President Muhammadu Buhari has renamed the Ministry of Communication. It will now be known as the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy following a request by its current Minister, Dr Isa Ali Pantami.
According to the statement signed by the Deputy Director of Press in the Ministry, Philomena Oshodin, the ministry was renamed to properly position and empower it to fulfil its Digital Economy objectives.
Pantami explained that the former name was not only limiting in pursuing the objectives of a digital economy but obsolete. It did not reflect the trends as emphasised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Nigeria’s communications ministry supervises the ICT Sector, which contributed about 13.85% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter of 2019.
With the new name, the ministry plans to further expand its mandate to capture the goals of digitalising the Nigerian economy in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP).
It also plans to reposition its strategic objectives as laid out in the priority areas of the current administration while accelerating growth and social inclusion.
According to Pantami, global and African economies like Scotland, Thailand, Tunisia, Benin Republic and Burkina Faso have adopted deliberate strategies and created a Ministry of Digital Economy.
Pantami, who took reigns of the ministry in August after serving as the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) added that the change in nomenclature was in line with global best practice. Especially the European Union which has a commissioner for Digital Economy.
Upon assumption of office, TechNext hinted that one of Pantami’s major call would be working with the presidency to actualise Nigeria’s suffering broadband ubiquity plans. We were also hopeful that he would create an enabling environment for businesses and investors in the sector.
With the approved name already announced and adopted by the Federal Executive Council, Pantami could utilise the broader powers of a rebranded Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to shake up Nigeria’s digital space.
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