The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has clinched the Minister of the Year Award for what is said to be his great strides and landmark achievements of the digital economy sector under his supervision.
The minister was recognized for the award yesterday in Abuja, sequel to an online poll conducted by the award organisers, Elite Exclusive Magazine, in which he came tops and was singled out for the honour.
The award according to the magazine was in recognition of the exceptional role the minister is playing in sustaining ICT exponential growth, digitization of Nigeria’s emerging economy and also positioning Nigeria’s digital economy sector on the path of sustainable national development.
A statement by the ministry said under the reign of Pantami, the ICT sector had the highest growth rate in Nigeria, quoting the Q4 2020 Report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which said the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.70 per cent to GDP.
“Under the leadership of Dr Pantami, Nigeria reverberated its place as the giant of Africa and leaders in innovation. The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation and the NIN SIM verification exercise is understudied and implemented by most African countries. Nigeria emerged as the chairman, West African Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) unanimously during the 18th annual general meeting (AGM) of the assembly held on Thursday, March 11th, 2021.
“Smart agriculture, smart education, ICT innovation and entrepreneurship, indigenous content development are giving a top priority under the leadership of Dr Pantami, in line with the vision of His Excellency, President Buhari to produce what we need and consume what we produce.
“Equally, broadband penetration in Nigeria hit an unprecedented 45.07 per cent, the 2013 resolution of the National Economic Council on a uniform levy for Right of Way is being honoured 7 years after the consensus decision was reached. This among other factors has brought about a significant drop in the cost of data.
“Within a space of 1 year, Dr Pantami has commissioned over 55 digital economy projects that spread across all the 36 states of Nigeria. Notable among them are National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Abuja, ICT Innovation and Incubation Centre, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Emergency Communication Centre, Owerri, Imo State, ATBU ICT Innovation Hub, Bauchi, Bauchi State, and the Digital Economy Centre, Ekiti State,” it said.
Receiving the award on his behalf, the managing director, NIGCOMSAT Ltd, Dr. Abimbola Alale, expressed Pantami’s appreciation for the recognition, which according to him, is an opportunity to reflect on what the ministry had achieved so far for the digital economy sector. He encouraged the organizers to continue to work for the good of the nation.
The ceremony also witnessed the presentation of awards to an array of individuals including the deputy hairman, House of Representatives’ committee on communications, Hon. Idem Unyime Josiah, speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Hon. Aniekan Bassey, and the vice chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah. Speakers at the event, including Senator Shehu Sani, spoke on the topic ‘From restructuring to secession, which way Nigeria?”