Digital Nigeria Day: FG Certifies 63,000 Nigerians Digital Literates

…Saves N5bn from IT Clearance

The Federal Government has certified 63,000 Nigerians digital Literates out of the over 66,000 that enrolled in its digital Literacy Programme.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, who made the disclosure today in Abuja at the maiden edition of “Digital Nigeria Day” celebration said, the 63,000 Nigerians were trained from the ministry’s Digital Academy.

Speaking at the inaugural event, Dr. Pantami said that, for the national policy on digital Nigeria to be achieved Nigerians needs to be trained on digital skills.

“We recently provided online learning platforms to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills. Such platforms include the platform and NITDA Academy for Research and Training. Over 114,000 Nigerians have enrolled on these platforms, including about 67,000 enrolees since we officially launched the Digital Nigeria portal on the 28th of September, 2020. And 63,000 have been certified.”

He further disclosed that the ministry through its IT clearance has saved for the federal government N5 billion.

“We have also developed an IT clearance portal to support inoperability, eliminate duplication and ensure value for money in the implementation of ICT projects in the country. The IT Projects Clearance programme has saved over N5 billion for the Federal Government,” he said.

The minister noted that the ICT sector alone contributes 17% to the national GDP and by the time you include all digital transactions it would amount to 45% of national GDP

“The effect of the digital economy is far greater than the ICT contribution shows. The Digital Economy encompasses ICT and all Digital Services, which includes all online activities in financial institutions, ecommerce, online tax payment, any form of online payment, online banking, etc. When we consider these, the contribution of the Digital Economy could be up to 45% or even more,” he said.

Speaking further he said that if Nigeria can maintain the 10% annual increase in broadband penetration; in five years Nigeria should have achieved 90% broadband penetration. ” If we can maintain the 10% broadband penetration, we can hit 90% in five years.”

Meanwhile, the President, Institute of Soft Ware Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Bimbo Abioye said, they are yet to feel the public sector’s impact when it comes to procurement of locally developed softwares.

R-L: The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, (Left) the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, and other CEOs under the Ministry at the 1st Annual DigitalNigeriaDay 2020.

“The private sector is in the lead and the public sector is expected to catch-up. At ISPON we don’t feel the public sector at all when it comes to procurement,” he lamented.

On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta said that the celebration of Nigeria Digital Day is a testament to the Minister’s steps towards achieving digital economy coupled with all that he has achieved since he assumed office.

Prof. Mohammad Abubarka, Managing Director, Galaxy backbone, said that our problem towards achieving digital economy is not policy but implementation.

“Our digital problem is not policy but implementation and Digital Day is most unique,” he said.

Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said with the help and support of the Minister the agency has been able to achieve a lot in the past one year. “With help from the Minister, we have been able to achieve a lot within a year”.

Also speaking, the Director General National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz pledged his support to the ministry’s digital economy drive and said that with the declaration of October 24 every year as Nigeria’s Digital Day, “this is a turning point for our purposeful drive towards digital transformation and I assure you of a national identity support for the digital economy drive.”

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