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A look at Pantami’s outing at MWC 2021 and efforts to woo investors

“Nigeria has an enabling regulatory environment and policies for digital economic growth”

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MWC 2021
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (Nigeria), Dr. Isa Pantami at MWC 2021

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain 2021 came and went and we’ve gathered the more memorable developments from this year’s edition, especially from Nigeria’s moves to woo investors to seize opportunities in the ever growing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami led the country’s delegation from both the public and private sectors at the MWC 2021.

The MWC is a flagship mobile industry and technology event, an avenue where decision-makers meet to network and champion policy directions.

MWC 2021

R-l: Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (Nigeria), Dr. Isa Pantami and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, at MWC 2021

MWC is attended by global mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors, content owners, among others.

Pantami addresses GSMA Sub-Saharan Africa roundtable

The Pantami made a presentation titled: Accelerating Digital Transformation – A Case Study of Nigeria.

As the mouthpiece of the Nigerian government at MWC 2021, the Minister told investors that the country has an enabling regulatory environment and policies for digital economic growth.

Dr. Pantami while highlighting some of the gains of digital economy in Nigeria’s economic growth noted that the digital transformation journey in Nigeria has been demanding but very rewarding.

“The stakeholders and members of the ecosystem are indispensable in the drive to transform the digital landscape of any country.

“Having the buy-in and support of the top leadership is critical to sustainable success.

“The support of Mr President has made a lot of difference. We are always ready to partner with sister ministries and stakeholders” the Minister said.

ALSO READ  NITDA denies receiving N1bn from NCC on Pantami's directive; threatens legal action

Broadband penetration

On the issue of broadband penetration, the Minister explained that one of the approaches is the prioritising of broadband penetration and increase in the number of data centers. This is captured in the Nigeria National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

He noted that some of the challenges faced in the sector were excessive Right of Way charges and vandalisation of critical national infrastructure

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Dr. Pantami also noted that after addressing these challenges “We had unprecedented growth in broadband: over 10% in just over a year, almost 60% drop in the cost of 1GB of data in just over a year. Telecommunications sub sector recorded a growth rate of 15.90% and this was its highest growth the last 10years” he said.

On Indigenous Content Development and Adoption, the Minister affirmed that “We have created the policy environment and now have indigenous companies that are servicing the needs of Nigerians and other African countries. We also developed a policy to promote indigenous content in the Nigerian Telecom industry and it was launched by Mr. President” he said, according to a VON report.

Participants at the Digital Transformation Roundtable which was attended by Ministers from other African countries, DG Smart Africa and other stakeholders was inspired by Nigeria’s digital economy success. They expressed willingness to come to Nigeria for a study visit to learn more about the digital economy policies.

The participants, majorly, Ministers from other African Countries, DG Smart Africa, among others, were inspired by Nigeria’s Digital Economy success and expressed willingness to come to Nigeria for a study visit to learn more about the digital economy policies.

Pantami

Dr Pantami with the Minister of Posts, Telecoms and Digital Economy of Guinea, Mr Said Oumar Koulibaly, during the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain.

It will be recalled that on the 18th of May 2021, the Ghanaian Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia announced that the Registration of SIM Cards with Ghana Card will begin soon. A policy that was first conceptualized in Nigeria.

ALSO READ  Over 1,667 centres, 16 policies now in place to support Nigeria's digital economy – Pantami

Pantami’s meeting with policy makers:

On the sideline of Mobile World Congress (MWC), 2021 Dr. Pantami, held a meeting with Mrs Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the United States of America candidate for the post of Secretary General of International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

She sought the support of Nigeria through the Minister during the next election and also discussed Digital Transformation of Africa.

MWC 2021

L-r: Dr Pantami in a meeting with Mrs Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the United States of America candidate for the post of Secretary General of International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

She commended the effort of Nigeria towards implementing the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.

The Minister also met with Lithuania candidate for ITU Deputy General Secretary position, Mr Tomas Lamanauskas.

He is the Government of the Republic of Lithuania candidate for the post of Deputy Secretary General of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the upcoming election.

Pantami

R-l: Dr. Pantami in a meeting with Lithuania candidate for ITU Deputy General Secretary position, Mr Tomas Lamanauskas

During the meeting, Mr Lamanauskas explained his blueprint for Africa and used the opportunity to seek the support of Nigeria through the Minister during the next election.

He also discussed Africa’s progress in the communications space during a meeting with the Minister of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda, Paula Ingabire.

MWC 2021

L-r: Minister of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda, Paula Ingabire and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (Nigeria), Dr. Isa Pantami

The discussion was centred around having a United Digital Africa to develop the continent’s digital economy and also the experience of Nigeria in the implementation of her National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).

Pantami at MWC 2021

Nigeria and Rwanda delegates at MWC 2021

In a nutshell, the Minister’s outing could be likened to a salesman who understands the product he is selling and the right market.

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