States in Nigeria To Establish Ministry Of Digital Economy

Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja

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The Nigerian Government has directed has all the 36 states of the federation to establish a ministry of Digital Economy in their states.

This will ensure the seamless implementation of  the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and the development of indigenous digital economy across the country.

It would be recalled that Buhari inaugurated a 27 man Presidential Council on Digital Economy and E-government on 10th June to work towards further strengthening the capacity of government to develop, adopt and deploy digital technologies to make government more efficient and transparent.

The Chairman of the Council who is also the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Patami stated  this when he addressed the media after the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and e-Government Master Plan in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Professor Pantami said: “The council proposed establishing Ministry of Digital Economy in our states where the activities at the national level can be cascaded and implemented by our various states.

“With the accommodation of our Sub-nationals and Governors I believe so many good things will come out of the sector,” he added.

While stressing the importance on why  states should align with the national policies ,the Minister said: “The secretariat has been directed to come up with frame work for the digital economy that can be implemented in our states.

“Many states have good initiatives on digital economy, however there is lack of harmonisation to the activities. So, frame work is going to be developed, so that our Sub-nationals will play their own role and federal government will continue to provide intervention where necessary.”

The Governor of Imo State and member of the Presidential Council, Hope Ozodima, promised to create a Ministry of digital economy as soon as he gets back to his state.

“Since that is the assignment that has been given to the states, Part of the assignment given to these secretariat is to develop a frame work that will enable the states align properly with the mandate of the Digital Economy Policy and all the states are very enthusiastic in making sure that the various economic potentials accruable to digital development and e governance come to fruition.”

According to Governor Uzodimna, the Governors are in agreement with the directive to establish Ministry of digital economy in their states.

“As Governors we have no objections, it is a very good Idea.Arising from this meeting I was about to create an ICT Agency to manage our digital economy but am going to now create a full blown Ministry for Digital Economy and IT Management in the state as soon as I get back.

He emphasised these policies will close the gaps of unemployment “That is to tell you the kind of attention we are going to give to this particular subject in making sure that the Federal Government’s well thought out policy plan in making sure we have a robust Digital Economy to create jobs and employment for our young men and women that are currently roaming the streets is realised collectively,he added.

Another member of the council, Edo state Governor South-South, Nigeria Godwin Obaseki, said He is  happy that there is now a council in place to give to direct the states on the implementation of the national digital policy.

“Am glad that we finally have a council in this country that will set a direction on the digital economy as you know the world is about digitalisation and technology.”

“For us in the states particularly in Edo state we have already initiated lots of initiatives and actions for as you know for instance Edo Best of our educational platform runs on technology where all our 15000 teachers have hand held devices, he noted .

He said for Edo state, “We are implementing technology in our primary health care centres , we have technology hubs but we are doing it on our own .It is not connected or aligned with what is happening at the national so the Council essentially helps align the different initiative from different state across the country so that we can reduce the waste that comes with the non alignment and also gain momentum and speed in terms of implementing our digital strategy as a country, Governor Obaseki assured.

Also ,Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, explained some of the Initiatives being implemented  in collaboration with the ministry , other agencies and private sector  to promote Small Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs).

“Basically what we are  doing is promote Small Medium Entrepreneurs, SMEs in our ministry we are working with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy through the Industrial Training Fund, ITF to come up with the home grown device in collaboration with the private sector to lower the cost of devices through this initiatives.” 

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