In today’s world, Information Communication Technology (ICT) is the driver of the economy and around the world, countries are generating billions of US dollars yearly through the deployment of ICT.
But in Nigeria where a change in government automatically means a change in policy (inconsistency), communication was formally merged with the Ministry of Information until 2011 when it was granted an “independence” and was called the Ministry of Communication Technology.
Adebayo Shittu was in charge from 2015 till 2019, the coming on board Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami changed the face and operation of the ministry and called the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
6 Core mandates:
With the addition of “economy” it means the ministry wants to do more than being a ministry. It shows it’s ready to add value to Nigeria’s revenue using the unlimited investment opportunities.
Below are some of the functions of the ministry:
1) To be the core driver of innovation, competitiveness, and Nigeria’s economic growth To be a pool of highly qualified creative talents in the ICT sector.
2) To build a digitally skilled nation that will be able to compete with technologically driven economies around the world.
3) To facilitate ICT as a key tool in the transformation agenda for Nigeria in the areas of job creation.
4) To formulate policies that will propel the Nigerian economy to a digitalized economy.
5) Located at the Federal Secretariat Complex Phase I, Annex III, Shehu Shagari Way Abuja FCT, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is also to facilitate cost-effective access to communications infrastructure in Nigeria.
6) To effectively use ICT to drive transparency in governance
The agencies under the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy that work towards achieving its goals are:
- Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
- National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)
- Galaxy Backbone
- Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat)
- Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST)
- National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)
- Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)
|Agencies||Years of Establishment||Core Mandate|
|NCC||November 1992||To protect the interests of consumers against unfair practices by the telecommunication companies in Nigeria.|
|NITDA||April 18, 2001||To provide and promote professional IT skill to undergraduates in Nigeria|
|Galaxy Backbone||To operate a unified Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure platform that addresses the connectivity, transversal and other technology imperatives for economic development in Nigeria.|
|NigComSat||April 4, 2006||To build and launch satellites for various applications in Nigeria.|
|NIPOST||1987||To provide and operate facilities for collection, dispatch, and distribution of inland and overseas mail at a reasonable cost.
It was charged with the responsibility of stamp duty collection in Nigeria until the role was transferred to the FIRS
|NIMC||2007||To establish, own, operate, maintain and manage the National Identity Database of Nigerians|
|USPF||August 2006||To facilitate access of rural dwellers in Nigeria to telecommunication services for universal access and universal service to information and communication technologies (ICTs)|
NigComSat which was established during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo to build and launch satellites seems to have lost that mandate to NASRDA another agency under the Ministry Science and Technology.
The government which should have made the clarification or merged the two didn’t as Buhari in June 2021 stated that the strategic and constitutional role of NASRDA as the only Government Agency saddled with the core mandate to build and launch satellites for various applications in Nigeria.
Some of the projects undertaken by the ministry so that rural dwellers benefit from the ICT as stated under the pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy Strategy (NDEPS) are:
- Digital Economy Centre in some parts of Nigeria
- E- Learning Facilities, Imam Malik Academy, Sokoto State.
- E- Learning Facilities, Nneato Secondary School, Abia
- E- Learning University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom
- E- Learning Eleyele Secondary School, Oyo State
- Emergency Communication Centre, Lokoja, Kogi
- School Knowledge Centre, Sanda Kyarimi Day Secondary School, Borno
- Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre, Gombe State College of Education deployed by USPF
- Official website: commtech.gov.ng
- Twitter: @FMoCDENigeria
- Instagram: @fmocde
- John Ogar Odey
- Omobola Johnson
- Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu
- Isa Pantami: 2019 till date
Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy can simply be called the Ministry of ICT