As part of the efforts to foster the growth of Nigeria’s Digital Economy, in line with the re-energized mandate of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Honorable Minister, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria officially inaugurated the National Broadband Plan Committee for the Development of the 2020-2025 National Broadband Plan for Nigeria.
The 26-member committee is drawn from the public and private sectors of the economy and co-chaired by the Chief Executive Officer, MainOne Cable Company Nigeria Limited, Ms. Funke Opeke, and the Former Executive Commissioner, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Bashir Gwandu. The Committee was inaugurated at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM. The event had the Head of Prosperity and Competition, British High Commissioner, Mr. Harrison Guy; Chairperson of the National Broadband Planning Committee (2020-2025), CEO MainOne, Ms. Funke Opeke, Heads of Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry; Stakeholders from both the public and private sectors and members of the press. The President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) Mr. Muhammed Rudman is also a member of the National Broadband Planning committee and was present along with other members at the inauguration.
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister Dr. Pantami reiterated the importance of putting aside personal interests and upholding professionalism, integrity, and objectivity in the discharge of the critical national assignment. The Minister said the “selection criteria for members of the committee was based on competence, integrity, and professionalism”. Adding that “we did not restrict the Nigerian National Broadband Plan to only this administration, the target is Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is out to support Nigeria and make decisions in her best interest.”
The NBP committee is expected to submit its report within the first quarter of the year 2020.
The Chairperson of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 and Chief Executive Officer, (MainOne), Ms. Funke Opeke, in her remarks, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for approving the setting up of the committee to address the issue of the National Broadband Plan. She also noted that the President’s recent participation in e-Nigeria and the launching of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy clearly signals his commitment to the digital economy. According to her, “Broadband to the digital economy is like electricity to the industrial world. We are foot soldiers to help put together this new plan to ensure it happens.” She identified the real stakeholders as the young Nigerians who have their future ahead of them, stating that this would ensure that they would be fully planted in the global digital economy. She, therefore, urged the committee members to put Nigeria’s interest above all others.