By Angela Nkwocha
The Governor of Ekiti State, and Chairman Nigerian Governors Forum, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, has lauded the efforts of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami towards achieving a digital Nigeria, stressing that the digital economy is pivotal in accelerating the development of Nigeria.
Fayemi made this known while making his remarks virtually as chairman of the occasion during the 7th phase of the virtual commissioning of digital economy projects for a digital Nigeria by agencies under the Ministry.
While expressing optimism that the ICT projects by the Ministry and its agencies would help in human capital development through driving innovations in the ICT sector, he expressed satisfaction at the various ICT initiatives implemented in his state.
He further pledged the full support of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum towards the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the same vein, the Special Guest of Honour, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, also applauded Pantami for coming up with the initiative of virtual meetings in the face of the global COVID 19 pandemic adding that the various ICT initiatives introduced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have been very helpful to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
In his remarks, Dr Pantami said that the virtual commissioning of projects is aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability.
He stated that all the five projects commissioned were in line with the three priority areas of President Buhari led administration and also part of the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.
“We have projects in every state of Nigeria. Only within the year 2020, we have executed a minimum of 4 to 5 projects in each state of the federation”, he said.
The executed projects include the NCC’s emergency Communication Centre, Ado- Ekiti, which he averred is critical to enhancing the security of lives and property of Nigerians, the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) for Secondary Schools, whose beneficiaries are Methodist Girls’ High School, Yaba, Lagos State and Bishop Okoye Girls’ Secondary School, Ukpor, Anambra State; as well as the School Knowledge Center (SKC) at Ijaloke Grammar School, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, executed by the USPF an initiative designed to expose students to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) awareness and usage.
“The DAP is a programme by which the NCC, through the USPF, contributes to the digital economy by ensuring inclusive growth of human capacity development as well as economic development of the Nigerian population.”
The Minister also flagged off the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) initiative located at the Jewel’s Suit, Okoe Urejee, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, which was executed by the National Information Technology Development agency (NITDA).
According to Pantami, the SKC is critical to the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government. “This is because FG understands that demand for jobs in the nearest future, as predicted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), would change completely. As such, job demands would be more on soft skills such as critical thinking, collaborative thinking, agility and adaptability among others, all of which can be aided by ICT.”
While stating that the NAVSA project by NITDA is also in line with the Federal Government’s economic agenda to diversify the economy by driving agriculture with ICT, the Minister said the projects, altogether, were a demonstration of accountability and transparency on the part of government for ultimate promotion of a digital economy in Nigeria.