Pantami Releases A Book On Skills And Oversees The Spending Of N18.7 Billion To Expand Broadband Access In Markets And Academic Institutions.

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has authored another on skill acquisitions.

The Minister who recently released two books: ‘Cybersecurity Initiatives for Securing a Country and‘Datafication of Society to Foster an Internet Economy,’ will unveil “Skills Rather Than Just Degrees” at an event to commence disbursements of funds to deepen broadband penetration in Abuja.

In a statement by a Spokesperson, NITDA, Mrs Hadiza Umar the unveiling of the book is part of a programme aimed at signalling the commencement of landmark broadband initiatives to accelerate broadband penetration in Nigeria and advance the course of the digital economy for the nation.

The statement stated that “Following the Honourable Minister’s presentation of the programme at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the 26th October 2022, approval was given for N16.7 billion to be used to provide broadband access for 20 markets and 18 schools across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country.

“Furthermore, as part of efforts to implement the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP, 2020- 2025), the Honourable Minister secured the approval of the Federal Executive Council on the 8th of December 2021 for N1.96 billion to be used to purchase 6,000 e-pad mobile devices for students in tertiary institutions. Both projects are to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and supervised by Pantami.

The book focuses on the importance of skills and their potential impact in addressing the problems of unemployability, unemployment, and underemployment. The book is a research and productive work implementing the paradigm shift advocated by Professor Pantami.

The Foreword to the book was written by US Attorney Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft Corporation. Mr Smith, who the New York Times described as “a de facto ambassador for the technology industry at large” stated that the book is so important, in part because it addresses critical opportunities for individuals, and also because it points the way towards steps that can unlock the potential for the African continent and the world.

Some Vice-Chancellors also reviewed the book. Prof. M.A. Abdulazeez, Vice Chancellor of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University said the book amplifies the need for the institutionalisation of the triple helix model as a veritable tool to recalibrate our participation in the knowledge-driven global economy. Prof. Owunari Abraham Georgewill, Vice Chancellor of the University of Port-Harcourt, said the book greatly enhances the understanding of how skills can solve challenges like unemployment and underemployment. Prof. Sagir Adamu Abbas, Vice Chancellor of Bayero University Kano, called the book work of an erudite scholar that will serve as reference material for scholars, researchers, students and society at large.

The unveiling of the book on skills and the launch of the programme to support broadband initiatives in the country are all part of efforts to implement the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.

The unveiling will take place on Thursday, 24th of November, 2022 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

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