Pantami commends MainOne, urges other operators to emulate act


By Idris Bakare

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has commended MainOne, a Technology Service Provider for its steadfastness towards achieving Nigeria’s migration from natural resources economy to knowledge based economy.

The Minister, who was represented by Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said that MainOne deserves commendation for organising an event that brought together Technology Community in Nigeria and leading Tech-providers to discuss latest development in the industry and fine tune ways of improving the Technology Ecosystem.

He said that private sectors need to come together and key into the Federal Government readiness to ensure that Nigeria compete with other countries in the area of technology, especially Internet of Things (IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), to help create jobs in the country.

Dr Pantami also stated that the Federal Government redesignated the Ministry of Communications to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, adding that, this change happened as a result of emerging trend where Information Technology is taking over world’s economy.

The Minister noted that President Muhammadu Buhari received a report that indicates how ICT is becoming more lucrative than oil, therefore he recommended for redesignation that gave birth of the Ministry with a new mandate.

He said, “ICT has taken over oil and Nigeria has embraced this idea for economic diversification, however, in digital economy, data is the oil. The sector is now 2nd largest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“We have done so many things and we are still doing more in cloud policy strategy and data protection regulations. Our mission is we build a nation where digital innovation and entrepreneurship are used to create value and prosperity for all,” he said.

Dr Pantami added that the five biggest companies in the world namely; Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook are all Cloud Service Providers.

Speaking on Nigeria’s data operation, Pantami explained that the Federal Government has about 90 percent of its data hosted in Nigeria, “more than 90 per cent of government data is hosted locally and we are hoping to achieve 100 per cent,” the Minister said.

He said hosting of National data outside Nigeria has security implications. He urged MainOne, investors and other private companies to champion data hosting business in Africa.

The Minister further stated that Federal Government is committed to providing the needed infrastructure to make the business of data hosting a successful one, noting that data centres have a critical role to play in achieving the mandate of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

“MainOne has taken the big step of involving in cloud services and that is why we are partnering with them. We want to have more of MainOne in Nigeria so that cloud service would be made available and our data be hosted locally,” Pantami added.

Earlier, the Founder/CEO of MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke, thanked Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami for his sterling performance since his appointment as the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

Opeke said that she remains optimistic about MainOne Services, and assures the Minister of her total commitment towards achieving Digital Nigeria.

“Our company’s dream is to become a Technology Solution with highest customers in Nigeria, we remain hopeful on what we intend to achieve in the their future,” she said.

Ms Funke added that in the next five years about 100 million Nigerians will be active online using different devices, hence the need to establish enormous data centre in the country.