Barely 4 days ago, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR commended the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami for the great strides and landmark achievements of the digital economy sector under his supervision.
Similarly, this position of Mr President was upheld today as the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami bagged the MOST OUTSTANDING MINISTER OF THE YEAR 2021 AWARD presented by Elite Exclusive magazine, a media giant. The Minister was singled out for this honour based on an online poll conducted by the medium.
The Award according to the magazine was in recognition of the exceptional role the minister is playing in sustaining ICT exponential growth, digitization of Nigeria’s emerging economy and also positioning Nigeria’s digital economy sector on the path of sustainable National Development.
It is on record that under the reign of Dr Pantami, the ICT sector has the highest growth rate in Nigeria. According to the Q4 2020 Report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.70% to GDP.
Furthermore, under the leadership of Dr Pantami, Nigeria reverberated its place as the giant of Africa and leaders in innovation. The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation and the NIN SIM Verification exercise is understudied and implemented by most African countries. Nigeria emerged as the Chairman, West African Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) unanimously during the 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Assembly held on Thursday, March 11th, 2021.
Smart agriculture, Smart education, ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Indigenous content development are giving a top priority under the leadership of Dr Pantami, in line with the vision of His Excellency, President Buhari to produce what we need and consume what we produce.
Equally, Broadband penetration in Nigeria hit an unprecedented 45.07%, the 2013 resolution of the National Economic Council on a uniform levy for Right of Way is been honoured 7 years after the consensus decision was reached. This among other factors has brought about a significant drop in the cost of data.
Within a space of 1 year, Dr Pantami has commissioned over 55 digital economy projects that spread across all the 36 states of Nigeria. Notable among them include; National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Abuja, ICT Innovation and Incubation Centre, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Emergency Communication Centre, Imo, Owerri State, ATBU ICT Innovation Hub, Bauchi, Bauchi State, and the Digital Economy Centre, Ekiti State.
In the words of the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, “On Wednesday, 21st of August, 2019, when he was sworn in as the minister to oversee the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. Some of us who followed his activities as the Director-General, National Information Technology and Development Agency was convinced that you were going to lift the ministry from where they were to the next level. Knowing you as a thinker, a man that’s full of ideas, and a man under whose leadership National Information Technology Agency came up prominently to the fore”.
On the path of Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum “Honestly speaking not because the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy is here with us, the activities of the ministry was not well known to Nigerians before his appointment as a minister to pilot the affairs of the Ministry. We have applauded his competency in handling the affairs of the ministry. He gingered the performance in his ministry making it possible to achieve a lot during a short stay in office.
By Mrs Uwa Suleiman
(From the page of the FMC&DE).