Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has reinterred  value of cybersecurity in developing a sustainable digital economy and why ICT remains critical to improving the resilience of Nigeria’s economy. 

While delivering the guest lecture at the 2021 International Conference on Computing and Advances in Information Technology (ICCAIT).   organised by the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria,  Pantami said the adoption and deployment of ICT has contributed significantly to economic growth and development across sectors.

“ICT drives innovation, improves quality of life, creates jobs and reduces the cost in many sectors of the economy, allowing for greater interconnection of global markets across countries. ICT has enabled the creation of new technological platforms and industries on one hand, while enhancing the efficiency and productivity of existing industries on the other. Technologies such as Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Robotics, 3D printing, Block Chain, Artificial Intelligence to mention a few, have the potential to act as impact amplifiers, challenging traditional approaches of going about ‘age old problems’ in sectors such as agriculture, financial services, healthcare, education, water, and energy,” said Pantami. 

In his presentation titled: “ICT as an Enabler for the Digital Economy: The Nigerian Story” delivered virtually, the minister noted that the emergence, adoption and deployment of ICT has shifted the traditional economy into a digitalized one – that is the Digital Economy – and this has led to economic prosperity around the world.

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Pantami reaffirmed government’s commitment to strengthening the digital economy and cybersecurity in the country through policy implementation, capacity building and forging relevant partnerships.

“Nigeria’s commitment to developing its digital economy is expected to open up opportunities in Africa’s digital economy, which McKinsey estimates will grow to over $300 billion by 2025,” he added. 

Pantami noted the impact of the COVID-19 on enhancing digitilisation while also increasing the need for greater vigilance against the growing cyber threats.  He also outlined some of the efforts of the “federal government towards improving cybersecurity in Nigeria, including the implementation of relevant policies,  the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria and the Revised National Digital Economy Policy for SIM Registration.  The efforts towards the promotion of sectoral Computer Emergency Readiness & Response Teams (CERRTs) and the focus on Data and Privacy Protection were also discussed.”

The conference was attended by the the top management of the ABU and experts in the ICT sector, noted a statement issued by the minister’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman.

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