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National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy underway—Minister

The Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Pantami has raised the hopes of investors in the nation’s telecoms industry with the cheering news that the Ministry is on the verge of developing a National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, which will be ready sooner than later.

Speaking during the maiden industry stakeholders’ meeting attended by ALTON leadership and the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Minister revealed further that the ministry has started addressing some of the key challenges frustrating investors’ in the sector.

Pantami, who assured ALTON leadership lead by its chairman, Engr Gbenga Adebayo of his unflinching support, averred that “We are already working on some of the issues raised by ALTON.”

“I have had continuous engagements with the President on some of the issues; we would study your submission and begin to address the various issues you have raised. Accordingly, we will also explore better alternatives besides and beyond what ALTON has recommended in its submission to us towards ensuring that the issues are dealt with in the interest of all Nigerians.”

Earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, who took the industry stakeholders’ to the Minister said “whereas the Federal Government, through the Ministry and the NCC, is committed to deepening digital access, the RoW issue, among others, the biggest issues standing in the way of the accelerated telecoms infrastructure, and by extension, broadband development will be tackled head-on.

“We also believe that achieving Federal Government’s target of 127,000 kilometres of fibre across the country, which is critical to our broadband and digital economy drive, depends on how these industry issues are addressed.”

Danbatta also commended the Minister “for the way and manner he had hit the ground running upon assumption of office,” adding that the Commission facilitated the meeting with the operators to ventilate their views on various challenges in the industry.

NCC chief was quick to reveal that majority of the issues raised by ALTON formed key content of the initial memo NCC sent to the minister on assumption of office.