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Pantami reaffirms FG’s commitment to indigenous telecom content, Danbatta lauds efforts

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Minister of the Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has reaffirmed Federal Government’s determination to reverse the trend of importation of all types of telecommunications products, especially where production in Nigeria is possible.

Pantami, who spoke at the first Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE), 2022 held at the Landmark Centre in Lagos, got immediate commendation from the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who told the audience that the Minister’s efforts and support have spurred the Commission to take certain steps that have yielded immediate results that were being showcased at the expo.

The expo was organised as part of effort to vigorously pursue the objectives of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector (NPPIC), through the National Office for Developing Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS) domiciled in the NCC.

Pantami emphasised that Government had put efforts towards the protection of the telecom industry, which contributes impressively to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), by insisting on the drastic reduction in the reliance on foreign products. He, consequently, warned against importation of such products like Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards that can be produced in Nigeria.

He also took a swipe at the recent efforts to impose five per cent excise duty on telecommunications services in Nigeria, arguing that the Ministry, which oversees the industry, was not consulted and that the timing of such duty in a period of hardship as is being witnessed in Nigeria today is antithetical to the growth of the industry.

“I was not consulted before the decision on five per cent excise duty was reached, and it was unfair to impose such a tax on an industry that was already burdened with other taxes and already contributing about 17 per cent to the country’s revenue,” he said.

Pantami told his audience, including the Chairman of the House Committee on Telecommunications, Hon. Akeem Adeniyi Adeyemi, that his position was already shared by the National Assembly which was also not consulted on the issue before it was announced.

“We must do what we need to do to protect the industry. Beyond making our opinions known, we will take legitimate and legal steps to stop any plan against the interest of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry,” he said.

Speaking further on the efforts of the Commission to pursue indigenous content in the industry, EVC of NCC, Prof. Danbatta, said the objective of the NPPIC is to transform the enormous strides achieved by the telecom industry in the last two decades into long-term indigenous economic development outcomes for Nigerian companies and citizenry.

Danbatta said the Commission has taken various steps to ensure that the process of implementing NPPIC is painstakingly pursued through capacity strengthening, institutional building and strategic policy tools, which will further promote domestic and economic linkages, job creation and the participation of local Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the telecom value chain via the supply of goods and services to the sector.

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NITDA hosts stakeholders in Lagos on digital literacy awareness

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has held a stakeholders meeting in Lagos to create awareness to bridge the digital divide and empower Nigerians with essential digital skills.

The agency held the session in partnership with the GIZ/DTC.

The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, in his opening remarks, emphasised the critical role of digital literacy skills in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. He highlighted the NDLF as a comprehensive roadmap developed by NITDA, in collaboration with key stakeholders to equip Nigerians with the necessary digital skills to thrive in the digital age.

Inuwa, who was represented by Dr. Falilat Jimoh, of the Digital Inclusion Unit of the  Agency’s South West Zonal Office (SWZO), asserted that the collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Education were underscored, focusing on integrating the framework’s provisions into the national school curriculum.

“This initiative aims to equip students from a young age with foundational digital skills essential for future success,” he noted.

Furthermore, he mentioned that NITDA’s partnership with GIZ/DTC is fostered to establish robust standards for digital literacy content, ensuring high-quality and relevant learning materials aligned with NDLF’s objectives.

Inuwa stressed that NITDA’s commitment to digital inclusion extends beyond formal education, with ongoing digital literacy programs targeting women, artisans, and other underserved segments of the society.

He emphasised the importance of collaborative efforts, stating that the framework enables the implementation of NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2.0, 2024–2027 pillars, “Fostering Digital Literacy and Cultivating Talents.”

The SRAP 2.0 is a living document that is being redrafted to align with the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy policy document “Accelerating Our Collective Responsibility,” which has Five strategic pillars namely, Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Capital, and Trade.

According to the NITDA boss, these programs aim to empower individuals to participate meaningfully in the digital economy and access online opportunities.

“This resonates with the Knowledge pillar of the Ministry tailored to accelerate the collective responsibilities of all stakeholders towards achieving inclusivity in all its dimensions which supports the Renewed Hope Agenda that is focused on propelling the Nigerian economy and enhancing the welfare of its citizens,” he said.

Hence, he stated that the workshop goal is to create widespread awareness about the NDLF through interactive sessions and discussions, providing stakeholders with a deeper understanding of its components, target audiences, and potential impact on bridging the digital divide among Nigerians.

Additionally, the Director-General emphasised the importance of collective action in the successful implementation of the NDLF, expressing gratitude for the collaboration with partners and the participation of stakeholders. He affirmed that the significance of tailoring the framework to the specific needs of Nigeria’s diverse population is to achieve maximum effectiveness.

In conclusion, Inuwa expressed confidence that the NDLF, coupled with collaborative efforts, will play a pivotal role in empowering Nigerians with the digital skills necessary to actively participate in the digital economy, and access online information and opportunities while contributing to a more inclusive and prosperous society. He then urged participants to continue collaborations to unlock the full potential of Nigeria’s digital future.

Earlier, the Commission Manager GIZ/DTC Nigeria,  Dr. Thuweba Diwani in her opening remarks delivered by Olusegun Alimi, the Technical Advisor, GIZ/DTC Nigeria, anticipated that the awareness session would be an avenue to dialogue and come up with a “Participatory Policy Implementation Framework (PPIF)” he added, “for policies to be sustainable they need to be owned by the people.”

The Digital Transformation Centre Nigeria (DTC Nigeria) is a project funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft Fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It focuses on digitalisation, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Nigeria, aiming to enhance the country’s digital innovation ecosystem and boost its capacity for adopting digital innovations for economic and societal growth.

Other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at the dialogue were, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Lagos Public Private Partnership (PPP), Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), also, the private sectors represented were MTN Foundation, CISCO, Tech4Dev, Faith Foundation among others.

The moderator, Mr. Tayo Olosunde an ecosystem industry enthusiast affirmed that the stakeholders’ sessions had also been held in Kano and Abuja.

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9mobile refreshes 9Konfam value offer

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Nigeria’s customer-centric company, 9mobile has spiced up its 9Konfam offerings as its customers are set to enjoy 9 times the value of recharge and more when they subscribe to this unique offering. This innovative plan, crafted with a focus on enhancing connectivity and value for its customers, promises to make connectivity with family and friends seamless and enjoyable.

The 9Konfam plan boasts unique benefits aimed at bringing families and friends closer while providing unparalleled value for money. Among its standout features, customers stand to enjoy an extraordinary 9 times the value on all recharges of N100 and above. This significant bonus is applicable for calls across all networks and SMS and data usage, catering to diverse communication needs.

In his comment, the Director of Product Innovation & Business Development at 9mobile, Kenechukwu Okonkwo said the company is committed to fostering connectivity and enriching customer experiences.

“At 9mobile, we understand the importance of staying connected with loved ones, and we are poised to offer a unique opportunity to make things seamless for our customer’s communications needs.”

He said that the 9Konfam plan is designed to offer incredible value on calls, data, and SMS.

“Whether you’re catching up with family, connecting with friends, or staying on top of business, 9Konfam ensures you get the most out of your mobile experience.”

Subscribers to the 9Konfam plan will enjoy a double dose of data delight during the initial six months of their subscription. This translates to a remarkable 100 percent data bonus on top of their purchased data bundles, ensuring an enhanced browsing, streaming, and chatting experience for all members of the 9Konfam family.

For those embarking on their journey with 9Konfam, the perks start when they activate their SIM cards. New subscribers are welcomed with a generous N1,000 welcome bonus, giving them a head start to enjoy the multitude of benefits offered by 9Konfam.

Transitioning to the 9Konfam plan has been streamlined for convenience. New customers can simply visit any 9mobile Experience Centre, or authorized retailers to activate their SIM cards or dial *1400# and commence enjoying the array of benefits offered by 9Konfam.

With 9Konfam, subscribers become valued members of a larger family, where connectivity is without limits, and they are assured of an experience that matches value and more.

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Galaxy Backbone’s CEO extends Eid-ul-Fitr greetings to muslims

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Prof. Ibrahim A Adeyanju, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Backbone has extended warm greetings and heartfelt wishes to the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria and across the globe on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. T

In a message signed by him, the MD said the joyous celebration marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of spiritual reflection, self-discipline, and devotion.

“Eid-el-Ftir, also known as the Festival of Breaking the Fast, is a time of unity, compassion, and gratitude. I urge all Muslims to embrace the lessons learned during Ramadan and carry them forward into their daily lives.” He said.

Continuing, Prof.Adeyanju said “The virtues of tolerance, love, and understanding should guide our actions as we interact with people of different backgrounds and beliefs.”

Recognizing the pivotal role of leadership in advancing the nation, he encouraged the Muslim community to pray for peace and development in Nigeria and specifically emphasizes the need for prayers to support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s renewed hope administration.

Under his leadership, Galaxy Backbone remains committed to providing cutting-edge ICT infrastructure and services to empower government institutions, businesses, and individuals across Nigeria. As we celebrate this auspicious occasion, Galaxy Backbone renews its dedication to supporting the digital transformation of the nation, enabling connectivity, innovation, and socio-economic growth.

Galaxy Backbone is the Digital Infrastructure and Services organization committed to providing Cloud, Colocation, Cybersecurity and Connectivity services and solutions that transform organisations within the public and private sector.

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