Tech Digest: 10 major achievements in Nigeria’s digital economy in the past year

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By Abbas Badmus

The digital economy journey began on October 23, 2019, when President Muhammadu Buhari approved the change of name and expansion of the mandate of the ministry from the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, under the supervision of Professor Isa Ali. Ibrahim Pantami as minister.

Since the expansion of the ministry, Tech Digest reports that many achievements and developments have been recorded by its agencies under the ministry such as NITDA, NCC, NIMC, Galaxy Backbone, NIPOST, etc.

On November 28, 2019, the President launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy formulated by Pantami. These actions put Nigeria in the right place to harness and exploit the opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 hit harder, everything was put on hold except for the digital space which became the glue of economies.

Read also : Improving Nigeria’s Cybersecurity Through Artificial Intelligence

The ten main achievements:

1. Unprecedented 18.44% contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP

The digital economy sector under the leadership of Prof. Pantami has continued its trend of playing a key role in the growth of the Nigerian economy. The BNS report indicated that the ICT sector contributed 18.44% to total real GDP in the second quarter of 2022. This is the highest contribution of ICT to GDP and is truly unprecedented and marks the third time the sector has made an unprecedented contribution to Nigeria’s GDP during the Minister’s tenure – in Q1 2020, Q2 2021 and now Q2 2022.

2. Formulation of a seed bill to solve 90% of the challenges facing Nigerian innovators

Another achievement of the digital economy is the formulation of the Nigerian Startups Bill which was finally passed by the Senate on July 20, 2022. The Nigerian Startups Bill (NSB), when it becomes law , would help address more than 90% of the challenges facing tech innovators in the country, Pantami said. Project Bill is a joint initiative of Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of our digital economy through co-created regulations. The bill will ensure that Nigerian laws and regulations are clear, planned and working for the tech ecosystem. We believe this will help create an environment conducive to growing, attracting and protecting investments in tech startups.

3. Nigerian Data Protection Bureau

Following the approval granted by President Buhari, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy announced on February 4, 2022 the establishment of the Nigerian Data Protection Office. The Office is headed by its first National Commissioner/CEO, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, and is responsible for implementing the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations (NDPR) 2019 and other data privacy matters in Nigeria that previously fell under under the jurisdiction of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The official launch of the Office’s logo, website and core values ​​was coordinated on 5 April 2022 at the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Abuja.

4. Creation of the Galaxy Backbone data center in Kano

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isah Ali Ibrahim Pantami has confirmed the completion of a multi-billion naira Galaxy Back Bone Center to provide Nigerians with free access to digital services and other technologies . The Kano Data Four Center will serve as the regional office of Galaxy BackBlbone Ltd.

5. Launched Electronic Debit Card, Bank Branch, 27 Logistic Vehicles By NIPOST

The Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST, recently launched an electronic debit card called Postal Service Debit Card to accelerate the federal government’s financial inclusion plan. The agency also unveiled its Agency Banking platform and Twenty Seven Courier service vehicles to boost Nigeria’s digital economy.

6. Launched “enhanced mobile app” and tokenization to improve SIM-NIN bonding

The Federal Government has also launched the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) mobile application to improve the link between the subscriber identity module (SIM) and the national identification number (NIN). . The federal government has also launched “tokenization” and “contactless registration” as innovative solutions to improve data privacy.

7. Increased digital literacy skills

The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, oversaw the training of thousands of artisans in the 6 geopolitical zones on digital literacy and phone repairs. The Agency has trained women in ICT and entrepreneurship, people with disabilities, each with laptops (with e-learning software and graphics pre-installed), internet dongles and backpacks, direct jobs and indirect were created; trained hundreds of Nigerians on software, mobile and web application development and entrepreneurship.

8. Creation of two new companies from the Nigerian communication satellite (NIGCOMSAT)

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy unveiled in September 2021 two new companies created from the Nigerian communications satellite {NIGCOMSAT). They are: Satellite Infrastructure Company (SIC) and Satellite Broadband and Broadcasting Company (SBBC). The SIC provides satellite upstream services such as transponder rental, in-orbit test (IOT) services and carrier spectrum management (CSM) services. The SBBC sought to provide downstream services via satellite such; as broadband Internet services and broadcast services, among others.

NIGCOMSAT Managing Director Abimbola Alale said it is repositioning itself for potential opportunities and risks, hence “creating operational structures, to facilitate its business aspirations.

“As we strive to achieve our vision of being the leading provider of satellite communications solutions in Nigeria and Africa, NIGCOMSAT in 2020 has obtained approval to form two subsidiary companies (SUBCO).”

9. Creation of a digital manufacturing laboratory

Mal Kashifu Inuwa, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has commissioned the Digital Fabrication Lab (Abuja FabLab 1.0), a unit within the Center which is one of its generative components of income.

The FabLab offers training and capacity building programs for Center staff and external agencies requiring such services. While the FabLab serves all entities in the ecosystem, it also maintains an open door policy to the public, encouraging all digital innovators and makers to take their ideas from conception to impact. It maintains an open access policy to enable the lab to be a digital innovation accelerator for all innovators and makers. It enables open production and public access to innovation and entrepreneurial activities.

10. 5G network deployment

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, said e-commerce platforms and fintech in Nigeria would benefit immensely from 5G technology once deployed.

According to him, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially fintech and e-commerce companies, are currently expanding the digital ecosystem in Nigeria by relying on telecommunications infrastructure, which is improving through the deployment new technologies.

The NCC boss noted that ongoing efforts to deepen broadband penetration and the planned rollout of 5G will further boost digital SME services.

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