By Benprince Ezeh
ISA Ibrahim Pantani, minister for communications and digital economy, has expressed delight at the launching of the Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile App as part of the implementation of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, for a digital Nigeria.
Pantami said that the journey towards developing Nigeria’s Digital Economy commenced when President Muhammadu Buhari approved the request for redesignation of the Federal Ministry of Communications as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, along with an upgrade of the mandate, on October 17, 2019.
During the ceremony in Abuja on Monday, September 28, the minister said the Federal Executive Council on October 23, 2019, adopted the request and the implementation of the revised mandate of the ministry commenced on October 24, 2019.
“The development of our National Digital Economy is anchored on the following 8 pillars as stated in NDEPS: Developmental Regulation, Digital Literacy & Skills; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Digital Services Development & Promotion; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Society & Emerging Technologies; and Indigenous Content Development & Adoption.
“We have recorded a number of unprecedented achievements since we began implementing NDEPS. A few of these include resolution of the lingering issues of excessive Right of Way charges and vandalism of telecommunication infrastructure; rapid broadband penetration, with an increase by about 10% in 11 months (with a value of 42.02% at the end of July 2020), instead of the average annual increase of about 1.7%; development and swift implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan, NNBP; a significant increase in the contribution of ICT to the GDP based on the Q2 2020 GDP – 17.83% – as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics; promotion of digital services in government, including Virtual Federal Executive Council meetings, etc,” Pantami said.
According to him, the effect of the digital economy is far greater than the ICT contribution shows. “The Digital Economy encompasses ICT and all Digital Services, these include all online activities in financial institutions, e-commerce, online tax payment, any form of online payment, online banking, etc.
“When we consider these, the contribution of the Digital Economy could be up to 45% or even more,” the minister said.
– Sept. 29, 2020 @ 12:44 GMT /