The Federal Ministry of Communications will henceforth be known as ‘Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’. The development, which was announced on Wednesday, 23rd October 2019 followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of a request by the Minister, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FRNCS FBCS FIIM.
In a statement signed by a Deputy Director in the Ministry, Mrs Philomena Oshodin, the Federal Government said: “The Ministry which supervises the ICT Sector has been renamed The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to further expand its mandate to capture the goals of digitalisation of the Nigerian economy in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP), one of the key agenda of the present administration.”
According to the Minister, the old name had become limiting and obsolete and did not reflect the trends as emphasized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Dr. Pantami said: “ICT contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 13.85 percent in the second quarter of 2019. The change of nomenclature will propel the ministry to reposition its strategic objectives as laid out in the priority areas of this administration while accelerating growth and social inclusion.” The Minister “cited examples of global and African economies like Scotland, Thailand, Tunisia, Benin Republic, and Burkina Faso among others, who have adopted deliberate strategies and created Ministries of Digital Economy in line with global best practice, and especially the European Union which has a commissioner for Digital Economy.”
In a letter containing his approval, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR reportedly said the request is in line with global best practice which will further reflect the priorities of his administration.