DATA: Building a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria – Dr Pantami
Honouring the invitation of the Governing Council of Federal University of Technology, Minna, extended by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Abdullahi Bala, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today delivered the year 2020 Convocation Lecture at the Minna Higher institution of learning.
The Chief ICT Policy Maker of Nigeria paper was titled: DATAFICATION OF SOCIETY: ECONOMIC AND SECURITY ISSUES IN PRODUCING AND USING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE DATA IN NIGERIA.
In his two hours presentation, the energetic, vibrant, young charismatic Federal Executive Council Member congratulated the graduands’, stating that their labour has been rewarded. Dr Pantami, however, reminded the graduates that graduation is only a starting point, and encouraged the graduating students not to rest on their oars in the pursuit of a lifetime of significance.
The Honourable Minister also encouraged the students to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired over time to make a positive difference in the society, highlighting that with the re-designation of Federal Ministry of Communications as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the Ministry under his watch has been positioned to drive a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.
“The re-designation reflects the focus of Mr President to emphasize the need to build a digital economy. The new name addresses the new mandate of the Ministry; communications addresses the channel, digital addresses the nature of the content and economy reflects the central focus of the activities of the Ministry, which is the development of the economy in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government”, the Minister said.
The NEXT LEVEL Minister further stated that the focus on growing the National Digital Economy will also improve Nigeria’s traditional economy and will enable her to get a slice of the Global Digital Economy which Oxford Economics values at 11.5 trillion dollars or approximately 16% of the Global Economy.
The Minister likewise maintained that Data is critical to the success of the digital economy, underscoring that Data drives the digital economy and the digital economy drives the growth of the traditional economy.
Dr Pantami while underscoring the importance of data said, “In the recent past, Nigeria’s wealth was mainly measured by the minerals and natural resources it has been endowed with but we are now moving into an era where our wealth will be measured by our digital resources and the innovation of Nigerians. “
Pantami additionally cited an example with the leading companies of today such as Amazons, Googles, Facebooks and Microsofts that primarily have a high level of valuation because they warehouse and process massive amounts of both structured and unstructured data.
The Federal Executive Council member concluded the lecture by urging the assembly to join hands in building a Nigeria where data will prosper the Nation’s economy, rather than create division among people.
He reechoed that datafication has come to stay in Nigeria and that the rebirth Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under his watch is committed to taking advantage of the position to develop a Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria.