The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has said his ministry and its parastatals have generated over N1 trillion for the Federal Government in less than two years.
He made this known during the commissioning of digital economy projects for a digital Nigeria, which was the 12th batch in the series of projects commissioned by the ministry and the parastatals under it.
In his speech on the occasion today (August 19) in Abuja, the minister who underscored achievements in his two-year journey as the minister in charge of communications and digital economy sector, said N1 trillion revenue generation for government translated to an average of about N44 billion every month or over N1.4 billion every day.
“Furthermore, over ninety-four billion naira (N94,000,000,000) was generated for the Federal Government and approved by the National Assembly in line with relevant laws, as part of the 2020 appropriation for personnel, capital projects, capacity building, interventions, etc. The IT Projects Clearance Programme also saved over five billion naira (N5,478,007,325.23) for the Federal Government. The statistics and figures discussed earlier were generated from the various reports submitted by the ministry and parastatals as part of my supervision,” he said.
He added the ministry and its parastatals had offered direct world class training to well over 219,198 citizens in digital skills and emerging technologies, aside from other citizens who benefitted from its mass trainings as part of efforts to promote a paradigm shift from the general societal focus on degrees to a strong focus on skills.
He listed some the training programmes that were implemented to include: Capacity building programme for artisans -1,120; ICT training and empowerment for women- 200; training of persons living with disabilities- 102; Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) training- 296; streamlined capacity building programme for virtual libraries- 150; training on digital identity for development- 30; GSM phone repairs training -1,858; digital job creation training – 960; VSAT installation core skills- 600; digital Nigeria and NITDA online academies- 212,000; capacity building for IT intervention centre managers- 200; capacity building and certification for digital transformation technical working group- 442; capacity building for members of civil society- 30; capacity building through National Adopted School for Smart Education (NASSE)- 530; and several others.
He further said the ministry had developed 16 national policies within the period under review, adding15 of them focus on specific pillars in the general National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria.
He also listed the national policies as follows:
National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy 2020-2030 (NDEPS); Roadmap for the Implementation of the NDEPS;
Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025; SIM Card Registration Policy; Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration; National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunication Sector; National Policy on Virtual Engagements in the Federal Public Institutions; National Policy on Device Management;
National Policy on Digital Identity for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria; National Policy on VSAT Installation Core Skills for Nigerians; Rule Making Process of NIPOST; National Dig-Once Policy (Stakeholder Engagement ongoing); National Policy on Communication Satellite (Draft); National Policy on Fifth Generation (5G) Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy (Draft); National Policy for the Management of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics; and National Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startup Policy (Stakeholder Engagement ongoing).
Reeling out successes in the National Identification Number (NIN) enrolments, he said the country had recorded 61 million enrolments.
“We have significantly increased the number of National Identification Number (NIN) enrolments since the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) joined the Communications and Digital Economy family in September 2020. From the inception of the NIN enrolment process to September 2020, there were 42 million unique NIN enrolments. Through our supervision, this number rolled to 61,092,044 NIN enrolments as at the 11th of August, 2021.
“The increase of about 20 million enrolments in less than a year is unprecedented. We have also launched the Android enrolment software and have received Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval for the upgrade of critical ICT infrastructure of the National Identity Management System,” he said.
Noting other successes recorded, Pantami said the ministry and its parastatals had commissioned 1,667 ICT projects and centres with 455 other projects ongoing.
The 1,667 projects and programmes are 24 emergency communication centres; 4 virtual examination centres; 4 eHealth/Data sharing centres; 80 digital awareness program (DAP) centres; 74 advance digital appreciation programme for tertiary institutions (ADAPTI); 4 digital industrial parks; 6 ICT innovation and incubation park/hubs; 80 digital capacity training centres (DCTC); 80 e-learning facilities attached to DCTCs; 6 community ICT centres; 1 National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR); 17 tertiary institution knowledge centers (TIKC) and 249 school knowledge centers (SKC)
Others, according to him, include 24 e-accessibility projects; 80 digital economy centres (DECs); 80 e-learning facilities attached to DECs and laying of 19.1Km of fibre cable to expand reach and coverage to ministries.
The minister said the eight projects commissioned today represented a very small percentage (less that 0.5) of the 1,667 projects and programmes that had been established across the country in less than two years.
He also recounted the eight projects commissioned today and pleaded with “the host communities and beneficiaries of all our projects and programmes” to ensure they take full advantage of the facilities and skills for the benefit of their communities and the nation.