The Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy says it has been able to save the nation over N22.4 billion through the implementation of the Information Technology (IT) project’s clearance policy.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, made this known in a chat with journalists while giving account of his stewardship in office so far under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress Professional Forum in Abuja, saying over 727 institutions have complied with over 323 projects cleared in accordance with the laid down guidelines under this policy.
He said the sector under his supervision had been able to deploy strategies to support the three-point agenda of security, anti-corruption and economic development of President Muhammad Buhari, which include the development and implementation of over a dozen policies to enable the digitalisation of Nigeria in line with global best practices.
Listing some of the ministry’s intervention, he cited the Policy on Virtual Engagements for Public Institutions as an impetus to fighting corruption and reducing the cost of governance while also promoting e-governance.
In the area of economic development, the minister pointed out that enabling policies enacted in the sector to support the digitalisation of the economy had empowered it to provide and enhance digital capacities among the citizenry.
Pantami noted that the National Policy on Entrepreneurship and Start-ups as well as the digital literacy and skills pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria had given impetus to the acquisition of digital skills and job creation drive of the sector.
“Under the Digital Nigeria portal, over 210,000 citizens including women, youths and the physically challenged have been equipped with various digital skills for economic empowerment. These trainings are implemented in collaboration with technology giants like Microsoft, Huawei, Cisco etc and the certificates are globally recognised and respected. The establishment of a world class e-government centre in line with the e-government master- plan also ensures that the digital training needs of the Nigerian labour force are met,” he said.
Pantami added the sector had established over 300 ICT centres, fully funded by the federal government across all states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
In the area of security, the minister noted that although it is not a direct mandate of his ministry, it is a priority of government and therefore, sectoral policies to aid security agencies in the discharge of their duties had been developed and implemented.
He cited the National Policy on SIM Registration and the Revised Policy on NIN/SIM Linkage as a huge boost to the nation’s security, saying it is no longer business as usual for criminal elements who hitherto used stolen identities to perpetrate crime unhindered.
A statement by the minister’s spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, recalled that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its reports from the Q2 of 2020 till date, said the digital economy sector under the supervision of Pantami had retained the unprecedented position of the fastest growing sector in the nation’s economy with a whooping 14.70 per cent growth rate.