The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has said that the Information and Communication Technology sector has contributed over N1 trillion to the Federal Government’s purse in the last two years. The Minister, who disclosed this while commissioning the 12th batch of the Digital Economy Projects for a Digital Nigeria, said the revenue was generated by the parastatals under the Ministry.
He added that within the two years, the Ministry had been able to record some major achievements in the area of national policy formulation, infrastructure, national identification number enrollment, revenue generation and many more. “The Ministry and its parastatals have generated over N1 Trillion for the Federal Government in less than 2 years, this translates to an average of about N44 Billion every month or over N1.4 Billion every day,” he said.
Pantami further disclosed that about N360 billion of this revenue was largely from Spectrum allocated by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for commercial purposes. He also added that over N600 Billion was paid by ICT Companies to the account of the Federal Government through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
“Furthermore, over Ninety-Four Billion Naira (N94,000,000,000) was generated for the Federal Government and approved by the National Assembly in line with relevant laws, as part of the 2020 appropriation for personnel, capital projects, capacity building, interventions, etc. The IT Projects Clearance Programme also saved over Five Billion Naira (N5,478,007,325.23) for the Federal Government”, the Minister recalled.
Pantami, while applauding the chief executive officers of the various parastatals under the ministry at the virtual commissioning event for their support and commitment, disclosed that 1,667 ICT projects and Centres have been established across the country in two years since he assumed duty as the Minister. “In addition to those already established, we have over 455 other projects and programmes that are ongoing. All these are in full alignment with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria”, he noted.
“In the last 2 years, we have offered direct world-class training to well over 219,198 citizens in digital skills and emerging technologies. This number does not include the many citizens that have benefited from training through our Centres”, he added. He said that the mass training were efforts geared at promoting a paradigm shift from the general societal focus on degrees to a strong focus on skills acquisition.
While speaking on policy formulations, Pantami said that within his two years tenure as Minister, 16 National policies have emerged, which include; the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy (NDEPS); Roadmap for the Implementation of the NDEPS; the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025; Sim Card Registration Policy; National Policy on Digital Identity for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria; National Policy on VSAT Installation Core Skills for Nigerians, amongst many others that have been developed and implemented as against just one policy he inherited on assumption into the office.