By Stanley Iwuoha
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami says the Ministry is working hard towards making Nigeria the digital economy capital of Africa by 2023.
The Minister said part of the plan was to move all parts of the economy to the digital platform.
The Minister dropped the hint yesterday, while delivering his keynote at the three day International Legislative-Stakeholders Conference on Digital Technology and Cybersecurity with the theme: The Digital Theatre and The Future of Nigeria, hosted by the Committee in Abuja.
Pantami, who was represented at the occasion by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the move aligned with the government’s goals for Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, which is focused on making Nigeria a digital nation.
He said the recent presidential directive for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to be moved to the Ministry is part of government’s efforts at accelerating the achievement of the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy NDEPS (2020-2030).
‘‘The Ministry is working hard towards making Nigeria the digital economy capital of Africa by 2023. This aligns with our goals for NDEPS. We want to empower Nigerians while also ensuring global competitiveness.
‘‘We are putting finishing touches to the Nigeria Digital Asset Management Policy to be released soon. We have directed NITDA to come up with the Nigeria Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy.
‘‘All these efforts are geared towards supporting the promise of the president to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years. With well thought out Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs and initiatives, we will be able to engage our teeming youth for a meaningful national development through gainful employment, improve standard of living, reduce youth restiveness and improved security of lives and property.’’
While describing the Conference as timely, the Minister noted that the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overemphasized as captured in Pillar #6 NDEPS for a Digital Nigeria, which aims to ensure that Nigerians are secure online.
‘‘Cybersecurity awareness has become imperative due to the attendant risks that emanate from the appreciable migration of several transactions, meetings, lectures and other forms of interaction to online and digital platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ he added.
In his remarks, the Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said the workshop was important because it would provide stakeholders opportunity to collaborate in the fight against cybercrime.
‘‘When it comes to cyber security, collaboration is the future because cyber security is not something we can do alone. It is something that need to share information, the sharing is very important because according to the cyber security ventures, by next year 2021, the cost of cyber crime to the world would be more than six trillion dollars annually, and it is going to create 3.5million jobs.
‘‘So we need to strike the balance between how to avoid cyber crime and also how to create jobs. This gives opportunity to our talented youths to use their talent to fight these cyber crimes. So people can use their talents to make money in this digital era rather than using it to do something bad that lands them in trouble. We have started by creating the Nigerian data protection regulation issued.’’