Pantami Commissions 4 Projects For Digital Inclusion

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami (middle) flanked by ministers and chief executive officers of parastatals under the ministry displaying the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in the Public Service during the commissioning in Abuja.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has commissioned four new economy projects spread across the states of the federation as part of ongoing efforts to promote digital inclusion in the country.

He said the projects, the 10th batch in the series, were executed by the ministry and parastatals under its supervision as part of efforts in accelerating the development of the country’s digital economy.

He said all the projects were carefully thought-out and executed efficiently with a view to ensuring the sustainable growth of the digital economy, across the entire country, adding they play a major role in the development of Nigeria’s digital economy for a digital Nigeria, in line with the mandate of the ministry as well as the Federal Government’s key objectives of improving security, reducing corruption and expanding the economy.

The four initiatives he commissioned include National Policy on Virtual Engagements in the Federal Public Institutions; Emergency Communication Centre, Akure, Ondo State; Digital Economy Centre, Federal University Gashua, Yobe State; Digital Economy Centre, Delta State University Abraka, Delta State; and Digital Economy Centre, Government Secondary School, Rigasa (main) Kaduna State.

According to the minister, the National Policy for Virtual Engagements in the Federal Public Institutions, developed in collaboration with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and approved by the Federal Executive Council aims to make provisions for the major transition from physical meetings to online meetings, sequel to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in the public service rules.

“The National Policy for Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions was developed to institutionalize frameworks and standards within ministries, departments and agencies of government as well as government-owned companies using virtual engagement as an administrative procedure in service. 

“The effective implementation will tremendously improve service delivery and reduce the cost of governance as overhead cost elements such as avoidable local and foreign tour/travel for trainings and capacity building meetings will be reduced. It will also cut down expenditure on hosting and servicing of meetings,” he said.

He further called on all MDAs, parastatals and government-owned companies to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the policy and ensure full compliance. 

Speaking on NITDA’s Digital Economy Centre (DEC), he said it is a solar powered IT centre equipped with computers, internet access and tools aimed at enhancing skills development, bridging the digital divide and promoting innovative digital solutions that would address challenges facing the country, adding it supports economic growth by ensuring digital inclusion for the underserved/unserved communities and supports capacity building efforts.

He also said the emergency communications centre (ECC) deployed by the Nigerian Communications Commission was to ensure effective emergency response to cater to the needs of the people, adding the ministry’s goal was to have at least one ECC in each state of the federation, including the FCT.

He urged all the host communities of these interventions provided by government through NITDA and NCC to ensure they take full advantage of the facilities for the benefit of their communities. 

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