*We must reorder our priorities in education, he says
By Myke Uzendu
The Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, yesterday stated that the all agencies in the ministry were providing needed support in the war against insurgency amd banditry across the country.
This was as he advocated paradigm shift in focus by our educational administrators, proffering that skills rather than just paper qualification should drive our academic/technological preferences.
He also disclosed steps taken by his ministry to refocus the mode of teaching from the primary to tertiary levels in line with government priority for a digitised economy.
Pantami spoke while presenting his one year score card in Abuja stressing that Nigerians should not blame any agency in his ministry for not providing needed support to the security agencies in the war against insecurity, stressing that “those support have led to the several successes achieved by the nation’s security forces in carrying out their assignments”.
Emphasising that such support are not what should be made public, Pantami assured that with what is being put together, insecurity will take the back bench.
“All the agencies in my ministry are doing well. It will be incharitable to accuse any of them of not living up to expectation. I cannot start listing the impact of their contributions, but I can state categorically that they have all lived up to their expectations,” he said.
He stated that because there is global shift towards skills acquisition to just obtaining paper certificates without the requisite skills, he has put measures in place through which the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) embarked on massive skill impartation to university lecturers, secondary and primary school teachers to obtain necessary ICT skills to cope with the demand of teaching and learning in the post covid-19 period.
He gave example of several Nigerians who he said are making millions of dollars years as a result of their high impact ICT skills, stressing that the emphasis now is on skills rather than on the grade of academic qualifications.
The Minister said a key priority achievement he made in one year was to secure the consent of state governors to bring down the maximum Right of Way charhes for ICT infrastructure to a maximum of N4,500 linear meter, stressing that aware of the phenomenal gains in low ROW, “states like Ekiti reduced ROW charhes to as low as N145 per meter”.
According to him, this reduced the cost of “connecting two LGAs from a staggering N560 million before the implememtation of the ROW resolution to approximatley N150,000.
“This will not only reduce cost of services, but will also improve the economy of those companies and ensure quality of service.
“I must emphasise that lready the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), have said the intervention alone reduced cost services by about 70 per cent.
“I can also tell you that since our National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 to 2030 took off, we have projecta of over N1 billion to be implemented,” he said.