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

Nigeria challenges NCC, NITDA, others to offer COVID-19 digital solutions

* Urges stakeholders to provide research grants for innovative ideas for post COVID-19 era

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In respect of the central role that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays in mitigating the damaging impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone and other agencies under his Ministry to provide research grants for development of digital solutions, innovative ideas for post COVID-19 era in the nation’s economy.

Dr. Pantami charged the stakeholders during the virtual final demo and prize-giving ceremony of the Nigeria COVID-19 Innovation Challenge, reports The Sun.

The Minister, at the event NITDA organised in Abuja, FCT, recently, said: “I am directing NITDA and other parastatals under this ministry to work on research grants to support any innovative ideas that would support the country in fighting COVID-19. We need to promote research.

“Without research, nothing significant can be achieved locally. So, I’m taking this opportunity to direct NITDA, Galaxy Backbone, NCC, NIGCOMSAT, NIPOST to look at what we have right now and what they can do to support research grants towards eradicating COVID-19.”

Pantami emphasised that this measure is essential with regard to the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy even after the pandemic is defeated. The pandemic has provided an opportunity for young innovators to place Nigeria on the path to digital economic development, he stated.

Stressing the importance of Information Communications Technology (ICT) at this time, he said: “The only way we can promote physical distancing and at the same time deliver our mandate is only through ICT.

“Without digital technology today, when we promote physical distancing, many things cannot be conducted, but with it we would be able to implement physical distancing and be able to conduct our activities effectively and efficiently.”

The Federal Government is determined to leverage digital platforms and opportunities for the betterment of the economy in the post COVID-19 period, Pantami said.

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