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DR PANTAMI IS A MAN OF INTEGRITY - PROF OGUNDIPE
Super User Written by January 16, 2020

The Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has described the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM as a man of unquestionable integrity who keeps to his promise.

The Vice Chancellor made his position known today when he led the management of the institution to a courtesy visit to appreciate the Honourable Minister for the various IT intervention projects donated to the institution aimed at enhancing research and learning.

The VC also invited the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami to deliver a lecture at the upcoming convocation ceremony of the institution scheduled to hold in March.

In his remarks, the NEXT LEVEL vibrant, energetic and focused Minister, Dr Pantami pledged the Ministry’s commitment under his watch to bridge the gap between academia and industry, stressing that skills are very important and critical in driving a digital economy in Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister said “in Nigeria today, we are producing many potential employees and fewer potential employers”, adding that “in technology and most importantly in digital technology, if you can marry both degrees and skills that is the best, however, if it's only one, then skills have priority over certificates”.

Dr Pantami maintained that there is a need to think outside the box and enhance the skills of the younger generation through mentorship to drive a digital economy and position the country on the path of prosperity.

 

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

 

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROWNS AT THE STATE GOVERNMENTS’ DISREGARD OF RIGHT OF WAY CHARGE AGREEMENT
Super User Written by January 16, 2020

We received with dismay the decision of some states of the Federation to increase the Right of Way charges in disregard of the resolutions reached by the National Economic Council (NEC).

It may be recalled that in 2013, NEC set up a Committee comprising State Governors and Ministers to review the issues of multiple taxation in the telecommunications Industry in Nigeria and its impact. The Committee, after extensive and wide-ranging consultations, resolved to harmonize the taxes applicable to broadband related activities and streamline the taxation management processes across the Federation. Specifically, to deepen broadband penetration for the social and economic development of the country, the Committee agreed to the uniform Right of Way (RoW) charge of N145.00 per linear meter of fibre.

It may also be recalled that in October 2019, we had written to all the State Governors, drawing their attention to these resolutions and soliciting their support and collaboration towards the realisation of the National Digital Economy by fast-tracking the deployment of broadband infrastructure for the provision of affordable internet services to underserved and unserved areas.

It is true that the digital economy today is strategically dominating the world economy. Oxford Economics puts the current value of the digital economy at $11.5 trillion which is about 16% of the world economy. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum revealed that 60% of the global economy is expected to be digitised by 2022. With the renaming of the Federal Ministry of Communications to Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy as well as the unveiling of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy by Mr President, we are on the path of realising the potentials of the digital economy.

It is however disheartening to hear that some States have decided to disregard these resolutions and have, in some cases, increased the RoW charges by over 1,200%. This will no doubt impact negatively on the efforts being made by the Federal Government. It is established that there is a strong correlation between a country’s broadband penetration and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). An ITU study on Africa indicates that a 10% broadband penetration would result in an increase of 2.5% of GDP per capita.

We are therefore calling on all State Governors, especially those that have made public their decisions to increase the RoW charges, to reconsider these decisions in the interest of Nigerians as well as for the socio-economic growth and development of the country. We also draw their attention that these decisions, if implemented, will result in an increase on the costs of operations of the telecoms operators which will naturally be passed to the consumers.

 

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM
Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy
Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy
Federal Secretariat, Abuja
14th January, 2020

DIGITAL ECONOMY IS THE FUTURE – DR PANTAMI
Super User Written by January 04, 2020

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has called on well-meaning Nigerians to key into the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) on 28th, November 2019 during the eNigeria 2019 Conference, Exhibitions and Awards.

The NEXT LEVEL Minister stated that the target of the rebirth Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under his watch is to have a digital Nigeria by the year 2030.

The Technology inclined Honourable Minister made this known today while making his remarks during an interactive session with members of the press with the theme: DIGITAL ECONOMY, THE JOURNEY SO FAR which was held in Abuja.

The energetic, vibrant and focused Minister revealed that the digital economy strategy is built on eight (8) pillars which includes: Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy and Skills Development; Service Infrastructure; Solid Infrastructure; Digital Services Promotion and Development; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Societies and Emerging Technologies and lastly Indigenous Content Development.

Dr Pantami said, “in the next 10 years, emerging technologies will dominate the world”. Adding that “in the digital world, what is most important is not the certificate you have but rather the skill you possess".

The Minister maintained that the main focus of the digital economy in Nigeria is to produce potential employers and not potential employees in line with the Next Level Blueprint of the present administration.

The Tech Savvy Minister disclosed that subject to the availability of funds, the ministry under his watch will be embarking on a wide Digital Literacy Campaign with the vision of ensuring by the year 2030, 90% of Nigerians are Digital Literates.

 

 

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

DIGITAL ECONOMY: DR PANTAMI ADVOCATES ACQUIRING DIGITAL SKILLS
Super User Written by December 30, 2019

Certificates are important but certificates without skills are misleading, what is most important is to have certificates with skills. Today many developed nations are agitating to remove the column of educational certificates in curriculum vitae (CV), 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 visit to Borno State Government House, Maiduguri, Borno State.

The Minister in the company of the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), Mal Nuhu Ribadu, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mal Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi among others officially donated 100 Laptop Computers to Borno State Government on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

This donation of the computers is in-line with the blueprint of the rebirth Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy which is positioned to enhance digital literacy and drive a digital economy in Nigeria.

Dr Pantami also reminded the host governor that Nigerian youths are digital natives blessed with crazy ideas and encourage the Borno State Governor to prioritize human capital development.

On his part, the Borno State Governor, His Excellency, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum expressed sincere appreciation for the kind gesture and assured of its use judiciously.

The Governor further assured to bridge the gap between the educational system and the labour market. Also, the poor leakage between the vocational institutions and the industries.

 

 

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

PANTAMI LAUDS CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA’s (CBN) DOWNWARD REVIEW OF ELECTRONIC TRANSFER FEES.
Super User Written by December 26, 2019

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim(Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has hailed the decision of the Apex Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to considerably reduce the cost of electronic cash transactions as well as Automated Teller Machine (ATM), card maintenance fees.

This directive from the regulator of the financial sector he said, will in no small measure contribute to the actualization of a Digital Economy, as lower service charges will encourage a higher patronage of electronic services, especially in the banking and financial services sector.

The honourable Minister, encourages all decision making institutions in the country, to enact policies that will give support and key into the Digital Economy policy of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.

 

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

25th December 2019

Director(Human Resource Management),  El Baff Mahdi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Musa Istifanus and newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Mr. Tope Fashedemi during a send forth organized by the staff of the e-government department at the Ministry’s Headquarters, Abuja
Super User Written by December 20, 2019

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus has advised the newly appointed Permanent Secretary from the Ministry Mr. Tope Fashemi to adhere to the rules and regulations in the civil service in discharging his duty to Nigerians.

He stated this during a send forth organized by the staff of the e-government department in honour of their director who was appointed to the post of the Permanent Secretary by the Federal Government.

Mr. Istifanus said the newly appointed Permanent Secretary has the required knowledge and expertise and advised him to be fair, balance and stick to the rules at all-time, and he should not succumb to any influence adding that these values would keep him on top in service delivery to Nigerians.

According to him, “it is better to be sacked and go home to relax than being invited by ICPC and EFCC for any wrong doing. Everybody would laugh and smile with you but what they have in their hearts is different from what their faces reflect”.

“You do not have a friend or enemy in the service, what you have is equal human being and once you treat everybody equally, you have already exonerated yourself not only in the eyes of human being but also in the eyes of God”. Istifanus stressed.

The newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Mr. Tope Fashedemi thanked the Permanent Secretary and staff of the Ministry for their kind words and advise and promised to take on board their admonitions.

Mr. Tope Fashedemi was the Director, e-government in the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy that supervised the production of the Federal Government e-government Master Plan in collaboration with the stakeholders.

 

Source: Press Unit, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

 British High Commissioner- Head of Prosperity and Competition, Mr. Harrison Guy, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, Chairperson of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, Chief Executive Officer, (MainOne), Ms. Funke Opeke and other members of the committee during the inauguration of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan Committee (2020-2025) Committee at the Transorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Super User Written by December 18, 2019

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM on behalf of the Federal Government inaugurated the Nigerian National Broadband Plan Committee (2020-2025) Committee at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.

Inaugurating the Committee which comprises members from the private and public sectors, the Minister stated that the work of the committee will go a long way in supporting National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy of Nigeria which include critical role for Federal, States and Local government in the country.

He said digital economy is strategically dominating world economy and Nigeria cannot promote and develop it without Broadband in place and charged the committee to come up with strategy to penetrate underserved and unserved areas in the country.

Pantami said that the Broadband plan 2013-2018 has expired and urged the committee to look at the target that has not been achieved and challenges that are affecting Broadband penetration. He directed them to also look into many more challenges that have not been stated previously and see how we can join hands and resolved them collectively.

“It is because of this we come up with this that we have come up with this very important strategic committee that would work on our National Broadband Plan for 2020-2025”.

He urged the members of the committee to maintain objectivity in their discussion/deliberation; to rightly identify our national priority and preference because we cannot do everything at the same time, He admonished that there is nothing personal in the assignment but to honour the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.

The Minister advised the committee to look at the recently released report and investigation by Huawei and Alliance 4 Affordable Internet (A4IA) 2013-2018 review report to extract useful information that would help the committee.

In his remark, the representative of the British High Commissioner- Head of Prosperity and Competition, Mr. Harrison Guy, stated that Broadband penetration has huge potentials to transform the way services are rendered in health and education and noted that e-government delivers benefits across all sector of the society.

He said the United Kingdom is an active partner of Nigeria, as such is very more kin to support the country’s goals of increasing the Broadband penetration rate between 65-66% within the next 5-6 years. Harrison added that UK government would provide technical expertise to support the drafting of the new plan.

The Chairperson of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, Chief Executive Officer, (MainOne), Ms. Funke Opeke in her remarks, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR  for approving the setting up of the committee to address the issue of |National Broadband Plan. She also noted that the President recently participation in e-Nigeria and the launching of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy clearly signal his commitment to the digital economy.

According to her, “Broadband to the digital economy is like electricity to the industrial world. We are foot soldiers to help put together this new plan to ensure it happens. The stakeholder here is not us but those young Nigerians who have future ahead of them as they would be fully planted in the global digital economy”. She therefore urged the committee members to put Nigeria’s interest ahead

 

 

Source: Press Unit, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

MINISTER INAUGURATES NIGERIAN NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN COMMITTEE, URGES PROFESSIONALISM, INTEGRITY, OBJECTIVITY
Super User Written by December 17, 2019

As part of the effort to foster the growth of a Digital Economy in Nigeria in line with the re-energized Mandate of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Honourable Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today officially inaugurated the Nigerian National Broadband Plan Committee for the Development of the 2020-2025 National Broadband Plan for Nigeria.

The Inauguration ceremony which was held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja had in attendance representative of the UK Government, Heads of Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry, Stakeholders from both the public and private sectors and members of the press.

The 26-member committee has individuals drawn from the public and private sectors and is being co-chaired by the Managing Director / CEO, MainOne Cable Company Nigeria Limited, Ms Funke Opeke and Former Executive Commissioner, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Bashir Gwandu.

In his remarks, the NEXT LEVEL Honourable Minister reiterated the importance of putting aside personal interest and uphold professionalism, integrity and objectivity in the discharge of the critical national assignment.

The Minister said, “selection criteria for members of the committee was based on competence, integrity and professionalism”. Adding that “we did not restrict the Nigerian National Broadband Plan to only this administration, the target is Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is out to support Nigeria and make decisions in her best interest.

Dr Pantami further stressed the importance of broadband penetration, citing an example with the world development report of 2016 which states that, A 10% increase in fixed broadband penetration triggers an average increase of 3.19% in Per Capita GDP of a Nation.

Pantami also revealed that the Ministry under his watch is working hard to address the challenges of the telecommunications sector such as Right of Way (RoW), consideration of Telecom Infrastructures as Critical National Infrastructures among others.

 

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

FEC TO INTERVENE IN ADDRESSING TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECTOR CHALLENGES - FMOC&DE MINISTER
Super User Written by December 14, 2019

I have presented some of the challenges facing the telecommunications sector before the Federal Executive Council (FEC), actions are being taken to address them, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has said.

The NEXT LEVEL Minister made this disclosure today while making his remarks during a special reception organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in honour of the Minister to formally welcome him as the supervisory Minister of the telecom industry.

The special reception was also part of the move for the telecom industry captains to interact with the listening, focused and results oriented Minister.

Dr Pantami further pledged to work with all stakeholders in the sector and ask for their support, suggestions and constructive criticisms wherever necessary, to promote the growth of the sector for the betterment of all Nigerians.

The highlight of the day was the presentation of a certificate of support to the Honourable Minister on behalf of the President, National Executive Council Members and Member Companies who promise to pledge their support for the development of the sector in Nigeria.

 

 

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

PANTAMI CHAIRS NATIONAL FREQUENCY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, EFFECTS MAJOR CHANGES.
Super User Written by December 13, 2019

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has reinstated the autonomy of the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), in accordance with the provisions of the Act establishing it. At his inaugural meeting as Chairman of Council, Dr Pantami faulted the domiciling of the Council as a department under the Ministry, citing Section 30(2) of the Act which expressly states that officials of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, shall serve as Secretariat to the Council. This he emphasised, does not translate to the Council being reduced to the status of a department within the Ministry, as the independent status of the Council, is clearly maintained in the Act establishing it.

The NFMC was established by the Communications Act of 2003, which empowers the body, to coordinate and regulate spectrum license allocations, across regional and international borders. In his maiden address to council members, the Chairman disclosed that under his leadership, national interest must supersede sectoral or personal interests, emphasizing that the protection of the consumer is paramount, while providing an enabling environment for industry players to thrive, within the dictates of the law.

The highlight of his inaugural meeting as Council Chairman, was the inauguration of the National Frequency Management Council / Nigeria Police Force (NFMC/NPF), Joint Committee on evaluation of 450MHz Police equipment, in line with the provisions of the law empowering the Council to extend membership to competent and qualified persons or organisations that may assist it in the discharge of its duties.  At the end of the meeting, the following resolutions were reached;

  1. The Council should be positioned properly as an autonomous body with the secretariat serviced by officials of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, as against its current status as a department under the Ministry;
  2. That a Frequency Audit be carried out on all the Spectrum Licenses issued from inception till date, to determine the amount paid and to determine if Spectrum licenses issued, were been used for the purposes they have been assigned accordingly; and
  • The Management of regulatory bodies represented on the Council, particularly, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), should immediately propose subsidiary legislation to support the existing Act, for enhanced efficiency and fairness to the consumers, with regards to payment of Satellite Television stations and exploitation, by some of them.

The meeting which was Dr Pantami’s first as NFMC Chairman, was the 48th of the council, and the fourth to be held this year.

 

 

Signed

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)

Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy

12th December, 2019