Pantami Explains Addition Of ‘Digital Economy’ to Ministry’s Name; Accedes To NCC’s Call For Executive Order On Critical National Infrastructure Protection

Digital Economy - cfamedia

A media parley and press briefing, held at Treasure Suites, Maitama, Abuja, on January 3, 2020, organized by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has afforded the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, to explain to the general public, why ‘Digital Economy’, was added to the erstwhile name, of the Ministry, which was known as Ministry of Communications.

The parley was convened, to meet with members of the Abuja Chapter of the Nigerian Information Technology Reporters Association, NITRA, in order to enlighten them, on steps that, has been taken, by his Ministry, under his leadership, to enhance the transition to digital economy.

Pantami stated that the re-designation was done, to position Nigeria, for the gains of digital economy.

This is because, ‘Communications’ alone, captured only the channels of communication, which is inadequate, in describing the essence of the new vision that, embraces the content, as well as, the utilization of, both channel and content, to achieve the central focus of the Ministry, to migrate the nation to a digital economy.

“This is, particularly significant, as it enables Information and Communication Technology, ICT, which is, the most diverse and fastest-growing sector, to mobilise other sectors and align, with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, of the Federal Government”, Pantami emphasised.

On Critical National Infrastructure, Pantami stated that, the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, was vetting the content of the proposed Executive Order, on critical National infrastructure, CNI, Protection.

He further stated that, he was confident that, President Muhammadu Buhari, will sign the Executive Order, soon.

It will be recalled that, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, had been calling for this, for some time now, with a view to protecting telecom infrastructure from vandals.

Pantami used the occasion of the parley, to state the other achievements the Ministry, since he assumed office and other things the Ministry had in the pipeline for Nigerians.

Some of these include the development and implementation of a national digital economy strategy, he stated, was done by the Ministry and unveiled, by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the e-Nigeria Conference, in November 2019. “The policy captures the thematic focus while the strategy, speaks to how the various themes will be achieved.

All other MDAs are connected to the strategy, in view of the centrality of ICT, to development, in other sectors of the economy, he stressed.

He emphasised that, the role of the Ministry is, to coordinate the implementation, of the policy and the strategy.

Other highlights of the parley, among others, include:

  • An overview of the strategic pillars
  • Optimistism that, the 2020-2025 Broadband Plan will be ready in Q1 2020

  • Advocating the validation of certificates with skills acquisition

  • Urging citizens to leverage emerging digital capacities to produce employers of lab

  • Efforts at resolving the Right of Way challenges, with State governments

  • Commercialisation of some services of NIPOST, through registration of some companies under it

The parley was attended by, Chief Executive Officers and management and staff, of the FMoCDE and its Agencies. Some of them include, Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, who represented Prof. Umar Danbatta, EVC of the Commission.

Also present at the parley were, Barrister Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC; Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, NIGCOMSAT; Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA and Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Limited.

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L-R: Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited, Prof. Mohammed Abubakar; Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commission, Engr. Ubale Maska; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami; Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mr. Inuwa Abdullahi and Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellites Limited, and Dr. Abimbola Alale, during the maiden Press parley, by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, held at Treasure Suites, Maitama, Abuja, on Friday, January 3, 2020.

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