The Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, has promised to empower youths in the country through information communication technology. He said this in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman.
He reiterated the commitment of the ministry to work closely with parastatals under his supervision, particularly the National Information Technology Development Agencies (NITDA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), including relevant security agencies, hubs and all groups promoting digital capacity building in Nigeria.
According to him, his mission is to promote the growth of a healthy eco-system supportive of young Nigerians and creating opportunities to harness their energies.
In addition, he called for an end to the continued harassment of young Nigerians with computing devices by the security agencies.
The minister called on security agencies to stop the current profiling and harassment of young Nigerians and admonished security agencies to be circumspect in these situations.
He said the ministry understood the need to protect the society, but he insisted that it must be done credibly, while recognising the fundamental human rights of every citizen of Nigeria.
He explained that if the situation goes unchecked, it would dampen the vigorous attempt at diversifying the economy and rather push more young energies underground with catastrophic consequences.
According to Pantami:
“It should be further noted that many young Nigerians have contributed significantly to the impressive growth of the Nigerian economy and have created employment for youth in Nigeria. The digital economy in Nigeria has continued to soar thereby giving impetus to the growth of ICT as a major segment of the economy. It would therefore be counterproductive to stifle this sector of the economy by labelling every young Nigerian with a computing device as a fraudster.”