The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has promised that the federal government will facilitate 95 per cent digital literacy skills in the next two years in the country. He stated this during the 7th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy with the theme: “Leveraging the Gains of ICTs in Developing and Implementing A Digital Economy Strategy for Nigeria”, which held recently in Gombe House, Gombe State.
Pantami, however, tasked all state governments to support and key into the vision of the federal government in order to achieve the target.
According to the minister, to achieve basic, intermediate and advance skills in digital literacy in Nigeria, thereby bridging the existing gap, the unflinching support of all states governments would be required.
Isa Pantami said, “This cannot be achieved alone by federal government, all the states must key-in to see that ICT literacy is provided to its indigenes. This is absolutely necessary for the implementation of digital economy”.
Pantami, pointed out why the federal government was agitating and advocating for all states to ensure that basic knowledge of ICT is mandatory from primary schools to secondary schools.
According to him, the federal government believed that the initiative would create enabling environment for children to grow up with knowledge of ICT.
The minister urged the states to work towards changing the perception of their indigenes and residents and make them understand that today ICT is not about socialisation and ease of activities but for economic empowerment, which the world economists have predicted that the 60 per cent of the world economy would be dominated by digital economy and we do not want to be left behind, he stressed.
According to him, “To have a digital Nigeria means federal, states and local government must all be on board in order to achieved digital Nigeria, that is why it is very important to look at the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.”
He added that the responsibilities and implementations of the policy document would be borne by the federal, states and local governments.
He, however, explained that the policy document was not static and that there was room for council deliberations to be accommodated and stressed the need for integration of observations, recommendations, comments, and constructive criticisms from stakeholders.
The minister reiterated that parastatals under the supervision of his ministry are regulatory bodies as such are required to come up with regulations that would provide enabling environment to support the sector and make digital economy strive in Nigeria.
He said, “In the course of doing that they are not in any way urged or encouraged to come up with unnecessary restrictions but to ensure that these instruments are regulations that are to support the development of the sector.”
Earlier, the Executive Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, commended the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for the choice of the state to host the highest national advisory body on ICT noting that the body also provides platform for planning, implementation, directing and coordination of policies, programmes and activities in the ICT sector of the Nigeria economy.
He said Gombe State remained fully committed to partnering with the ministry in its current efforts towards enhancing digital inclusion, connecting people and opening up opportunities so that no community is left behind in the rapidly growing digital world.