Ministry, Microsoft Strengthen Ties For Digital Economy Development

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Pantami Microsoft
L-R: The country director, Microsoft Nigeria, Mrs. Ola Williams and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami when she paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.

The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and Microsoft are set to strengthen already existing relationship between them to boost Nigeria’s digital economy development drive.

This came to light when the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami received top management staff of Microsoft led by its new country director, Mrs. Ola Williams, who paid a courtesy visit on him in his office in Abuja.

In a statement by the minister’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, Williams said the visit was to strengthen the already existing relationship with the supervisory ministry of the digital economy sector and to further seek the support of the Federal Government in establishing a data centre in the country.

“The exemplary leadership of Dr. Pantami has built confidence and encouraged investments in the sector. We are here to solicit your continuous support to make sure we get the right level of engagements required in terms of timeline for us to build the required business case to land the data centre in Nigeria. In the same vein, we are also soliciting the collaboration of your office in commencing the digital skills training targeted at five million Nigerians over a two-year period,” she said.

In his response, Pantami extended his goodwill to the country director on her milestone achievement as the first female country manager for Microsoft in Nigeria, as well as the first indigenous Nigerian to rise through the ranks at Microsoft to become its country manager in Nigeria.

Pantami reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to support all legitimate endeavours geared towards the growth and development of the digital economy sector. 

“We are excited about your elevation because firstly, you are a Nigerian and this fulfills part of the policies of the president to ensure that indigenes are considered first, except where capacity is lacking,” he stated.

The minister expressed delight that after over three years of exploring collaboration on the project, the data centre was finally coming to fruition and he assured the delegation of the support of government through his office.

“This will ensure the safety and security of our national data as it will be domiciled within our shores. Similarly, we are keen on empowering our citizens with the requisite digital skills and have initiated various programmes in that regard. The DigitalNigeria and NITDA online academies are part of our interventions and we have recorded tremendous success as over two hundred and ten thousand Nigerians have benefitted so far,” he added.

Oluchi Okorafor
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