Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy

Minister commends NCC, NITDA on digital transformation projects in Nigeria

*The Federal Government has established over 1,667 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centres and developed 16 ICT policies, in the last two years, to ensure that the Nigerian digital economy continues to play a key role in national growth and development ─Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Minister for Communications and Digital Economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has acknowledged and applauded the critical role the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) among other agencies have continued to play in the development of the Nigerian digital economy as well as generation and impartation of new knowledge to citizens.

ConsumerConnect gathered Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, who stated this said that the Federal Government had established over 1,667 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centres and developed 16 ICT policies within two years.

Dr. Pantami disclosed this development at the recent virtual commissioning of the “11th Batch of seven Digital Economy projects for a Digital Nigeria” on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, FCT.

The Minister noted that the efforts are geared towards supporting the country’s digital drive and impacting positively the lives of Nigerian consumers.

According to him, that the seven projects could be mapped to relevant pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy Strategy (NDEPS), while 12 ICT policies are being implemented with four others awaiting approval from the country’s Federal Executive Council (FEC), agency report said.

The Minister enumerated the projects to include the Emergency Communication Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State; School Knowledge Centre, Sanda Kyarimi Day Secondary School, Borno State; Digital Economy Centre and E- Learning Facilities; and the Imam Malik Academy, Sokoto State.

Others were Digital Economy Centre, E- Learning Facilities, Nneato Secondary School, Abia State; Digital Economy Centre, E- Learning University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State; Digital Economy Centre, E- Learning Eleyele Secondary School, Oyo State and Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre, Gombe State College of Education.

The seven projects, Pantami noted, are part of the policies of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and they are being supervised by the Ministry.

He said: “These projects are part of several other projects we have executed.

“In the last two years, we have developed policies, initiated programmes and executed projects to ensure that Nigeria’s digital economy continues to play a key role in growth of our economy.

“The Tertiary Institutions Knowledge Centre (TIKC) was deployed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).

“This project includes bandwidth connectivity and the installation of ICT devices and peripherals.”

The Minister for Communications and Digital Economy further said: “The TIKC project also doubles as an ICT centre for students to acquire and improve their ICT skills.

“It will promote the use of ICT in teaching and learning at tertiary institutions and their immediate communities.”

He also explained that digital economy remains a core driver of innovation, competitiveness and economic growth in the Nigerian economy.

No nation can build a digital economy without a constant pool of highly qualified creative talent, said he.

Pantami stated that knowledge institutions play a critical role in the development of the digital economy as they serve as centres for generation and impartation of new knowledge to the citizenry.

He stressed that these institutions not only equip individuals with relevant knowledge and skills, but also provide a bustling environment that stimulates innovation thereby enabling them contribute meaningfully in the socio- economic development of their society.

The Minister reportedly quoted the World Bank as saying, “digital technologies are forecast to be a major driver of productivity, with successful economies depending on greater numbers of digitally skilled workers than has previously been the case.

“For example, a digital single market in Europe is expected to increase the region’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by €415 billion and will increase the need for a new set of digital skills by 12 percent in 2024.

“It is in recognition of the need to empower our citizens with the requisite knowledge to thrive in the digital economy that we are deploying projects such as the ones being launched today.”

The Minister, therefore, encouraged all the host communities of these interventions provided by the government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to ensure that they take full advantage of the facilities for the benefit of their communities.

Pantami also recognised partners, stakeholders and commended heads of both parastatals for shouldering responsibilities and urged them to redouble their efforts at ensuring that these projects are utilised optimally for the good of all.

Malam Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of NITDA, in his remarks on the occasion, assured that the enabling policies and projects under the supervision of the Minister, would impact the lives of Nigerian positively and enable the digital transformation in the country.

Mrs. Nonye Nwachukwu, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman of Board of NCC; Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC; and Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone (GBB) Limited, were among other dignitaries that graced the event.

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