The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved the renaming of the Federal Ministry of Communications as Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the digital economy had become a global trend and was making meaningful contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“I am here to convey the message to Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Communications which I supervise has been renamed and re-designated as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; so that the amendment is that digital economy should be added to the name.
“We came up with the proposal knowing that digital economy today is about to dominate the world and even in Nigeria, if you look at it critically, the contribution of ICT to Gross Domestic Product(GDP) is increasing by the day.
“ If you look at the second quarter of 2019, you will find out that oil and gas contributed 8.82 per cent to our GDP while non-oil sector collectively contributed 91.18 per cent while ICT contributed 13.85 per cent to our GDP.
“So, even the contribution of oil and gas as only 8.82 while ICT 13.85 per cent.
“Now, the global practice is that nations are moving into digital economy and we felt leaving digital economy as just a peripheral in our country will not be for our economy particularly in order to give more priority to the priorities of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“There is need for us to have a ministry that will supervise the development and implementation of digital economy in Nigeria; most importantly, with regard to our economic recovery and growth plan,’’ NAN quoted him as saying.
Pantami added that in order to be in alignment with the global best practice, many nations in the world were coming up with new ministries as ministries of digital economy
State House Report
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, has granted the prayers of the Honourable Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM to properly position and empower the Ministry to fulfill his Digital Economy objectives.
The Ministry which supervises the ICT Sector has been renamed The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to further expand its mandate to capture the goals of digitalization of the Nigerian economy in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP), one of the key agenda of the present administration.
According to the Honourable Minister, the former name was not only limiting in pursuing the objectives of a digital economy, but obsolete as it did not reflect the the trends as emphasized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
ICT contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 13.85% in the second quarter of 2019. The change of nomenclature will propel the Ministry to reposition its strategic objectives as laid out in the priority areas of this administration while accelerating growth and social inclusion. Dr Pantami cited examples of global and African economies like Scotland, Thailand, Tunisia, Benin Republic and Burkina Faso among others who have adopted deliberate strategies and created Ministries of Digital Economy in line with global best practice, and especially the European Union which has a commissioner for Digital Economy. In a letter containing his approval, the President noted that the request is in line with global best practice which will further reflect the priorities of his administration.
The approved name has been announced and adopted by the Federal Executive Council today, 23 October 2019.
Signed Philomena Oshodin Deputy Director Press & Public Relations
23rd October 2019