By Hashim Suleiman
So many people have been wondering where Prof Isa Pantami has been over the last year or so and they couldn’t understand he had become enmeshed in the next level of his agenda of entrenching a proper digital society that will ensure economic transition and which will guarantee jobs and liquidity in the system.
As someone who had been strategic about his mission, he phased his digital mission with the initial step being the reawakening and rebranding of the sector and that saw him renaming the sector and then identifying the right Human Resources to help drive the agenda.
Afterwards, he started to engage in public awareness through his recurring presence in the digital space. He culminated this by ensuring he mobilized the administration to key into his mission. You could know this by the increase in the allocation of budgetary provision to the ministry amongst others.
After the first stage comes the next important stage which was identification with the diplomatic community locally, he ensured he secured their confidences to the extent that they began to organize events and various avenues of criss crossing ideas and finding a way to key into the large digital market the world could ever have. All the digital giants of the world recognize the importance of the Nigerian market and they have always been wishing for a serious manager to step in so they could harness the best of it.
All of these have culminated into many business springing up regarding the production of SIM cards, chips and many more intentions to invest in the sector that it’s potentials had started to be imminent. Many more startups have become interested in the sector especially in the hitherto not so much interested northern Nigeria.
There is now a more friendly handshake between the local ecosystem and the government policies. Only an Okonjo Iweala had been able to mobilize a sector close to this good in the history of Nigeria.
However, some may have noticed that the Prof had gone down low afterwards and they wondered what that was for. The results are already trickling to let us know it was strategic for the purpose of stock taking and working to consolidate on the networks that had so far been created through all of the above.
The digital sector cannot blossom to its full potentials if you don’t align it with the global happenings and this made Prof Pantami to begin international sensitization and marketing and it was so good that it attracted him to be appointed the Chairman of the 2022 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This happened after his appearance at the Blockchain summit in Dubai as well as the deliverance of a paper at World Economic Summit Group in Davos, Switzerland.
This international extension of handshake has led to so many investors and players in the digital industry to shift focus to Nigeria and the latest of such big catch was Elon Musks purchase of a telecommunications license to operate in Nigeria. There are many more fiber, forex and digital currency companies trooping in to participate in the sector.
The Nigeria Central Bank has equally admired the digital sectors and had since floated the Digital Naira called the ‘e-Naira’. All Nigeria’s data has been synchronized to be complete with data. The minister had just returned from
Morocco where he attended the the high test gathering for the promotion of identity in Africa.
All of these efforts are absolutely long term in nature and Nigeria would certainly reap them
In due course, however it was important to put ink on paper about them for posterity sake.
God bless Prof Isa Pantami
God bless Nigeria
Hashim Suleiman: [email protected]