I delivered Buhari’s economic mandate – Pantami

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The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. William Alo, has paid glowing tributes to the out-gone Minister, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim, saying his landslide achievements has put Nigeria’s digital economy on the global map.

Alo bared his mind during a send forth ceremony organized in honour of Pantami in Abuja.

“Pantami has put Nigeria’s digital economy on the global map. His hardwork and dedication have been an inspiration to many, especially in achieving a higher level of digital connectivity across the country.

“You have been a great role model, making Nigeria a country of digital giants and we are grateful for the innovation that you brought to bear in the Ministry, and your tireless commitment to progress in the digital sphere”, the Permanent Secretary stated.

The event was a harvest of testimonies and accolades as Heads of agencies under the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy took turns to eulogize the out-gone Honourable Minister for the positive revolution he championed in the last four years.

According to them, the digital sector contributed to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Nigerian economy.

Speaking to his guests at the event, Pantami said he delivered on the eight pillars of the digital economy, in line with the directives from President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “When I came in as the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. President charged me and the Permanent Secretary to ensure we deliver on our mandate within the eight key pillars of the digital economy.”

Pantami itemized the eight pillars as follows: implementation of broadband connectivity; deployment of 4G access to the country; digitalizing government functions and processes; development and implementation of a national digital economy policy and strategy; implementation of a digital identity program.

Others were improvement and optimization of revenues in the agencies under the ministry’s supervision; active collaboration with the private sector to create jobs and empowerment of citizens through digital literacy and skills.

According to him, as pioneer Minister, the performance of the digital sector was assessed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, United Kingdom and KPMG among others, in partnership with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, for which he was adjudged and scored the highest amongst all ministers.

Goodwill messages were given by the Chair of the ceremony, Prof. Adeola Akande, the DGs/CEOs of parastatals under the purview of the Ministry and from friends and associates.

Among other achievements shown during a documentary at the event, Pantami was credited with securing “a partnership with KOICA that attracted a total grant aid of $13 million for the Federal Government” to support the project for building foundation towards digital governance in Nigeria in the second phase of the e-Government Project for Nigeria.

Others included unprecedented 17.92 per cent highest ever contribution to the country’s GDP by the ICT sector in the second quarter, having also accomplished increased in the growth rate of the ICT sector to 14.70 per cent in the fourth quarter, making it the best performing sector of the economy that contributed to Nigeria’s exit from recession.

He was also said to have laid the foundation for security enhancement in the country by successful validation of improperly registered 9.2 million SIM cards that were found to be improperly registered in September 2019.

Also, apart from securing the approval and supervision of the distribution of 6000 ipads to Nigerian institutions to promote virtual teaching, learning and other scholarly activities, Pantami secured a partnership with Microsoft to train five million Nigerians in ICT related and emerging technology courses.

He also secured a partnership with HUAWEI that attracted free training for over 30,000 Nigerians and promoted the establishment of 300 HUAWEI ICT Academies in Nigeria.