national drive of lifting Nigerians out of poverty.

9. The Commissioning of Communications and Digital Economy Complex will provide a benefitting coordinating centre for our new focus on the Nigerian Digital Economy. It signals the desire to intensify efforts towards ensuring that Nigeria becomes an active participant in the Global Digital Economy.

10. I must commend the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Presidential Committee and all stakeholders who participated in the development of this National Broadband Plan. I also thank the leadership of the Ministry for the high level of synergy that has been created amongst the parastatals under its supervision.

11. I hereby commission and unveil these programmes and look forward to the commitment of all stakeholders towards ensuring the full implementation of the Broadband Plan and successful execution of the other programmes.
Thank you and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

 

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

DIGITAL ECONOMY: DR PANTAMI HOST PRESIDENT BUHARI AS HISTORY IS MADE
Super User Written by March 19, 2020

Guided by the blueprint of the NEXT LEVEL agenda and the mandate of the rebirth Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today invited His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to launch and commission landmark achievements attained by the Ministry under his watch.

The official engagements performed by His Excellency, President Buhari includes;

1. Launched and unveiled the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025;

2. Commissioned the Communications and Digital Economy Complex;

3. Commissioned the Abuja Emergency Communication Center and
National Emergency Toll – Free Number 112 and

4. Flagged off the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training.

In his welcome address, the NEXT LEVEL Honourable Minister highlighted that the programs and projects are in-line with the priorities of the Federal Government as assigned to the Ministry for implementation.

Dr Pantami said “A digital economy is heavily reliant on the availability of cost-effective broadband. Amongst other things, this Plan aims to provide broadband for 90% of Nigerians over the next 5 years, at download rates of 25Mbps in urban areas and 10Mbps in rural areas. The Plan also aims for a maximum price of N390/GB of data”.

Adding that “According to a Report by Ericsson titled "How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development”, 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6% to 2.8% rise in the gross domestic product (GDP).

Full text of the Speech of the Honourable Minister

All Protocols duly observed.

May Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you!

I count it a privilege and a great honour to welcome His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and our distinguished guests to this epoch-making event. Today, His Excellency will be commissioning several important programmes that act as signposts to our commitment to transform the digital landscape of our country by developing the National Digital Economy.

The following programmes are being commissioned or unveiled, as the case may be:

Launching and Unveiling of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025);
Commissioning of the Emergency Communications Centre & Toll-Free Number ‘112’;

Flag-off of the Digital Nigeria Programme (Nigerian Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training); and
Commissioning of the Communications & Digital Economy Complex.

These programmes are in line with the revised mandate of the Ministry as a result of its redesignation as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy by Mr President on the 17th of October 2019. The development of the National Digital Economy is anchored on the following 8 pillars:

Developmental Regulation;
Digital Literacy & Skills;
Solid Infrastructure;
Service Infrastructure;
Digital Services Development & Promotion;
Soft Infrastructure;
Digital Society & Emerging Technologies; and
Indigenous Content Development & Adoption.

The programmes also align with a number of the priorities of the Federal Government that were assigned to the Ministry for implementation. Furthermore, they also support the 3 key areas of focus of Mr President, namely economic development, anti-corruption and security.

1. Launching and Unveiling of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025)
On assumption of office on the 21st of August, 2019, I realised that our country was without any active Broadband Plan, as the previous 2013-2018 Plan expired the previous year. Under the directives of Mr President, we inaugurated a team of experts to develop a new plan on the 16th of December, 2019. The team was Chaired by Funke Opeke. The Committee worked tirelessly to produce the Plan which will be launched and unveiled today.

I use this opportunity to thank the Chairman and members of the Committee for their patriotism, professionalism and high level of commitment. I also wish to convey our gratitude to the United Kingdom High Commission for their partnership and technical support. We would also like to thank all the development partners and institutions that gave valuable input to the Committee.

A digital economy is heavily reliant on the availability of cost-effective broadband. Amongst other things, this Plan aims to provide broadband for 90% of Nigerians over the next 5 years, at download rates of 25Mbps in urban areas and 10Mbps in rural areas. The Plan also aims for a maximum price of N390/GB of data.

The implementation of the Broadband Plan will support the diversification efforts of the Federal Government. The unfortunate realities of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it imperative to build and depend on a sector of the economy that is more resilient to global economic shocks than the oil sector, which we have depended upon for years. A case in point is the sudden crash of the price of a barrel of crude oil below the $30 mark, thus creating a real challenge for our budgetary projections that were based on $57 per barrel.

The importance of broadband is further demonstrated by how it is helping to mitigate the adverse effects of the virus in many countries and sustaining their economies. For instance, citizens in many countries now have to rely on broadband for online learning, remote working, telemedicine, and so on.

Broadband is a key component of any digital economy and it is not merely for entertainment. Rather, empirical evidence has shown that it can help to significantly improve economic indices, create jobs and lift people out of extreme poverty. For example, according to a report by Ericsson titled "How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development”, 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6% to 2.8% rise in the gross domestic product (GDP).

Similarly, a 2018 Report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on “Defining and Measuring the Digital Economy”, the digital economy in the United States contributed 6.9% to the nation's GDP in 2017.
It also contributed 5.1million jobs in that year.

II. Commissioning of the Emergency Communications Centre & Toll Free Number ‘112’

The Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) and ‘112’ toll free number will instantly connect Nigerians to emergency services 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The 3-digit number allows for easy recall in times of emergency.

The programme is in fulfilment of sections 107 3(a) and (b) of the Nigerian Communications Act (2003), which states that:

The Commission shall, in specific regard to emergency services, take immediate steps upon the commencement of this Act to :
(a) promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number which shall be designated as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally ; and
(b) encourage and facilitate the prompt deployment throughout Nigeria of a seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communications needs.

The ECC is a state-of-the-art Centre that will enable our nation’s emergency response ecosystem have real-time data with which to provide timely assistance to Nigerians during emergencies.

Each Centre has well trained and courteous call agents and a primary interconnect operator. Every call can be routed to either the Police, Fire Service, Civil Defence, Federal Road Safety Corps or Hospital Ambulance team, depending on the type of emergency.

There are currently 19 such Centres across the country, including that of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which is being commissioned today.
The ECC will support the efforts of government to ensure the security of lives and property.

III. Flag-off of the Digital Nigeria Programme (Nigerian Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training)

The Digital Nigeria Programme will provide a National Platform for improving the digital literacy of Nigerians and it will enable Nigerians from all walks of life to acquire high level digital skills. It will have a strong emphasis on Skills for Jobs. We also want to change the paradigm of the trainees from being potential employees to becoming potential employers. The programme will include Nigerians in all strata of society, such as youth, women, children, internally displaced persons, people living with disabilities, etc.

This Digital Nigeria Programme is part of the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to support the priorities of the Federal Government to actively collaborate with the private sector to create a large number of well-paying jobs for Nigerians.
It will also support in realization of Mr President’s promise to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

China pulled 493.8 million people out of extreme poverty (1999-2015), India pulled out 161.7 million people out (2004-2011) and Indonesia pulled out 64.5million people (2000 - 2015). Digital technologies helped in this process, especially in India. We want to use technology to achieve a similar feat in Nigeria and we are using the Digital Nigeria Programme as a launchpad for this.

IV. Commissioning of the Communications & Digital Economy Complex
Last but not the least is the Commissioning of this world-class building as the Communications and Digital Economy Complex.

The project was initiated in September 2004 and approved by the Federal Executive Council on the 22nd of November, 2006. The building sits on an 8-hectare land and was completed and handed over to NCC in May 2007.
It was then remodelled in 2016 and the current design of the complex consists of 2 basement levels and 5 floors, making up a total of 7 levels and a roof top terrace. The building includes s a 650-seater auditorium, complete with audio/visual services. It also has offices and meeting rooms, along with indoor and outdoor sports recreational facilities. It has five 800KVA generators and three dedicated transformers connected to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The new Communications and Digital Economy will provide a good environment for high level productivity and will support our efforts to develop a National Digital Economy. It will provide a platform for the successful implementation of the projects and programmes of the Ministry across of all 8 pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy. It will also enable us drive the implementation of the priorities of the Federal Government under our supervision.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I wish to sincerely thank His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for gracing this occasion in person and for his great support to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

I also want to commend the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the other parastatals under the Ministry and their teams for the successful implementation of the projects.

I thank all our esteemed partners and stakeholders for coming. The journey has only just started and I call on everyone to support us in building a Digital Nigeria for the all-round success of our dear country.

 
 
Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Honourable Minister
PANTAMI CONSTITUTE COMMITTEE TO DELIVER EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT SERVICES TO NIGERIANS
Super User Written by March 17, 2020

As part of an effort to enhance operational visibility, improve efficiency and deliver effective service to Nigerians in line with the blueprint of the National Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today officially inaugurated a committee charged with the Mandate to ensure Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Nigeria’s ICT operator enhance its performance.

It will be recalled that on the assumption of office as the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami set the following performance targets for Galaxy;

1. To improve the reach and coverage of its service in the public sector; and

2. To significantly improve the quality of service provided.

In his remarks, the NEXT LEVEL Honourable Minister reminded the members that the Federal Government has invested massively in Galaxy, stressing that there is a need for the government to reap the benefits of its investment.

The Minister maintained that the main reason he constituted the committee is to ensure that there is an improved quality of service to Nigerians.

Members of the committee include individuals from both the public and private sectors, representative of professional IT bodies, among others.

 

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

BROADBAND PENETRATION IS KEY IN PROMOTING A DIGITAL ECONOMY FOR A DIGITAL NIGERIA – DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by March 17, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has reiterated the importance of Broadband Penetration in promoting a digital economy for a digital Nigeria, stating that “you cannot promote a digital economy without broadband penetration”.

The Honourable Minister made this known today while addressing journalist shortly after attending the industry consultations workshop on the use of television white space in Nigeria which was held at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Corporate Headquarters, Abuja.

The Minister said “The whole world today is about a Digital Economy. Adding that “The World Economic Forum predicts that over 60% of global GDP will be digitized by the year 2022”.

Dr Pantami maintained that NCC under his supervision has the Mandate to improve broadband penetration in Nigeria.

Present at the gathering includes individuals from both the public and private sectors, representative of state governments, among others.

 

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

DIGITAL NIGERIA: MINISTER INAUGURATES STEERING COMMITTEE AS PRESIDENT BUHARI SET TO COMMISSION PROJECTS, PROGRAMS
Super User Written by March 16, 2020

Honouring the formal invitation of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on Thursday, March 19th, 2020 is set to commission various ICT programs and projects coordinated, supervised and implemented by the Ministry under the able and brilliant leadership of its devoted, dedicated and forward-thinking Honourable Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM.

The official activities include;

1. Launch and unveil the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025;

2. Commission of the Communications and Digital Economy Complex;

3. Commission of the Abuja Emergency Communication Center and National Emergency Toll – Free Number 112;

4. Flag off of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training.

The projects and programs are in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on 28th November 2019.

The activities are targeted at ensuring effective developmental regulation of the Nigerian ICT sector, improve broadband penetration, enhance the security of the nation and responsiveness to emergency life treating situations and lastly empower the youths, women, people living with disabilities among others with the digital skills needed to excel in the 21st century to create potential employers in the society.

 

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

DR PANTAMI CHAIRS COMMITTEE TO HOST PRESIDENT BUHARI
Super User Written by March 13, 2020

Honouring the official invitation of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is set to commission various ICT programs coordinated and implemented by the Ministry under the able and brilliant leadership of its dedicated, focused and result oriented Honourable Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM.

The official engagements scheduled for 16th March 2020 include;

1. Launching and unveiling of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025;

2. Commissioning of the Communications and Digital Economy Complex;

3. Commissioning of the Abuja Emergency Communication Center and National Emergency Toll – Free Number 112;

4. Commissioning of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training.

It is on this backdrop the NEXT LEVEL Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami today officially inaugurated a Central Working Committee chaired by him. Other members of the committee include all Chief Executive Officers of Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry.

The four projects are in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on 28th November 2019.

The NDEPS consist of 8 pillars namely Developmental Regulation, Digital Literacy and Skills Development; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Digital Services Development and Promotion; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Society and Emerging Technologies and lastly Indigenous Content Development.

The four key activities to be performed by His Excellency, President Buhari is targeted at ensuring effective developmental regulation of the Nigerian ICT sector, improve broadband penetration, enhance the security of the nation and responsiveness to emergency life treating situations and lastly empower the youths, women, people living with disabilities among others with the digital skills needed to excel in the 21st century to create potential employers in the society.

 

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

Super User Written by March 13, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and first ever, of Digital Economy in Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), is an extraordinary human being. He has earned this status by virtue of his uncommon ability to pave ways and blaze the trail in hitherto uncharted territories, His ability to visualize the future technologically, and his uncanny focus in driving us towards that future determinedly, without a shred of doubt, In spite of the enormous challenges mostly peculiar, to our climes.

In the last few years, the global focus has gradually but surely shifted from mere ICTs to more advanced Digital Economies with particular focus on Digital Skills. While the rest of the world made real progress and changed the course of history in their respective domains, we as usual, engaged in theories and rhetoric for the most part. It took the assumption of Dr Pantami into office, as a Minister of the Federal Republic under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, to actively and properly ignite the Digital Economy Agenda of Nigeria. Pantami comes with an undeniable breath of fresh air heralding the much needed change.

Last week, as I listened to my Boss make his presentation to the Federal Executive Council, his passion and conviction were not lost on anyone seated in the President’s Council Chambers. He spoke the truth as usual and it was crystal clear that the way forward was through a digitalized economy. From the moment he initiated, pursued and got the President’s approval to expand the nomenclature of the Ministry of Communications to include Digital Economy, it was obvious to the discerning mind that this was no regular public office holder.
Having legalized the establishment of the supervisory ministry properly on the 17th October 2019, he set to work immediately. By November 28th the Digital Economy Strategy document was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari at the e-Nigeria summit. And there has been no looking back. Pantami believes that there is no dearth of potential in Nigeria and he demonstrates this conviction by engaging indigenous talent in executing his mandate. The Digital Economy Policy Strategy Document was put together by the Digital Minister himself and a few of his aides. Not a single foreign consultant was contracted to do the job, and this same document has attracted lots of global accolades and partnerships on an unprecedented level in the sector.

Global tech giant, Google’s Director of Public Policy and Emerging Markets, Doron Avni was on a working visit to the Minister’s office on February 19th. He expressly noted the similarities between Nigeria’s Digital Economy Pillars and his company’s vision, this has led to a partnership for a National Addressing System that will establish proper public addresses for every street in Nigeria. He has attracted a partnership with IBM in skill acquisition for talented Nigerians, Facebook is on board, the World Bank is involved on multiple levels. Every action, partnership, Memorandum of Understanding signed is geared towards one goal; to develop indigenous skills in technology and enhance digital literacy. The world is willing to partner with Nigeria seeing the vision, focus and level of intelligence the current leadership has brought to bear in the sector.

According to the World Bank Digital Economy Diagnostic Report, Nigeria accounts for 47% of West Africa’s population and half of the county’s population are under the age of 30. This means that we are uniquely positioned to not only reap the benefits of a Digital Economy, but actually lead the Digital Revolution in Africa, This ability to lead and conquer is the crux of the message Dr Pantami is preaching. Recently, my able Boss has been canvassing for the recognition and placement of skills over certificates. “paper qualifications can be misleading and may not count for much in this era of digital skills” he says. “For indigenous innovation to thrive, we must place emphasis on skills”. Pantami has ignited a new revolution among youths which is a driving force for technological skill acquisition and the zeal to produce employers of labour as against saturating an already groaning labour market. To this end, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy through its Agencies and parastatals in conjunction with global and local organizations have embarked on massive trainings of Nigerians across the country. Technology training centres are being established across board to facilitate access to skills.
The Academia, his constituency, is challenged to disrupt the curriculum and produce practical graduates of repute, who have the requisite skills to fit into a digital world. The response has been overwhelming as he personally takes his message to each campus; from kashere to Gombe, to Minna, to Kano to Lagos, Port Harcourt. Even to secondary schools. To listen to Dr Pantami mentor, teach and lecture these young ones about the importance of technological skills, you see a leader with a vision, a man in his elements and a true believer in the greatness of humanity. It is a given that he, more than any other youth in leadership, inspires a whole generation of Nigerians. The learned community is solidly behind one of their own, and at this rate, I humbly opine that the Nigerian Educational Curriculum is due for an overhaul streamlined within the requirements of a Digital Economy.

A Digital Economy is an enabler, capable of catapulting any aspect of our economy to any desired level. It is the platform on which a strong, durable and lasting foundation of global relevance and true economic empowerment can thrive. A digitalized economy is a transparent, progressive society that works, and it is easy to see how Dr Pantami would be drawn to such a cause considering his personality.
As the grand master of Nigeria’s Digital Economy Policy, my very thorough and realistic boss did not harbour any delusions about the challenges that came with the territory. He knew that his position as the pioneer Minister of a Digital Economy and his mission to change the status quo, would encounter both natural and man-made obstacles and he came ready. Pantami knew that to forge ahead, he would sometimes have to step out of his comfort zone and he is never one, to shy away from responsibility. Pantami sees and conducts himself as a federal minister, a nationalist, a patriot who is not restrained or confined by the artificial barriers and borders that limit productivity.

The potentially, economically crippling effects of the Right of Way (RoW) impasse between the state governors and Mobile Network Operators recently was effectively resolved in a professional and effective manner only an experienced conflict resolution expert can manage. Without further escalation of issues, he initiated and mediated in the process that saw some erstwhile aggrieved parties come to an agreement that averted a security and economic crisis. From a standpoint of a ten thousand naira rate, from the one hundred and forty five naira per linear metre, some state governors extended a total waiver as a gesture of support to building a digital economy. In a similar manner, he intervened in the face off between officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and service providers at the height of the Infrastructure maintenance crisis. Dr Pantami is currently obsessed with deploying telecommunications infrastructure across the country to greatly reduce, if not eradicate the over forty million underserved or unserved populace and to ensure the price of data is further reviewed downwards. “An increase in BroadBand penetration results in a phenomenal rise in the GDP of an economy” he enthuses. He has put in place an ambitious 5 year (2020 – 2025) broadband plan, aimed at achieving over 70% penetration as against the current 38.9%. Numerous studies have found a correlation between economic growth and broadband penetration.

With the emphasis on Digital Literacy and Skills, building a digital workforce, producing employers of labour, support and partnerships to drive indigenous innovation and a steady increase in broadband penetration, any economy will experience massive growth. He constituted a National Broadband Plan Committee, based purely on merit and proven competence, with a six week deadline that was met. The ultimate goal is to achieve about 70% penetration, but I can bet my salary that my boss has a 100% plan B agenda. Pantami is ambitious, very ambitious, extremely driven and a near perfectionist. He motivates people and brings out the best in them, indeed Ms Funke Opeke, the Committee’s Chair, would agree with me that working under his guidance is a life changing experience.

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, MCPN is truly an extraordinary human being. He embodies loyalty to authority and country as it is clear even to the blind that all his actions are geared towards achieving national goals. Leveraging on technology to fight insecurity, corruption and building a viable, stable digital economy. I read somewhere a very long time ago, that for every generation, a leader is raised for the greatness of a people. Sometimes, it is not the absence of a leader or leadership, but the ability to recognize, accept and support what has been given, is what really makes the difference.
Current statistics prove beyond every reasonable and unreasonable doubt that Nigeria has the very rare advantages of a massive youthful population, a considerable number of them being digital natives and an outstanding world of talent yet largely untapped, almost bursting at the seams. Pantami’s goal is to harness these talents, develop them, promote indigenous innovation, place this country on a technologically global pedestal that will secure the future we all dream and seek. To be left behind in this infinite tech race is to confine ourselves to a life of perpetual servitude.

The truth must be told however obvious it already is, and the truth is that the youths of Nigeria must recognize those who have demonstrated the capacity and discipline required to propel us to greatness. No silver – armour- wearing- figure, is going to pop out of the sky like spider man or voltron and perform magic, spinning webs and wielding magical swords. The youths especially, should strive to change the narrative and bring real value to the table. Technology is a leveler, it has no gender, no religion, no ethnicity, an open and infinite resource. Pantami is a unifier selflessly enabling that platform. A captain who knows his ship and steers it in very familiar waters with focus, good judgement, courage, discipline, justice and a determination to get to the desired destination safely. We need to wake up in earnest and heed this clarion call to save ourselves from perpetual obscurity and join hands with the progressive and result oriented Honourable Minister to develop our God-given resources for the good of all.

The difference between Dr Pantami and the vast majority of public office holders is implementation. Like he says; “We have a very fantastic blueprint across all sectors. But we cannot sit in our offices and expect people to comply like Angels, we must go out there, to ensure these laws are implemented. Our work is on the fields”. Believe me, most of us have never encountered a more dogged and law abiding personality like Pantami. Again, as he says, “we cannot do it alone”. Pantami’s watch word is POSSIBILITY nutured by competence and a determination to succeed. If the quest for leadership, courage, focus, resilience, intelligence, vision, youth, patriotism, selflessness, justice and worthy mentorship, has been solved by the emergence of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) what obstacles can prevent us as a people and a nation from achieving greatness?

 

Source: UWA SULEIMAN, Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy.

DR PANTAMI MEETS WITH SWEDEN AMBASSADOR
Super User Written by March 09, 2020

As part of an effort to drive a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today held an official meeting with the Ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria, Mr Carl Micheal Gran and the team from Sweden Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER).

The brief meeting was held at the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Abuja shortly after the Honourable Minister officially declared open a capacity development programme facilitated by Swedish Post and Telecoms and Sweden Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER).

Area of discussion include;

1.Capacity Development;

2. Developmental Regulation;

3. Solid Infrastructure;

4. Soft Infrastructure among others.

 

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

DIGITAL NIGERIA: DR PANTAMI VISITS HEAD OF SERVICE, SEEKS COLLABORATION TO ENHANCE CAPACITY OF CIVIL SERVANTS
Super User Written by March 05, 2020

Building on the fact that civil servants have a great role to play in driving eGovernance in Nigeria in line with the blueprint of the National Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today paid an official visit to the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

The Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami also use the opportunity to wish the Head of Service, Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan the best of luck in her new office and also prayed for her to have a successful tenure.

The Minister maintained that civil servants are key in the ongoing transformation of Nigeria's ICT sector and stressed that Digital Technology can help enhance the security of Nigeria, improve the economy and aid the fight against corruption.

 

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

PANTAMI HOST DELEGATION FROM CBN FINANCIAL INCLUSION SECRETARIATE
Super User Written by March 05, 2020

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Financial Inclusion Secretariat was on a working visit at the Ministry's Corporate Headquarters, Abuja.

The delegation was led by the Head of the Financial Inclusion Secretariat, Mr Oluikpe Paul Ihuoma.

The team was at the Ministry to brief the NEXT LEVEL Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM about their activities and also present the revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy to the Minister.

 

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