By Angela Nkwocha
President Muhammadu Buhari at the official opening and unveiling of the “National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy” during the eNigeria 2019 Conference held in Abuja recently has lauded the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, as well as the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta and other ICT agencies for the current contribution of ICT to GDP.
While commending their efforts at diversifying the economy, he urged the agencies in the Ministry to sustain the tempo of activities to grow the economy.
Pantami acknowledged the synergy between the Ministry and NCC which led to deactivation of about 9 million invalidly-registered Subscriber Identification (SIM) cards, many of which were used to undermine the nation’s security by criminal elements. He also harped on the commissioning of more Emergency Communication Centres (ECC), constructed by the NCC based on the directive of the Federal Government.
Danbatta in his remarks applauded the spate of ICTs contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is currently at 13.86 per cent of the GDP.
He expressed optimism that the outcome of the conference will help galvanise both public and private sector interests in deepening digital transformation process, crystallise home-grown innovations to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Nigeria, and unlock the digital economy the country desires.
The keynote speaker and Chief Executive Officer, Mainone Cable, Ms Funke Opeke, called on the FG to produce a comprehensive and clear ICT policy and strategy, institute policy for robust infrastructure development and remove all obstacles to infrastructure expansion by operators such as strangulating taxes and regulations in order to heighten job creation potentials of digital transformation.
Opeke spoke on the need for global players in the country to domesticate technology so that more jobs are created and the implementation of right incentives that will grow our indigenous ICT driven companies.