Science & Technology

Pantami’s appointment will improve patronage of indigenous hardware, software – Foundation



African ICT Foundation (AfICTA) says appointment of Dr Isa Pantami as Minister of Communication will improve patronage of local content hardware and software.

The foundation made the observation in a congratulatory message to Pantami, a copy of which was made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Lagos.

President of the foundation, Mr Tony Ojobo who signed the statement said, with Pantami’s wealth of experiences, there would be increase in the patronage of made in Nigeria Information Technology (IT) hardware and software.

Ojobo recalled that Pantami, as Director-General of Nigeria Information Technology Developmental Agency (NITDA), vigorously pursued local Content Policy.

According to him, Pantami as NITDA DG, had a formidable track records at the agency which prompted unwavering commitment to local content.

“Pantami, enhanced the purchase of indigenous brand of ICT devices by over 60 per cent within the last three years, local hosting of data doubled in value while local software consumption significantly increased.

“The cumulative effect of these efforts is that ICT contribution to GDP reached an unprecedented mark of 13.63 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018, ” he said.

Ojobo commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a core ICT professional to manage the communications ministry noting that the industry would leapfrog into a new beginning as the new minister assumed office.

While expressing the commitment of AfICTA to the growth of the industry through its advocacy role, Ojobo said the leadership acumen of Pantami at NITDA had been able to restore confidence in indigenous technology development.

He recalled that Pantami issued several policies, guidelines, and frameworks to help stimulate broadband penetration in the country such as the Framework and Guidelines for Public Internet Access.

He said, Guidelines for Clearance of IT Projects by Public Institutions, NITDA Public Key Infrastructure Regulations, Framework on Data Localization and Local Content Policy, were also introduced by Pantami.

Ojobo said replicating such feat in his new office as Minister of Communications would hasten the development of the sector.

He also recalled that Pantami as NITDA boss, over 660 IT intervention centres, Digital Divide Bridging Centres, Digital Job Creation Centres were established nationwide,.

Ojobo said that Campus Area Networks for educational institutions, e-Learning Centres for educational institutions, Virtual/Digital Library Centres and IT hubs were also established.

He assured that with stakeholders support, building a broadband ecosystem that will help to improve services and broadband penetration significantly in the country was sure.

Science & Technology

Pantami tasks Danbatta, NCC on digital economy



Pantami gave the task in a statement signed by Dr Henry Nkemadu, Director, Public Affairs, NCC, when the Executive Management of the Commission paid him a courtesy visit, following Danbatta’s reappointment for another five-year term, on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to the minister, the proactive decision to recommend Danbatta’s reappointment to the President for approval was to ensure stability in the telecommunications industry.

He said that it was also to consolidate on the gains and successes that the industry had already recorded in the last five years of Danbatta’s leadership as the EVC of NCC.

Pantami, however, emphasised the need for NCC’s management to work more harmoniously with the ministry and agencies toward ensuring effective implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) as well as thorough implementation of the new National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020-2025.

He reminded the EVC that the focus of this administration was to boost digital economy, which was more important, following the experience of COVID-19 pandemic that left many individuals and organisations relying more on digital platforms for work and collaboration.

“The success of the commission is our collective responsibility. While we, as a ministry, do our best to formulate general industry policy and supervise activities of the commission,

“I will urge the NCC family to be united, remove all lines of demarcation, ensure justice, fairness in all decisions and above all, ensure harmonious relationships. This task lies on the table of the EVC,” he said.

“So, we expect the NCC, as the Telecoms Regulator, to take the issue of digital economy very seriously and give it all the attention it deserves within the commission,” he charged.

Earlier, Danbatta, who led the delegation, appreciated the minister’s role in his reappointment and reiterated his commitment to taking the commission to greater heights.

“I consider my reappointment as the EVC of NCC for another five years as an honour and a show of the confidence the Hon. Minister and the President have in our efforts at NCC in the last five years.

“We will like to assure the minister of our commitment as a commission, to work with the ministry and other agencies under the ministry’s supervision toward advancing the frontiers of digital economy in Nigeria,” the EVC said.

Those who accompanied the EVC during the visit were the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Mr Ubale Maska; the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr Adeleke Adewolu;

Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) Shu’aibu Ayuba; Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Mrs Yetunde Akinloye; Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr Efosa Idehen.

Others were the Director, Public Affairs, Dr Henry Nkemadu; Director, Licensing and Authorisation, Mr Mohammed Babajika, and Director, Human Capital and Administration, Mr Usman Malah.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
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Science & Technology

ICT contribution of 14.07% to Nigeria’s GDP unprecedented – Pantami



The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, said the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has contributed unprecedented 14.07 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Pantami stated this in a statement signed by Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant, Information Technology to the Minister on Sunday in Abuja.

Pantami said he was delighted to hear of the growth of ICT’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.

According to him, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) releases Nigeria’s GDP report for Q1 2020 on May 25.

The Report observed that the country’s GDP grew by 1.87 per cent year-on-year in real terms in Q1 2020.

”The non-oil sector contributed 90.50 per cent to the nation’s GDP in Q1 2020 as opposed to the 9.50 per cent contributed to total real GDP by the oil sector.

”It is noteworthy that the ICT sector contributed 14.07 per cent to the total real GDP in Q1 2020, higher than its contribution a year earlier, which was 13.32 per cent and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 13.12 per cent.

”This contribution is unprecedented,” he said.

Pantami said that the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP, was a direct result of the focused and committed effort of the Federal Government.

He said the Federal Government strategic policy direction included inclusion of Digital Economy in the mandate of the Ministry, unveiling and implementation of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy as well as National Broadband Plan, among others.

The minister noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had  shown how critical the ICT sector was to the growth of the country’s digital economy and by extension, the general economy.

He called on all sectors to take advantage of the government’s new focus on the digital economy to enable and improve their processes through the use of ICT.

“This would enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu (NAN)
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Science & Technology

NCC absolves Pantami of involvement in office space allocation controversy



The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says its Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, is never involved in the process of offer of office allocation to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at its  Complex.

In a statement clarifying the controversial issue on Friday in Abuja,  the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Henry Nkemadu,  said that Pantami was never involved in the offer of the office space nor in the withdrawal of the offer for same office space

He said  the minister should not, therefore, be brought into the issue.

According to Nkemadu, the decision to withdraw the offer of office space from NiDCOM was purely of the NCC, the custodian of the office complex.

“It should, however, be made  clear that the withdrawal of the offer of the office space, which was unconditionally given, in the first instance to NiDCOM, was informed by exigencies and change in priorities within the NCC.

“This led to taking back of the office space earlier allocated with intention of finding a suitable replacement for NiDCOM,” he said.

He, however,  reiterated the commission’s  confidence in the leadership, person and office of the minister.

The NCC complex  is  located at Mbora District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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Science & Technology

COVID-19: Pantami wants NITDA,others to source research grants for digital solutions



Dr Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has called on the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and other agencies to source research grants to support digital innovation on COVID-19.

Pantami made the call on Thursday in a virtual demonstration of NITDA’s Innovation Challenge on COVID-19’s possible solutions monitored in Abuja.

News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the challenge was targeted at leveraging on using indigenous innovative technology to address the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAN also reports that the NITDA committee on COVID-19 Innovation challenge was set up in April 3 and they received 1,519 applications, while the best five were selected to demonstrate their solutions.

The first three successful applications were awarded and they include Algorizmi Health, an application that would address scaling up the availability of ventilators as first position.

Smart Disinfection Chambers, an application on smart tunnel for disinfection of perdons entering a location stood out at second position., an application that enhances remote patient management took the third position.

The solutions were accessed based on potential impact of innovation with regard to COVID-19, adaptability, scalability, creativity and presentation skills.

The minister recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, last year launched the National Digital Economy Strategy which was expected to be implemented between 2020 and 2030.

According to him, part of the strategy was to focus on promoting research and innovation locally.

NITDA, the Nigerian Communications Commission, other parastatal agencies under the ministry should look into their budget and find a way of raising research grants for the support of innovative ideas.

“Their support should be basically on digital solutions because we need to promote research to eradicate COVID-19 in Nigeria, Africa and globally,” Pantami said.

He awarded the first three successful entries with N1,000,000, N750,000, N500,000 respectively and urged NITDA to facilitate the incubation of the solutions for COVID-19.

Pantami also urged NITDA to facilitate making a presentation of the solutions to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for possible ways of leveraging them to address the pandemic in the country.

IMG-20200507-WA0011.jpg 1080w,×188.jpg 300w,×640.jpg 1024w,×480.jpg 768w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 1080px) 100vw, 1080px” data-lazy-src=””>IMG-20200507-WA0011.jpg” alt=”” width=”1080″ height=”675″ srcset=” 1080w,×188.jpg 300w,×640.jpg 1024w,×480.jpg 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 1080px) 100vw, 1080px”>
Mr Kashifu Inuwa,D-G NITDA (right) and participant at the online innovation challenge.

The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, in his welcome remarks earlier, said the pandemic had presented the world with health and economic crises.

According to Inuwa, the lockdown needed to contain the spread of the virus that had degenerated to economic crisis but digitising industry processes could resuscitate the economy.

Inuwa added that the agency was deploying several strategies to address the COVID-19 crisis which includes the Innovation Challenge.

He, however, expressed hope that the solutions presented through the challenge would address problems associated with the pandemic.

Prof. Charles Uwadia, Chairman-in-Council, Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), commended the initiative.

Uwadia said that it was a way of projecting Nigeria positively to the global community.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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