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7.5% VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) DEDUCTIONS ON VOICE CALLS AND TEXT MESSAGES
Super User Written by February 06, 2020

The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, MCPN has been inundated with complaints and enquiries concerning the recent 7.5% VAT deductions on voice calls and text messages, by some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

While we appreciate the support and efforts of well meaning Nigerians who have sought clarifications in a civil manner, we wish to inform the general public that the issues of VAT, do not fall under the Ministry’s purview. The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy is not mandated to handle VAT.

In the same vein, we also wish to notify the general public that contrary to popular opinion in some quarters, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy had no prior consultation or awareness about the development. All further enquiries and clarifications may henceforth be directed to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), being the proper institution for tax matters.

The Honourable Minister assures all Nigerians that under his leadership, the interest of all Nigerians will be protected.

 

Signed
Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy
6th February 2020

REVISED POLICY ON SIM CARD REGISTRATION AND USAGE
Super User Written by February 05, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to revise the Policy on SIM Card registration and usage. This is in line with the Powers of the Minister as stated in Section 25(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003- "the Minister shall, in writing, from time to time notify the Commission or and express his views on the general policy direction of the Federal Government in respect of the communications sector."

The revision of the Policy is based on the feedback received from the security agencies following the successful revalidation of improperly registered SIM cards in September 2019 and the blocking of those that failed to revalidate their SIMs.

The updated Policy is expected to include the following provisions, amongst others:

(i) Ensure that the National Identity Number (NIN) becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards (while for foreigners, their passports and visas should be used), while already registered SIM cards are to be updated with National Identity Number (NIN) before 1st December, 2020;

(ii) Ensure that only fully accredited agents support the SIM card registration process without pre-registering SIM cards themselves, while the eventual registration should be done by the operators;

(iii) There should be a maximum number of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual, possibly a maximum of 3;

(iv) Ensure that no unregistered SIMs are ever allowed on mobile networks;

(v) Ensure that subscribers can easily check the number of SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks;

(vi) Ensure that mobile network operators fortify their networks against cyberattacks and ensure that they adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR); and

(vii) Ensure that SIM cards that have been used to perpetrate crimes are permanently deactivated.

The NCC is to provide the Honourable Minister with progress reports on the implementation of the revised Policy.

 

Dr Femi Adeluyi
Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the
Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy
5th February 2020

Ag. Permanent Secretary, Director (Human Resource), Mr. El Baff Mahdi, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali (Pantami), Chairman, Governing Board of NITDA, Dr. Abubakar Saidu, Director General (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa,  during the inauguration of the Chairman Governing Board of NITDA, and its members at the Ministry’s Headquarter in Abuja
Super User Written by January 31, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS has charged the newly inaugurated governing Board members of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to adhere to administrative laws and guideline put in place by the Federal Government.

He gave the charge when he inaugurated the Chairman Governing Board of NITDA, Dr. Abubakar Saidu and its members at the Ministry’s Headquarter in Abuja.

Inaugurating the board, the Minister advised members of the governing board to understand the laws and guidelines put in place by the Federal government especially the administrative laws and urged each member to review and understand it.

He pointed out that the day to day activities of each and every parastatals lies with the management adding that neither the Ministry nor the governing Board has anything to do with the day to day running of the parastatals.

In his words, “the day to day activities of the parastatals has been with the Chief Executive and its management team, they have to do that and nobody has power to go and do day to day activities for them. The Ministry supervises what they are doing because the power of supervision lies with the Ministry while the governing Board power is to cascade policies. Board has no power to initiate policy except the policy of the Federal Government”.

According to him, “we have been receiving complaint of conflict of roles sometimes within the board on one hand and the management on the other. I hope that this would not emerge from NITDA. We need to demonstrate highest maturity and leave with one another as well as have a very cordial relationship between the management and the board”.

Pantami said that he did not have any perception except positive and hope that they will demonstrate highest level of maturity in managing the board. However, “when there is anything that is reported to us, we investigate. Both Board members and management can always be sanctioned by the government because they are all federal government appointees”. He stressed.

The Chairman, Governing Board of NITDA, Dr. Abubakar Saidu thanked Mr. President for approving their appointment to serve on the board adding that it is a big responsibility for them to maintain the good work of the agency.

“This is a very big responsibility given to us and with my team we see that we maintain and improve what is already on ground. I am sure from what I have seen so far we have the support from the Ministry and the President”.

 

Source: Press Unit, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO DEVELOP OUR NIGERIA POSTCODE - PANTAMI
Super User Written by February 04, 2020
This is the best time to develop our Nigeria Postcode, this will go a long way in enhancing the security of Nigeria. I have been appointed to serve, I am here to support and promote any project of National interest, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has said. The Honourable Minister made this assertion today while making his remarks during a meeting held with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) at the Ministry's Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. The NFIU team was led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Modibbo HammanTukur and were at the Ministry to brief and seek the professional guidance of Chief ICT Policy Maker of Nigeria about a proposed Centralized Verified Address Database tagged Location Code (LoCode). The LoCode when deployed is aimed at using a Geographic Information System that synchronizes with all available National Database in Nigeria to pinpoint addresses of every Citizen. Dr Pantami finally gave a word of caution stressing that “Thinking Globally and Acting Locally is very important because every terrain has its peculiar challenges”. Source: Mr Yusuf Abubakar, Personal Assistant (New Media) to The Minister
DATA: BUILDING A DIGITAL ECONOMY FOR A DIGITAL NIGERIA – DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by January 31, 2020

Honouring the invitation of the Governing Council of Federal University of Technology, Minna, extended by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Abdullahi Bala, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today delivered the year 2020 Convocation Lecture at the Minna Higher institution of learning.

The Chief ICT Policy Maker of Nigeria paper was titled: DATAFICATION OF SOCIETY: ECONOMIC AND SECURITY ISSUES IN PRODUCING AND USING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE DATA IN NIGERIA.

In his two hours presentation, the energetic, vibrant, young charismatic Federal Executive Council Member congratulated the graduands’, stating that their labour has been rewarded. Dr Pantami, however, reminded the graduates that graduation is only a starting point, and encouraged the graduating students not to rest on their oars in the pursuit of a lifetime of significance.

The Honourable Minister also encouraged the students to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired over time to make a positive difference in the society, highlighting that with the re-designation of Federal Ministry of Communications as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the Ministry under his watch has been positioned to drive a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.

“The re-designation reflects the focus of Mr President to emphasize the need to build a digital economy. The new name addresses the new mandate of the Ministry; communications addresses the channel, digital addresses the nature of the content and economy reflects the central focus of the activities of the Ministry, which is the development of the economy in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government”, the Minister said.

The NEXT LEVEL Minister further stated that the focus on growing the National Digital Economy will also improve Nigeria’s traditional economy and will enable her to get a slice of the Global Digital Economy which Oxford Economics values at 11.5 trillion dollars or approximately 16% of the Global Economy.

The Minister likewise maintained that Data is critical to the success of the digital economy, underscoring that Data drives the digital economy and the digital economy drives the growth of the traditional economy.

Dr Pantami while underscoring the importance of data said, “In the recent past, Nigeria’s wealth was mainly measured by the minerals and natural resources it has been endowed with but we are now moving into an era where our wealth will be measured by our digital resources and the innovation of Nigerians. “

Pantami additionally cited an example with the leading companies of today such as Amazons, Googles, Facebooks and Microsofts that primarily have a high level of valuation because they warehouse and process massive amounts of both structured and unstructured data.

The Federal Executive Council member concluded the lecture by urging the assembly to join hands in building a Nigeria where data will prosper the Nation’s economy, rather than create division among people.

He reechoed that datafication has come to stay in Nigeria and that the rebirth Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under his watch is committed to taking advantage of the position to develop a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.

 

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

MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdinand Moolman, MTN Nigeria Chairman, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, MTN Group Chairman, Mabisi Jonas and MTN Group President/CEO, Mr. Rob Shuter during a paid him a courtesy call to the Ministry’s Headquarters, Abuja
Super User Written by January 29, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, has urged all telecommunications Companies operating in Nigeria to improve the quality of services in order to satisfy their customers in the country.

Pantami gave this charge to the MTN Board led by MTN Group Chairman, Mabisi Jonas when they paid him a courtesy call today in his office in Abuja.

The Minister pointed out that Federal Government is committed to provide conducive and enabling environment for all Mobile telecommunications operating in the country to do their business without any hindrance in any part of the country.

In his words, "I am happy that you also appreciated our modest efforts in addressing most of the challenges being faced by mobile Telecommunications in Nigeria. I believe every Country has its own peculiar challenge".

"We have achieved a lot in addressing most of the challenges; issues of vandalism, Right of Ways (RoW) and several others". He stressed.

The Minister added “we are working on strengthening the policy to ensure that telecommunications infrastructures are well protected in the Country and the President has given directives to Security Agencies that they should provide security to critical telecommunications infrastructure in their different locations in the country".

Dr. Pantami expressed gratitude to the Board and stated that MTN has the largest market in Nigeria and globally. He however expressed concerned at the untapped market and enjoined the telecommunications companies to exploit the market opportunity in the country legitimately.

On the $1.6 billion MTN budgeted to invest in Nigeria for the next three years, the Minister said “I am glad to hear that you have a budget of $1.6 billion you plan to invest in Nigeria in the next three years. Please, try to get your priorities right. Look at the areas that are underserved and invest and the earlier you realised that, the better for you".

Earlier, the MTN Group President/CEO, Mr. Rob Shuter, who spoke on behalf of the team, said that MTN has budgeted $1.6 billion to invest in Nigeria market for the next three years. He added that Nigeria Investors' shares in MTN are growing rapidly.

Also on the team is the MTN Nigeria Chairman, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdinand Moolman. Others are Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN Nigeria, Public Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Anas Galadima.

 

Source: Press Unit, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

PANTAMI INAUGURATES GOVERNING BOARD OF NIGCOMSAT
Super User Written by January 24, 2020

In his capacity as a Federal Executive Council Member charged with the responsibility of advising Mr President, and implementing his policies, directives and resolutions, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has today officially inaugurated the recently appointed Chairman and Governing Board Members of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.

The brief ceremony was held at the Ministry’s Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. The first to take the oath of office was the Chairman of the Governing Board, Arch Yusuf Kazaure and followed by other members appointed alongside him.

The brilliant tech-savvy Honourable Minister while making his remarks urged the Governing Board Members to always read, learn, unlearn and relearn so as not to become obsolete. The Minister stressed that the task to move Nigeria’s ICT sector is a huge one and requires 100% commitment.

The Honourable Minister also reminded the Governing Board of the Performance targets set for NIGCOMSAT and stated that the day of reckoning will come where he will require a report in writing, maintaining that inefficiency will not be accepted under his watch.

Dr Pantami further stated that the recently approved 2 subsidiary companies under NIGCOMSAT, (Satellite Infrastructure Company and Satellite Broadband Broadcasting Company) are all aimed at delivering effective and efficient services to Nigerians in line with the NEXT LEVEL agenda of the present administration.

 

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

 

 

FG TO PROTECT TELECOM INFRASTRUCTURES - DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by January 26, 2020

Building on the fact that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has leapfrogged Oil and Gas in contribution to Nigeria's GDP, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria has officially directed security agencies to protect telecom infrastructures against vandalism, theft, hooliganism and other forms of negative vices.

This honest, upright and progressive NEXT LEVEL Prime Mover Minister stated that the move is part of an effort to create an enabling environment that can attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and drive a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.

The young, energetic and vibrant Minister made this disclosure today while making his remarks during the Premier of Airtel Touching Lives Season 5 which was held in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister also informed the gathering that the Issue of Right of Way (RoW) has been resolved following his systematic approach of addressing the Nigerian State Governors collectively in a bid to accelerate broadband penetration in Nigeria, cleanse the sector out of corruption and position it on the path of progress.

The Honourable Minister also commended Airtel Nigeria for its initiative to give back to society as part of it's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Dr Pantam maintained that givers never lack. He said, " the Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility Include:

1. Brand Recognition;

2. Improved Reputation of the Company;

3. Improved Image and

4. Customer Loyalty

Present at the gathering was the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Ghana, represented by the Ghana Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Ooni of Ife: Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi among others.

 

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

 

 

Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Professor Mohammed Abubakar, Mr. Hadi Mohammed, Executive Director, Finance & Admin, Permanent Secretary, Musa Istifanus, Oyo State Deputy Governor, Aderemi R. Olalekan, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, Chairman NIGCOMSAT Board, ARC. Yusuf Kazaure Managing Director NIGCOMSAT, Ms. Abimbola Alale, Ja’Afaru Bambale, Executive Director Technical and Dr. Najeem Salaam, Executive Director Marketing & Business Development during the inauguration of the NIGCOMSAT Board
Super User Written by January 27, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has inaugurated a governing committee of the e-Government training Centre to facilitate training of civil servant in digital skills in the country.

The Committee which comprises of members from relevant government agencies from Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Public Service Institute of Nigeria |(PSIN) was inaugurated at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja.

The Minister said in compliance with the directive of Mr. President to the Ministry to ensure digitalization process of government activities, the training center would provide civil servants basic, intermediate and advance training skills base on the role they play in their various MDAs.

He said, “in order to ensure that at least we implement the directives given to us. Firstly, we commissioned the center, the center has been handed over to us since November 2019 by KOICA, however, before formal handover we started using the center to train civil servants”.

Pantami expressed that government intends to establish training centers in the geo-political zones in the country to make it easier for civil servants to be trained in their zones.

Among the terms of reference to the committee are to establish the legal and regulatory framework requirement, review and monitor the operational procedure, and to provide a strategy to ensure the sustainability of the center and oversee its implementation.

Others are to monitor and ensure the facility and technology management of the center meets global standards and to develop and implement strategy towards attracting funding, collaborations and expanding the center.

The Committee is jointly chaired by the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, and the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Limited, Professor Mohammed Abubakar.

In a related event, the Honourable Minister inaugurated the Chairman and members of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) Board and urged them to ensure the recently approved satellite infrastructure company and the satellite Broadband and Broadcasting company take off immediately.

According to him, “These two companies are very apt and they came at the right time. You have to hit the ground running immediately because we are trying to ensure that NIGCOMSAT is not only competitive in Nigeria but at least in Africa and Asia”.

In his respond, the Chairman of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Arc. Yusuf Kazaure thanked the Honourable Minister for the expression of support and marching order along the line of the new vision for NIGCOMSAT.

“We will make effort to be part of the drive to achieve digital economy and look forward to create necessary partnership with the agencies within the Ministry, other agencies outside the Ministry as well as other ICT ecosystem”. He stressed.

The inaugurated members of the NIGCOMSAT Board were ARC. Yusuf Kazaure (Chairman), Mr. Hadi Mohammed, Executive Director, Finance & Admin, Abdu Ja’Afaru Bambale, Executive Director Technical and Dr. Najeem Salaam, Executive Director Marketing & Business Development

 

Source: Press Unit, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

 

 

DATA IS KEY IN DRIVING A DIGITAL ECONOMY FOR A DIGITAL NIGERIA – DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by January 29, 2020

In line with the vision of His Excellency, President Muhammdu Buhari's led administration 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 has reiterated the importance of harnessing data for National Economic Development, stressing that the Digital Economy relies solely on Data.

The Tech Savvy Minister made this known today while making his remarks as a Special Guest of Honour during the National Privacy Week Public Awareness Workshop 2020 organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) with the theme: DATA PRIVACY IN A DIGITAL ECONOMY, which was held at NAF Conference Center, Abuja.

The workshop was aimed at:

1. Understanding the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR);

2. The implication of the NDPR on the Digital Economy Policy and Strategy;

3. Rights of Data Subjects and

4. Roles of CEOs & Management in Data Protection.

Dr Pantami also called on the gathering to embrace Digital Platforms in their day to day transactions, maintaining that under his watch as the Chief ICT Policy Maker in Nigeria, no government at any level or Private Entity will abuse the data of Nigerians.

The NEXT LEVEL Minister further stated that looking at the youthful population of Nigeria that is blessed with digital natives that are addicted to technology, the time is right for all Nigerian to embrace the digital transformation.

 

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