The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami has officially presented a compendium showcasing the successful implementation of 4,366 projects aimed at developing Nigeria’s digital economy sector over the past four years.
The unveiling of the compendium took place during the virtual and physical commissioning of selected projects in Abuja.
These projects encompass a wide range of initiatives, including the establishment of emergency communications centres by the Nigerian Communications Commission, the creation of ICT centres by the National Information Technology Development Agency, the provision of ten operational mailing vehicles for the Nigerian Postal Service and the implementation of universal service provision projects nationwide.
During the ceremony, the minister inaugurated various projects, such as the IT hub construction and equipping in Gashua, Yobe State (northeast), the digital awareness programme at Cardoso High School, Apapa, Lagos State (southwest), the community IT training centre in Ogbomoso, Oyo State (southwest), the Digital Nigeria Centre at General Hassan Usman Katsina Unity College, Bauchi, Bauchi State (northeast), the Mini-ICT Square Project at FUT Minna, Niger State (north-central), the Digital Nigeria Centre at Udi Abia Secondary School, Udi, Enugu State (southeast), among others.
Pantami highlighted the significant growth of Nigeria’s digital economy in the last four years, attributing it to the implementation of well-tailored policies. He noted that broadband coverage had increased from 23 per cent to 80.86 per cent during this period. Additionally, he expressed satisfaction that the sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s economy had surged from N51.3 million to N408.7 billion in four years. Furthermore, Pantami stated that the government had successfully increased National Identity Number (NIN) enrollment from 39 million to 100 million.
Prominent figures in the sector, including the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta; Director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi; Postmaster-general of the Nigerian Postal Service, Hon Sunday Adepoju; Managing director of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammed Abubakar; Director-general of the National Identity Management Commission, Engr Aliyu Aziz and the national commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, commended Pantami for his pioneering efforts in the sector.
Danbatta, represented by the executive commissioner of stakeholder management, Barr. Adeleke Adewolu highlighted several interventions facilitated by the minister that had contributed to the growth of the sector. Notably, the implementation of the NIN-SIM synchronisation policy and the exemption of the telecommunications sector from an additional 5 per cent tax were recognized as laudable achievements under Pantami’s leadership.
The director-general of NITDA, Abdullahi, acknowledged Pantami’s lasting legacy in the sector, while the Postmaster General Adepoju emphasised the minister’s significant impact on the telecommunications industry. He stated, “There is no doubt that effective and efficient national mail routes will help in putting Nigeria on a proper pedestal within the comity of global postal administrations.”
In his address, Pantami revealed that over 100 million Nigerians had been enrolled for National Identity Numbers, with linkage to their Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM). He proudly announced that the present administration had initiated, executed, and completed a total of 4,366 ICT projects and digital centres over the last four years. Furthermore, Pantami highlighted the substantial increase in Fourth Generation Technology (4G) network coverage from 23 to 80 per cent during the review period.
As part of the ceremony, the minister also inaugurated over 15 delivery trucks for the operations of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). He further hinted at the launch of 5G technology in the country, which is expected to ensure steady growth in the telecoms industry and provide coverage to underserved and unserved areas. Pantami added, “Average quarterly revenue increased from N51.3 million to N408.7 billion, as assessed by independent bodies”.
A major highlight of the event was the ribbon-cutting ceremony for several projects, including the unveiling of a 443-page compendium documenting the major achievements, programmes, and initiatives in Nigeria’s digital economy sector. Additionally, ten mailing vehicles for NIPOST were showcased, and the celebration of over 100 million NIN enrollments took place.