Provision of digital infrastructure will enhance digital inclusion – Minister

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali says digital project commissioning aims at bringing to the knowledge of Nigerians the existence of such projects in their localities and part of the measures put together by the administration to render an account of the management of its resources.

Dr Pantami who stated this when he commissioned virtual 12 projects across six geopolitical zones of the country on behave of President Muhammdu Buhari and flagged off Digital Capacity Development Programme said it would also enhance digital inclusion.

“Many citizens not aware of projects without commissioning; you will find a student in an institution; he is not even aware that the project has been in existence but when the project is commissioned, our friends in the media usually try to publicise it and by doing that many citizens will know that this project is in our state, community so they will be able to patronise it and go there to build their capacity. When an assignment is given to you and a certain amount of money is allocated for that project; when that project is done make it public,” the Minister said.

Pantami said that the commissioning of the 12 projects was in line with the Drive for a Digital Economy, the Federal government on Thursday has Commissioned 12 projects and as well

Pantami disclosed that each states of the federation has at least 3 ongoing projects which is scattered all over the country capturing every geo-polical zone in the country ‘‘there is no state without at least three projects with maintenance and sustainable plans already in place.

According to him, the digital commissioning has proven to be the positive part of the COVID-19 pandemic as multiple projects were commissioned simultaneously at different locations in the country.

It is our challenge that a significant percentage of our citizens are provided with digital skills.

Also on the significance of the commissioned projects, the Minister said by automating transactions and other services, a significant percentage of corruption is eliminated in alignment with the Digital Nigeria agenda.

The Jigawa State Governor, Mohammadu Abubakar who chaired the occasion said that the present administration has not only delivered on its campaign promises but has also achieved so much through the various ministries and their parastatals despite the drop in the revenue generation and the advent of COVID-19 pandemic.

He commended President Buhari for doing better than his predecessors in the last five years of his administration with half of the resources available to the previous regime during the oil boom.

According to the Governor, the President made the right choice in appointing Dr Pantami as Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, describing him as a round spade in a round hole.

“We rely heavily on imports and oil prices drop. Not because of Buhari, he did not cause the drop in oil price and that causes scarcity of in dollars because we have to import the dollar and because the past leaders have been chronic importers. We have to still import what we need,” he said.

The Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika described Dr Pantami as a man with vision and mission and that has made many of them at the Federal Executive Council to rebrand their vision and mission of their various ministries.

The Minister of State Works Abubarka Aliyu, who spoke was full of praises for Dr Pantami and said that roads being constructed now are with provision for Telecom facilities. “We now construct roads with provision for telecommunication optic fibre.”

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communication Commission, (NCC) Professor Umar Danbatta, in his remarks, said the various projects Commissioned under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy will eliminate poverty via skill acquisition and manpower.

While, the Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Mr Inuwa Kashiful Abdullahi eulogized his Predecessor for being a very good mentor and an inspirational leader said they will collectively work to deliver on the president’s digital economy policy and using ICT to harness digital literacy and the challenges that post Covid-19 will post to the economy.

“Dr. Isa Pantami, taught and motivated me to work remotely and at our ministry, we have blessed the trail for remote working in Nigeria, that is why we are here today celebrating our achievements coming through the COVID-19 pandemic in a fine style.

“Dr. Pantami is one year in office today but his achievements are unprecedented; it looks like he has been in the office for a decade. In less than a year he has resolved problems that have been lingering in the sector for more than a decade,” he added.

The 12 projects commissioned

E-Library federal college of education Technical Bichi Kano state, ICT innovation Hub Oyo state, E-Accessible centre Government school for the deaf Malumfashi Katsina state, Virtual Examination centre college of education (technical) Enugu state, Digital capacity training centre Elkanemi college of Islamic theology Yola state, School Knowledge centre, SKC, AUD high school Ekiti state, Emergency communication centre, ECC, Kano state.

Others include digital capacity development program for Artisans in Suleja Niger state, Lautech Oyo State, FCE Okene Kogi state, NIIT Owerri Imo state, Benchills school Warri Delta state.

It would be recalled that on 11 August 2020 the Federal Government Commissioned 11 projects to aid digital Economy in the country.

Source: Voice of Nigeria