Pantami Harps on Benefits of National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre

Dr Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has said that the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre will enable Nigerians acquire cutting-edge technological skills, when it finally becomes functional.

Pantami stated this on Thursday during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, in Abuja.

He noted that the groundbreaking ceremony of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre is another giant leap towards the development of our digital economy and diversification of our country’s economy.

Pantami said “The Centre will be based on the ‘live, work and learn’ concept.

The activities of the centre, according to him, will align with 6 out of the 8 pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria.

The minister also revealed that they are developing National Policy on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which this Centre and many other centres all over the country will implement.

He further explained that the centre when completed would provide several benefits to Nigerians and he mentioned few of them as thus:

“The centre would enable Nigerians to participate in the development of hardware, software and emerging technologies; it will create an innovative ecosystem; provide a unique platform for technical skills (programming), soft skills (social interaction), entrepreneurship (starting and operating a business) to focus on the promotion and development of ICT, including smart energy solutions to drive ICT.

“Other benefits of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre are, it will help nurture new ideas and develop an inquisitive perspective to support in the creation of employers of labour; support in the promotion and development of ICTs, including aspects of advanced applied research; and allow startups to accelerate and experience innovations at scale, through customized visits, design thinking sessions and co-innovation workshops to create a highly collaborative and immersive environment”.

Speaking on some of the achievements of the Ministry, Pantami divulged that the growth of the economy is as a result of the ICT’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, reaching an unprecedented value of 17.83% in Q2 ‘2020 according to National Bureau for Statistics.

According to the Minister, “We have also recorded an all time high broadband penetration since the redesignation of the Ministry. When I assumed office on the 21st of August 2019, the official broadband penetration figures stood at 33.72%. It increased with the subsequent monthly figures from end of August 2019 to end of November 2020, where it stood at 45.07%.

“We also succeeded in obtaining the commitment of the State Governors to peg their Right of Way charges to a maximum of N145 per linear metre, resolving an issue that had lingered for over 7years.

“In addition, we have also experienced great success in the development of other aspects of our digital economy. Over 120,000 Nigerians have benefited from our online digital skills program, with over 80,000 of them receiving one form of certification or another. This is even without taking the physical trainings into account.

“We have developed over a dozen policies aimed at providing the right environment to enable entrepreneurs to thrive in the sector”.

Pantami further commended the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, for his effort towards the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and the digital innovation and entrepreneurship initiative.

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