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EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TO DOMINATE THE WORLD IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS – DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by December 03, 2019

Building on the fact that in the field of Information and Communication Technology, innovation has been a critical factor in the success of the industry as disruptive technologies have rendered so many others obsolete, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has emphasized on the need to embrace innovation.

The Honourable Minister said, “emerging technologies are coming up with new solutions, most probably in the next 5 years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will dominate the world”.

The Minister made this known today while addressing a team from World Bank Group and it’s Sister Agency, International Financial Corporation (IFC) who paid a working visit to the Ministry's Corporate Headquarters, Abuja.

The delegation was at the ministry to strengthen existing relationships and also explore other possible areas of collaboration aimed at fostering a Digital Economy in Nigeria.

The main highlight of the day was the official presentation of a copy of the "Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic Report" to the Honourable Minister by the Country Director World Bank Group, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri.

 

 

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

PANTAMI DIRECTS NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NCC) TO IMPLEMENT EXECUTIVE ORDERS 003 AND 005 IN THE AWARD OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONTRACTS
Super User Written by December 03, 2019

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has mandated the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Executive Orders 003 and 005 as contained in the Presidential directives of 1st May 2017 and 12th February 2018 respectively, in awarding contracts in the sector .

Stakeholders have drawn the attention of the Honourable Minister to the non-compliance of the sector regulator with the policy, as a result of which indigenous companies in the sector have continued to be sidelined.

The Executive Orders 003 of 2017 and 005 of 2018, were specifically enacted to give impetus to the Local Content Development and Promotion drive of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as the Telecommunications sub-sector is one of the most important.

Executive Order 003, which is aimed at support for Local Content in public procurement by the Federal Government of Nigeria, expressly states that, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) shall grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers, in their procurement of goods and services. Executive Order 005 which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, on 12th February 2018, however, is even more specifically directed at the sector. The document titled Planning and Execution of Projects and Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts of Science, Engineering and Technology, directs all MDAs to engage indigenous professionals in the planning , design and execution of national security projects and maximize in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with Science, Technology and Engineering components.

In light of this, it is our obligation to entrench the rule of law and ensure as much as possible, National Security Infrastructure and information, is domiciled locally with local companies as a first choice, and indigenous innovation is developed by adhering to the tenets of the Executive Orders outlined above.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Policy of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), and the Ministry’s mandate, has directed the sector regulator NCC, to immediately:

  1. Review the Telecommunications sub-sector activities and give top priority and preference to Nigerian companies, with the requisite skills and qualifications;
  2. Provide an enabling environment for local capacity to develop through collaborations with foreign companies, in the event that the contract is awarded to a foreign company, where indigenous capacity is lacking; and
  3. Ensure that patronage of Indigenous Content, as outlined in the Executive Orders are complied with, in the sub-sector.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, is confident that the leadership of NCC will rise to the occasion and expedite action on this matter a month from the date of issue of this directive. Dr Pantami assures all Nigerians of his commitment to the protection of the rights of all citizens and the delivery of our mandate.

Signed

 

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy

2nd December 2019

Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Dr. Nonye Nwachukwu, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Musa Istifanus and |Gombe State Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Aishatu Umar Maigari at the 7th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy with the theme “Leveraging the gain of ICTs in Developing and Implementing Digital Economy Strategy in Nigeria” holding at the Banquet Hall, Government House. Gombe, Gombe State.
Super User Written by December 02, 2019

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Mr. Musa Istifanus has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to fully integrate ICTs into the socio-economic development of Nigeria in order to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy.

He stated this at the opening ceremony of the 7th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy with the theme “Leveraging the gain of ICTs in Developing and Implementing Digital Economy Strategy in Nigeria” holding at the Banquet Hall, Government House. Gombe, Gombe State.

The Permanent Secretary stated that connectivity, capacity building and inter-agency collaboration, are key factors that will bridge the digital divide and enhance technology development across the nation.

In his words, “the policy thrusts of the Ministry clearly articulate government’s intent in a number of thematic areas amongst which are local content development, ICT Research, Development and Innovation, Investment and Funding, inter agency cooperation in ICT Hardware production, Universal access and service Internet and broadband”

He pointed out that society has realized the gains of ICTs and government is committed to utilizing these possibilities with new policies interventions that would be required to address global challenges in areas such as digital economy and local challenges of societal cohesion, escalating healthcare costs, aging society and life-style change.

Istifanus said, “new technologies (devices, mobility) and technology capabilities (interoperability, security, data analytics) offer new ways to make this achievable. The society is moving towards transparency and openness.  There are initiatives to increase the engagement with the citizen, attract usage, develop increased levels of thrust, and improve the service delivery. ICT offers the best platform to achieve this”.

He urged the participants to take advantage of the many sessions at the meeting to come up with resolutions to address challenges in the present-day realities and take advantage of the networking opportunities available to forge strategic partnership towards realizing the vision of a new Nigeria.

Earlier, the Gombe State Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Aishatu Umar Maigari thanked the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy for choosing the state to host the 2019 council meeting in Gombe State.

 

Source: Press Unit, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

PRESIDENT BUHARI UNVEILS NATIONAL DIGITAL ECONOMY POLICY
Super User Written by November 29, 2019

President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled the National Digital Economy Policy, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

The unveiling was performed during the e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibition and Awards 2019 at the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja.

As part of key requirements of the e-government master plan, the President has directed government institutions, “to create a digital transformation technical working group that will work with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to ensure seamless and coordinated implementation of projects, programmes and policies”

He said that the Nigeria e-government interoperability framework, Enterprise Architecture and the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation are in place and all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are expected to comply with these policies.

President Buhari directed the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to develop training and sensitization programmes that will be rolled out across all key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure seamless implementation of the master plan.

He reiterated that, the digitalization of key activities such as the Bank verification number (BVN), Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) has enabled government to save cost and fight corruption.

The President posited that the second quarter report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for 2019, showed that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, contributed an impressive 13.85% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria. This clearly shows the importance and potential of the ICT sector to the job creation and economic diversification agenda of his administration.

In his words, “Nigerian ICT startups are leaving their mark on the global stage. At the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), a Nigerian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solutions Provider, Chiniki Guard, beat 750 contestants from 76 countries to clinch the number one spot. We shall continue to encourage and support such digital entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions for local and global challenges”.

President Buhari recalled his directive to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the e-Nigeria 2018 Conference that all government funded ICT projects must be reviewed and cleared by the Agency, and this implementation of this directive  has saved over 16.8 billion naira for the Federal Goverment.

Earlier, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), called on stakeholders across the country to support the Federal Government in achieving a digital economy by 2023.

The Minister said the administration of President Buhari which is focused on economy diversification, ensuring security and fighting corruption, will leverage on deploying Information Communications Technology (ICT) in achieving the set agenda.

He said delivering a digital economic country prompted the president to recently change the portfolio of the Ministry of Communications to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

 “We are working on development regulations, digital integration, building solid infrastructure, deployment of emerging technologies, as well as local content promotion and we want all hands on deck,” Pantami said.

 

Source: Press Unit, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

NIGERIAN PRESIDENT COMMENDS COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL ECONOMY MINISTRY FOR ENDING CIRCULATION OF IMPROPERLY REGISTERED SIM CARDS IN NIGERIA
Super User Written by November 28, 2019

It is a known fact that since the year 2010 when SIM Cards registration was first introduced in Nigeria, the country has been battling with the menace of persistent circulation of improperly registered SIM Cards. A position the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS FIIM found worrisome and immediately took the bull by the horn and addressed the challenge within 40 days in office.

It is on this backdrop that His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR commended the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for being proactive, efficient and effective under the current leadership of Dr Pantami.

The Nigerian President said “ we were happy to be informed that over 9.2 million SIM cards were normalized, blocked or deactivated in less than 40 days. This is a very good development and will have a positive impact on our security as a nation. The Ministry deserves commendation for this timely and proactive measure and you need to stay vigilant to ensure that we never return to an era where improperly registered SIM cards make our mobile networks ready vehicles for crime.”

President Buhari also applauded the Ministry’s recent effort which is aimed at protecting the rights of the telecom consumers in line with global best practices.

 

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

PRESIDENT BUHARI EXPRESSES DELIGHT TO BE PART OF ENIGERIA SUMMIT, UNVEILS NATIONAL DIGITAL ECONOMY POLICY AND STRATEGY
Super User Written by November 28, 2019

I am delighted to participate in the Opening Ceremony of eNigeria 2019 Conference, Exhibitions and Awards, where we will discuss a very important area of focus of my administration- The National Digital Economy, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR has said.

The Nigerian President made this assertion today while officially declaring the two-day Information Technology (IT) summit open.

President Buhari reminded the gathering that the Global Digital Economy is expanding at a very fast pace, which necessitated his decision to redesignate the Federal Ministry of Communications as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to allow the Ministry develop and implement a digital economy policy and strategy for Nigeria.

The Nigerian Head of State further harped on the important role the Digital Economy is already playing in improving security, fighting corruption and in developing the economy which happens to be the three cardinal campaign promises of His Excellency.

“The Digital Economy is already enabling us to fight corruption through the enforcement of digitally enabled policies like the Bank Verification Number (BVN), Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). These policies have saved government about N300billion annually and made the issue of ghost workers a thing of the past” he said.

The Nigerian Number 1 Citizen immediately directed all Federal Public Institutions to kick start the process of digitalising their activities and actively participate in the capacity development programs being organized by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Mr President also disclosed that the NEXT LEVEL administration will support the emergence of digital entrepreneurs and ensure digital and financial inclusion for Nigerians from all works of life, as part of the move to drive the implementation of the digital economy.

His Excellency concluded his remarks with a directive to the Communications and Digital Economy Ministry to coordinate all activities of the relevant institutions that are geared towards the attainment of a digital economy.

 

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

PRESIDENT BUHARI HONORS DR PANTAMI'S INVITATION, DECLARES ENIGERIA 2019 OPEN
Super User Written by November 28, 2019

Honoring the Invitations of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Panatami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM to serve as the Special Guest of Honour and officially declare eNigeria 2019 Conference, Exhibitions and Awards Open, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR today for the third year consecutively declared the IT summit open.

The eNigeria 2019 conference is with the theme “National Digital Economy”. The two-day event holding at the International Conference Center, Abuja is a veritable platform for stakeholders in the Information Technology (IT) Sector to brainstorm and come up with resolutions that would place Nigeria on the path of success in line with global best practices.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy is the Chief Host/ Chief Convener of the event, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mal Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is the Host/ Convener while the heads of parastatals and agencies under the supervision of the Ministry namely Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) Galaxy Backbone Limited and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) serve as the Co-Conveners. The Keynote address was delivered by CEO of MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke.

The main highlight of the day was the official opening and unveiling of the NATIONAL DIGITAL ECONOMY POLICY AND STRATEGY and also the presentation of the Startup Seed Fund to the Sum of 3 Million Naira each to Abdulkarim Bashir of Chiniki Guard and Osawaru Stephen of 247 Medics. Both excelled brilliantly during the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Chiniki Guard was the Overall Global Winner at GITEX 2019 Supernova Challenge (AI) Category.

 

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

DR PANTAMI EXPRESSES DISCONTENT WITH THE CURRENT STATE OF NIPOST
Super User Written by November 28, 2019

I am very uncomfortable with the current state of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) as at today. Nigerians are complaining about inefficient services, most NIPOST offices are visibly dilapidated, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has said.

The Honourable Minister made his position known while making his remarks as chairman of the steering committee of the postal sector, reform, restructuring and modernisation of NIPOST, during an official meeting which was held today at the Ministry’s Headquarters, Abuja. The meeting was part of a move for the partial commercialisation of NIPOST.

The Minister stated that daily, Nigerians on social media are lamenting about unprofessional services provided by NIPOST such as missing parcels, parcels tampered with or delivered to the wrong location which he finds worrisome because NIPOST falls under the supervision of the Ministry.

Dr Pantami further directed the project delivery team to provide him with a weekly update about its activities and currently focus on NIPOST retaining its name and also coming up with two non-postal subsidiary companies namely NIPOST Transport and Logistics Services Limited and NIPOST Properties and Development Company Limited.

The steering committee has the Honourable Minister as the Chairman, the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex A. Okoh, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Musa F. Istifanus, Chairperson of the NIPOST Board, Barr Maimuna Yahaya Abubakar as members, among others.

 

 

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

PUBLIC AWARENESS ON ANTI-PROGRESSIVE ACTIVITIES BY CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS
Super User Written by November 25, 2019

This is to notify the general public, that the Office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, is not unaware of the clandestine attempts by some unpatriotic elements at sabotaging the efforts being made by the Ministry to deliver its mandate to Nigerians.

It is no news that the proactive policy direction, anti corruption and economically empowering  principles, characteristic of the current leadership of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has impacted hugely on the lives of ordinary Nigerians who have hitherto been helpless in the face of blatant exploitation. Since assumption of office, the Honourable Minister has consistently rolled out policies that strive to protect the consumer and entrench discipline and professionalism in the sector, this stand has obviously ruffled some feathers whose sole aim is to discredit Dr Pantami’s mass-friendly policies.

Investigations into the suspicious activities of some disgruntled elements, has exposed attempts at a malicious smear campaign, bankrolled by unscrupulous elements are uncomfortable with the Minister’s people-oriented policies because, they can no longer conduct business as usual. The strategy is to compromise the media, using financial inducements and they have raised a considerable amount of money for this campaign. The objective of this bogus façade, is to intimidate us into allowing the continued exploitation of Nigerians by compromising regulators. The gentlemen and women of the esteemed fourth estate of the realm are hereby called upon, to shun all attempts at demeaning the noble pen profession and uphold the integrity of their character. We commend the resilience of some media persons who resisted the lure of evil, refused to be compromised and reached out to us. We are proud of the level of professionalism and patriotism demonstrated by the press which resulted in the woeful failure of the despicable campaign.

The Office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy shall pursue and uphold its mandate, in line with the Three Point Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. No acts of corruption or injustice shall be condoned. We will neither be intimidated by fifth columnists or any agents of dubious intentions, nor be blackmailed into submission.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy  considers it duty-bound, to provide non-discriminatory policy directions for the benefit of every Nigerian, ensure that consumers are protected from exploitation, provide an enabling environment for investors and operators, and enhance the independence of all regulatory Parastatals under his purview. The hitherto existing relationship between Regulators and Operators which more often than not, compromises the former, is one that cannot thrive under the current leadership. The Honourable Minister is determined to ensure that the unhealthy dependence of Regulators on Operators is addressed, so that Regulators can be very objective.

We hereby urge the general public, to be alert to the shady activities of these corrupt individuals, and disregard any information that contravenes the policies of the Ministry. We will continue to render public service in line with global best practice.

 

Signed

Uwa Suleiman

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy

25th  November, 2019

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT URGES STATES TO PROTECT CRITICAL NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE (CNI) AND ALLOW FUELLING THEIR FACILITIES
Super User Written by November 22, 2019

The attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has been drawn to very serious, unpatriotic and corrupt activities of some criminal elements within the public service, who have continued to engage in acts capable of undermining the national security.

The office of the Honourable Minister has received several complaints from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) about the unfortunate incidences of forced closures or outright destruction of Telecommunications Infrastructure in some parts of the country. Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and other telecommunications facilities are reportedly being vandalised and MNOs, are hindered from delivering the requisite services to the consumer by state owned Agencies in some parts of the country.

In a correspondence with the Honourable Minister, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) confirmed and emphasised that, telecommunications infrastructure are a Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), and are central to national security. Also, these actions constitute a violation of relevant laws of Nigeria and are a threat to national economic development as most businesses nowadays, depend on services provided by telecommunications operators.

In line with the provisions of the Cybercrime Act of 2015, Telecommunications Infrastructure are designated CNI and therefore, any acts of vandalism or deliberate obstruction of service delivery is deemed unlawful and punishable by law. The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in an earlier intervention to bring this challenge to a permanent end, had written to all affected state chief executives in this regard, urging them to ensure that all agencies and residents, within their respective domains desist from these despicable acts.

In an era where development is tech-driven and the Federal Government is making concerted efforts to digitalise the economy, the actions of these unscrupulous elements strive to undermine the President’s Digital Economy Agenda and indeed, the overall development of the country.

This wanton destruction and total disregard for CNI, must be stopped forthwith.  The Federal Government is doing all it can, to ensure the security of the lives and properties of its citizens and will not condone any acts, that will jeopardise its efforts. All Governors whose states are affected by this scourge, are respectfully reminded and encouraged, to immediately deploy strategies that will bring an end to it. As Chief Security Officers (CSOs) of their various states, they are to ensure the immediate implementation of, and compliance with this directive and anyone who persists with this criminal act brought to book in accordance with the law.

In a related development, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, is concerned about the obstruction and hinderance to the activities of MNOs, by some men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), thereby constituting a challenge to telecommunications services delivery.

Numerous complaints reaching the Minister’s office allege that men of the service, especially around border towns where BTS are located, deny passage to petrol tank drivers, thereby denying them access to refuel generators supplying power to these base stations. The effects of these acts are a threat to national security and economic growth and cannot be ignored.

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, while applauding the revived efforts of the NCS in tackling the activities of smugglers, however, urges the service to direct its officers deployed to these locations, to identify and grant concession to genuine drivers carrying petroleum supplies to remote locations and are a critical link in the chain. The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, is centred around a Digital Economy and the telecoms sector, occupies a central position in the scheme of things. It is of utmost importance that public institutions collaborate and form partnerships that will ensure the security and prosperity of all Nigerians.   

The Federal Government assures stakeholders, operators and indeed all law abiding citizens, of its commitment to providing a safe business environment for investments to thrive.

Signed

 

Uwa Suleiman

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy

22nd November, 2019