Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta has commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami for his giant stride achievements recorded in the sector, saying that Nigerians will forever remember him for providing digital identity for the citizens.
The EVC who was represented by the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholders Management) of the NCC, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, stated that one of the achievements of the Minister was the repositioning of the ministry to become part of the global economy.
He stated this during the virtual unveiling and virtual commissioning of 4,366 digital economy projects implemented under the supervision of prof Pantami held on Thursday at the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Mbora, Abuja.
Outlining some of the numerous achievements of the digital Minister, Mr Adeleke said “upon resumption of office, Pantami quickly came up with various policies; most critical being national digital economy policy and strategy. You brought determination, resoluteness and implement asiduously these policies.
“He also midwifes the Nigerian National Broadband plan 2020 – 2025.
Adeleke, while eulogising the Minister said: ” almost like mission impossible, for many years, many administrations have tried to get Nigerians have a digital identity, how you did it, I am still trying to get the magic. But you gave us marching order in December of 2020 that you want telcos to work with stakeholders under the leadership of National Identity Management Comkission (NIMC), and you brought all of us in the sector together, to present and deliver on this critical project. This digital identity is what Nigerians will always remember you for.’
“Again, critical too, is what you have done to the economy , particularly at a time when the nation is struggling to diversify our economy from oil to non-oil, you have led the digital economy sector to reach and surpass heights in the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP). I think you got almost 20 percent of the GDP of last year.
Furthermore, you made marks in terms of data protection; we have a digital economy, peoples information are circulating around the Internet and social media but it’s not protected, but today we thank you that despite all the odds, this has been achieved. You have encouraged us to imbibe the spirit of “nothing is impossible” and you led from front in that.
“Today, we are here to commission 4,366 digital economy projects across the 36 states. Again, where we need to get approval, you break down barriers and say hereis it, go and deliver. NCC may have few of those projects but all of these projects are geared towards developing our digital economy. Thank you Minister, the generations to come will appreciate the development of this digital skills to the economy.
“Finally, we want to thank you for getting the sector exempted from excise duty so as to keep telecom services cost at affordable rates. We thank you for your intervention on USSD issues which banks have been giving services to digital economy operators but refused to pay for these services. Honourable Minister congratulations, you started strong and you have finished strong” he added.
Pantami in his remarks, said this hybrid commissioning ceremony involve the virtual launch and unveiling of 4,366 projects and a Compendium of Achievements, among other things.
He said the Compendium of Achievements provides a concise summary of the unprecedented achievements that were recorded under his leadership as a Minister on the 21st of August 2019.
Some of our many achievements include the following:
(i) Number of valid policies- increased from 1 to 23;
(ii) 4G coverage- increased from 23% to 80.86% and 5G was also launched in Nigeria;
(iii) NIN enrolments- increased from less than 39million to 100 million;
(iv) Average quarterly revenue increased from N51.3 million to N408.7 billion as assessed by independent bodies;
(v) Three unprecedented highest contributions of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Nigerian economy; and
(vi) best performance during the independent Ministerial mandates’ achievement review by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and KPMG.
Sundiata Post recalls that under the leadership of Pantami, the digital economy sector has played an important role in developing and diversifying the Nigerian economy.
Pantami expressed his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, the board and management of parastatals under the Ministry and all stakeholders for the great support.