Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
Prof. Isa Pantami, has informed global leaders at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22), achievements recorded in the nation’s digital economy sector.
This was made known in a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, spokesperson of the minister on Thursday in Abuja.
Pantami, while addressing heads of delegation and policy makers at the on-going ITU PP22 in Bucharest, Romania said that Nigeria’s digital economy was fast growing in the nation’s economy.
Suleiman quoted the minister as saying that the digital economy was the only sector that grew by double digits at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pantami said that the sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last three years has been unprecedented.
The minister said: “In the first quarter of 2020, the sector contributed more than 14 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP, while In the second quarter of 2021, it contributed 17.90 per cent.
”The current statistics stand at an unprecedented 18.44 per cent.
” Pantami said that five out of the seven unicorns in Africa originated from Nigeria and by implication, Nigeria currently contributes over 70 per cent of the entire unicorns in Africa.
He said that the establishment of two virtual academies during the pandemic were dedicated to the empowerment of citizens with digital skills.
Pantami said that the various partnerships with global technology giants to train 10million citizens in the next two to three years had played a significant role in the success story of Nigeria’s digital economy.
“The Nigeria Startup Law, which is in its advanced stage, aims at providing an enabling environment for indigenous innovators, to provide solutions to existing national and global challenges is also a significant achievement in the sector,” he said.
The minister reiterated that the development of 19 national policies, all of which were in various stages of implementation, have facilitated the quantum leap recorded by the sector.
“These national policies are in the areas of developmental regulation, Infrastructure, digital skills, as well as indigenous content development, among others,” Pantami added.
He commended the ITU for its efforts at global digital transformation.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami has approved the appointment of Mr Bulus Yakubu as acting Post-Master General (PMG) and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST).
This was contained in a statement issued by NIPOST Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Franklyn Alao on Thursday in Abuja.
Until his appointment, Yakubu was the Secretary to NIPOST Governing board, Director (Special Duties) and also NIPOST Liaison Officer to the National Assembly.
Yakubu, who holds a Bachelor in Law Degree from Ahmadu Bello University, belongs to a number of professional bodies, notably the International Bar Association (IBA), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria and a Fellow of the Institute for Fraud Management and Control.
According to the statement, he joined the service of the Nigerian Postal Service in 1990 and has served in different capacities with a proven record of excellent performance.
NAN reports that Yakubu replaces Dr. Ismail Adewusi, who was appointed as NIPOST PMG in 2019. www.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, says data centres nationwide, will enhance ICT service delivery and assist security agencies to effectively curtail insecurity nationwide.
Pantami said this on Monday in Kano after inspecting the Tier 4 data centre, which acccording to him, is ready for inauguration.
The minister also said the centre would enhance ICT service delivery to both public and private institutions in the country.
Pantami, who disclosed that there were other data centres in Abuja and Southern part of the country, noted that each of them were capable of providing both physical and logical security to its subscribers.
The minister said the Kano centre would now serve as regional office for the Federal Government-owned Galaxy Backbone limited, established to provide ICT services to both public and private institutions.
“That is part of the initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari to provide quality digital services to the citizens.
“We have extended the services to generate more revenue to the government and provide quality service to the citizens and security agencies.
“We have sanitised SIM card database; we also introduced the policy of NIN and SIM registration, not for us to use, but for our security institutions.
“So, what we are doing in the system is to sanitise it and provide facilities for our security institutions to leverage on and be successful in curtailing insecurity challenges bedevilling Nigeria.
“We have done that effectively, what remains is for the security institutions to utilise what they have been provided with.
“The facilities are there for free, and if they are utilised effectively, I have no doubt that it will address significantly security challenges in Nigeria,” he said.
He said that the Tier 4 Data Centre in Kano, had 0.7 petabyte storage capacity, adding “there is scope of extension when the need arises, depending on the citizens and customers’ demands.
“If you built a big one without demand, then maintenance would be a challenge.
“What we built here is 0.7 petabyte.
If our customer base increases, we have the immediate capacity for expansion,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the demise of Alhaji Mu’azu Kwairanga III, the First-Class Emir of Funakaye, who died in his sleep on Saturday in Bajoga, Bauchi State.
The Emir died a day after attending the inauguration of the Central Mosque in Kaltungo and few hours after he collected humanitarian assistance dispatched to his people by President Buhari following the losses suffered from devastating floods.
The humanitarian assistance, mostly food items, were delivered through the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, and had not fully been off-loaded when the news of his death was broken.
The president’s condolence message is contained in a statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Sunday.
In the message, Buhari described the deceased as “most committed, most articulate advocate of the less privileged who endeared himself to many with his politeness, kindness and commitment to the well-being of his people.
“His demise has left me as well as many others saddened.
He loved working for the common people.
He was a proud and dedicated citizen.
“May his soul attain peace.
In this time of grief, I express condolences to the family, the government and people of Gombe State.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Information and Communication Technology (ICT),sector had contributed 18.44 per cent to the ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ for Q2 2022. Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant Research and Development to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Adeluyi said that the digital economy sector under Prof. Isa Pantami has continued its trend of playing a key part in the growth on Nigeria’s economy.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Pantami, was very excited to hear of the remarkable contribution of the ICT sector to Nigeria’s GDP in the quarter under review.
According to him, the oil sector contributed 6.33 per cent to the total real GDP in Q2 2022, which was lower than the contribution in Q2 ‘2021 and Q1 ‘2022, where it contributed 7.42% and 6.63%, respectively.
“The non-oil sector’s contribution grew by 4.77 per cent in real terms, resulting in a 93.67 per cent contribution to the nation’s GDP in the Q2 ‘2022. “This was higher than Q2 ‘2021 and Q2 ‘2022, where it contributed 92.58 per cent and 93.37 per cent, respectively,”he said.
Pantami said that the growing contribution of the sector to the GDP was as a result of the commitment of the current administration to the development of the digital economy.
He said that the unprecedented contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP can also be attributed to the dynamic and results-oriented leadership of the sector.
He, however, said that the Report had shown how critical the ICT sector was to the growth of the country’s digital economy and, by extension, the general economy.
“The diligent implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria, stakeholder engagement and creation of an enabling environment have all played an important role in this achievement.
“The support of President Muhammadu Buhari, has contributed immensely to the impressive developments in the sector.
“The unprecedented contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP can also be attributed to the dynamic and results-oriented leadership of the sector,” he said.
Pantami congratulated stakeholders in the digital economy ecosystem for this cheering news.
He called on all sectors to take advantage of the Federal Government’s new focus on the digital economy to enable and improve their processes through the use of ICTs. He added: “This would enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday inaugurated the Gombe-Kaltungo road project and handed it over to Gombe State Government.
Speaking at the inauguration in Kumo, headquarters of Akko Local Government Area of the state, Buhari recalled that the contract was awarded in 2014. Represented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, the president said the length of the road was 66.10 km and the carriage way is 7.35 mtr while the shoulder was 2.73 mtr.
He said the project contract which was conceptualised around 2014, but the work did not commence until 2015. ‘’This was because after the commencement two major issues were discovered that caused the project to be delayed until they were sorted out.
‘’Yhe first issue was, so many components were left and the second was VAT, hence the project reviewed’’.
He said the project was supposed to be completed in 2019 but insufficient budgetary provision and release of fund as well as COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for the present admintration to complete it at the stipulated time.
The president advised the citizens of Gombe to take ownership of the project.
’’Sometimes we have misconception that any infrastructure project is for government.
‘’We need to remind ourselves that you and I are the government, peoples remain while government come and go,’’ he said.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said this was the sixth of the second phase of road project completion and handover the country was witnessing.
Represented by Mr Celestine Shausu, Director Highways, North East, Federal Ministry of Works, said the project represent major investment in road transport infrastructure which was a commitment of Buhari’s administration as a driver of economic growth and prosperity.
‘’They are visible and incontrovertible asset in proof of what Nigeria’s resources were invested in, from our earned and borrowings,’’ he said.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State said the road was inaugursted as a commitment and fulfillment of the president’s conditions and terms on which he engaged the people of Nigeria to provide the basic amenities they required.
“The people of Gombe are very happy because they can now ply this road from Gombe up to Yolde which is our boundary with Adamawa State without any problem.
‘’We will like to urge and plead with Mr President for the timely completion of Numan to Jalingo road in Adamawa and Taraba States, which have been a nightmare to travelers,” the governor appealed.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has emphasised the need for government, private sector and individuals to prioritise digital access for economic benefits and development globally.
Pantami said this at the one-day workshop organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in collaboration with the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The workshop had the theme: ‘‘Building Capabilities for Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Transformation in Nigeria’’.
He urged governments and individuals to take the issue of prioritising digital access and skills seriously, adding that they were no longer luxury but necessities.
“Digital access and connectivity have become a necessity, as they play an increasingly vital role in our everyday lives and have become key drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“This reiterates the fact that digital connectivity, access, and skills are no longer a luxury, but have become a necessity for human and economic development in both developed and developing countries.
“It is therefore important that governments, individuals and communities prioritise affordable access digital technologies,” he said.
The minister said that there was the need to promote universal access to digital infrastructure, enhanced digital skills and address affordability in order to achieve this.
Pantami said, ” the Nigerian government had developed 18 policies that were implemented to drive the country’s digital economy, which was in the bid to close the digital access gap.
“For Nigeria, this is what we have done as part of our efforts to adequately position Nigerians as major participants in the growing global digital economy.
“We developed the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.
“One of the implementation strategies of the Solid Infrastructure Pillar is the development of a Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP).
” He, however, assured that implementation of the plan would accelerate the penetration of affordable and quality broadband connectivity, thereby increasing digital access in Nigeria.
He also said that government recognises the enormity of the task of closing the digital access gaps.
“The Nigerian Government understands that enormous private sector support, as well as support from International Organisations, are essential to enable us realise our lofty goals for Nigeria’s digital economy.
“This has informed our decision to partner with key international organisations like the ITU and FCDO.
“Lack of access is as a result of challenges such as the cost of connectivity, lack of digitally skilled citizens and inadequate infrastructure, amongst others,” Pantami said.
In supporting the innovation ecosystem in Nigeria, he said, the country had developed a ‘Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB),’ which had been passed at the National Assembly for reading.
The Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the commission had programmes and policies in place, which had positively impacted on the sector.
Danbatta said that the commission had reduced 200 clusters, where there were digital access gaps down to 114. He said that it led to the attendant reduction of more than 40 million Nigerians without access to telecommunications services to about 10 million.
He said: “These initiatives include the Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), that solely aims to bridge the digital divide existing in the academia.
“This is with the provision of computers and other ICT facilities to equip the lecturers and other experts in order to improve ICT skills and also to enrich the students.
” The EVC said the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP), was a special intervention programme to address the digital information knowledge gap in the country, especially among the teeming youthful population.
He said DAP Project had supported 229 Secondary Schools across the Six Geopolitical Zones of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory.
He enjoined all stakeholders to contribute positively to improve the sector and recommended measures that would further support Nigeria in meeting its connectivity target and develop a robust digital economy.
”We look forward to the outcome of your deliberations and expect feedbacks that will deepen the conversations on policies and initiatives for digital access and connectivity in Nigeria, ” he said.
The Regional Director for Africa, and Liaison Officer to United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, ITU, Ms Anne-Rachel Inne said: “The event was organised to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to reflect on Nigeria’s digital transformation.
Inne said that the initiative was aimed at contributing towards the country’s digital inclusion goals like the ITU-FCDO DAP partnership in the country.
She also said that the workshop would allow stakeholders to share their plans for future work to scale the impact in a joint effort.
The Federal Government has inaugurated a Presidential Steering Committee to review Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System(IPPIS), the Treasury Single Account(TSA) and Government Integrated Financial Management System( GIFMIS) over irregularities.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, who is also the chairman of committee inaugurated it on Friday in Abuja.
Pantami said that the committee would be supervised by the ministry and other relevant government institutions.
He also said that the systems have technical challenges which needed to be corrected.
Pantami said the committee has been mandated to proffer solutions to the possible leakages inherent in the systems that were exploited by people to divert public funds.
“This technical committee has been mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari, through a letter requesting his approval to review some of the technical processes and systems deployed in government.
“This committee, will serve as a presidential committee with the mandate of ensuring the review of the strengths of these systems and the challenges or weaknesses.
“The committee is to advise the president on how to improve the systems particularly, if there are leakages that are being exploited by evil people.
“The issue came about on the July 19, 2022, when we had a meeting with the president along with other ministries where some technical issues and some challenges were discussed,” he said.
The minister explained that the process of deployment for IPPIS commenced in 2006, that of GISFMIS in 2012, while TSA commenced in 2015 accordingly.
He said that as at the time they were deployed, the provision of NITDA Act 2006 under section A of setting the standardisation of ICT deployment in federal public institutions was not followed.
He, however, said as a result of this, ”these three systems were not subjected to government certification and IT project clearance as encouraged by law and many other government policies.
“However, in spite of that, many achievements had been recorded by their deployment.
“For example, based on the report from the relevant institutions of government, the IPPIS saved the government over N120 billion, while TSA saved over N10 trillion for government.
” Pantami said these records showed that government had recorded some gains, particularly in the recent allegations on the system by people who siphoned money “It is because of this that we must identify where the challenges are if any and see how these systems can be enhanced technically.
“So, that we will be able to consolidate the gains achieved so far and also improve on them to achieve many more successes.
“National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), looking at it’s mandate will serve as the secretariat.
“The approval and the directive has clearly mentioned that all government institutions that manage these three systems must give unlimited access to the committee to ensure very strong recommendations for approval,” he said.
The minister warned that any institution that fails to give access would be reported to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, ”a punishment is going to be recommended to the President for implementation.
” Members of the committee are NITDA, Galaxy Backbone, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning as well as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC).
Others are Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation as well as National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
The rest are Bureau of Public Service and Reforms(BPSR) and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy(FMoDE).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee is expected to ‘cleanse’ the systems from the manipulation of some corrupt officials.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is calling on Nigerians to make contributions for the National Artificial Intelligence Policy (NAIP), which will enhance digital innovation and evolution of technology.
Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head Corporate Affairs and External Relations of the agency made the call on Thursday in a statement she issued in Abuja.
She explained that globally, countries are grappling with ways to manage the exponential growth of new and emerging technologies to advance their economies.
Umar said that the cognisance of the exponential growth and potential value of digital technologies is in line with the vision of President Muhammad Buhari, to diversify the Nigerian economy.
This, she said, is through utilising digital technologies and launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
“It is against this backdrop that Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, directs NITDA to develop a National Artificial Intelligence Policy (NAIP).
“The development of the NAIP is envisaged to maximise the benefits, mitigate possible risks, and address some of the complexities attributed to using AI in our daily activities.
“Furthermore, it will provide directions on how Nigeria can take advantage of AI, including the development, use, and adoption of AI to proactively facilitate the development of Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy.
“The agency,hereby, invites the public to contribute and participate in developing the NAIP,” she urged.
Umar called on interested experts and volunteers to send their inputs through https:.
8HauK or https:.
8Nv65.She directed them to make further inquiries by reaching out to ai@nitda.
NITDA is responsible for developing standards, guidelines, and frameworks for the IT sector in Nigeria, as enshrined in Section 6 of the NITDA Act 2007.
Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara on Wednesday lauded the Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISEC) for admitting the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, into its fellowship.
He said that the CIISEC well-deserved honour would improve Nigeria’s cyber security sector.
Matawalle’s message is contained in a statement issued by Alhaji Intahim Dosara, the Commissioner for Information, and made available to reporters in Gusau.
The governor said that the award was “a well deserved honour given to the professor who worked tirelessly in exalting himself as a distinguished gentleman of the highest order in the information and cyber security sector globally“.
“The fellowship status conferred on the Hon Minister is a clear testimony of the commitment of Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami to information security for Nigeria and beyond.
“The honour is indeed a source of pride, not only to the Professor and his family, but also to Nigeria and Black Africa in general.
“He is the first Black African to win such a fellowship from the Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISEC).
According the governor, Zamfara people celebrate the honour, especially as it came when the people of the state are in dear need of information security technology to curtail banditry in the state.
The governor said the achievement was demonstration of the genuine campaign for Nigeria’s digital economy.
He called on Nigerians to support the campaign in the fight against insecurity across the nation.
Matawalle said the news of the fellowship did not come to him as a surprise knowing full well who Pantami was and considering the level of dedication and commitment to his job.
“He is a man of passion in whatever he does; he is a brilliant man who always set goals and targets to achieve within a shortest period of time, ” Matawalle said.
Pantami is the first and so far the only African admitted into CIISEC and among the 89 recipients of the fellowship.
By this fellowship, Prof. Pantami has become a major player in the global cyber space.