The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, on behalf of the Federal Government last week commissioned seven projects in five Geo-political zones of the country as part of efforts to consolidate on implementing the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
The projects were accomplished by parastatals and agencies under the ministry.
The projects are Community ICT Centre, Dutse, Jigawa State for North West, IT Hub, Abubakar Balewa University, Bauchi for North East, Digital Economy Centre, Imo State Polytechnic, South East, Digital Economy Centre, Garki Secondary School, Abuja for North Central.
Others were Digital Economy Centre, Ojodu Grammar School, Lagos State, Emergency Communications Centre Abeokuta, Ogun State for South West and Emergency Communication Centre, Enugu also for South East.
Dr Isa Pantami at the commissioning of the projects, said it was the ninth in the series of the NDEPS projects.
He notes that the projects were in line with the key agendas of President Muhammadu Buhari which included Economic Development, Security and Fight against Corruption.
“The ICT Parks of the Digital Economy Centres are more inclined to Economic Development and secondly they are also in line with fighting corruption.
“We are using the Digital Centres to build capacity for our citizens and we also do encourage them to migrate from manual way of doing things to online.
“The Emergency Communication Centres are part of government agenda to fight insecurity through activating emergency numbers in cases of emergencies,” Pantami said.
He also states that the Federal Government of Nigeria approved the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in the Federal Public Institutions, hence making the virtual commissioning institutionalised.
He adds that the virtual activities had saved cost for government because there is no need of travelling to projects sites before commissioning.
“These projects are in several locations; just assume that this total number of staff here, we are going to travel from one state to another. Each and every one of us is going to be paid with his ticket which is a D T and other logistics that may come up” he said.
Pantami also states that the ministry had almost completed the National Digital Innovation Startups Policy to promote startups entrepreneurship and innovation.
According to him, private and public sector should adopt solutions by startups because the government is creating the enabling environment for them to be successful.
In his goodwill message, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, appreciated the minister and thanked him for speedy approval of projects that will help drive the national digital policy and prayed that funds should be available to execute all the projects
In the same vein, Director-General, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, was full of gratitude to the minister for his unflinching support to the agency and that with him at the helm of affairs the country will achieve its set target because he knows that the minister is a goal-getter.
The Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT Mrs. Abimbola Alale, while applauding the minister, notes he is “set for national digital strategy and he is doing everything possible for us to achieve the dream.”
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Festus Daudu, states that he has no doubt the ministry and its agencies will achieve the goal of National Digital Economy Policy.
Also, the Post Master General, Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Adebayo Adewusi, was not left out as he congratulated the minister and the ministry for doing what they have promised, “you are working the talk.”
In a closing remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’, Mr Festus Dauda, notes the centres would bridge the digital divide and ensure fulfillment of President Buhari’s promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.
One of the beneficiaries, the Principal of Ojodu Grammar School, Lagos State, Mrs. Rachael Adesola, said the ICT centre by the NITDA was already being utilised by students and that students were using the computers to enhance learning, do research and class activities. She urged the Federal Government to sustain such good interventions.
Adesola notes that students were using the computers to enhance learning, carry out class activities and urged the government to sustain such interventions.