Data Price to Drop By 60%, Says Pantami

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has disclosed that data price will drop by 60 per cent by 2025.

He said such would be achievable with what the ministry has put in place in terms of infrastructure, and as the government is making ICT infrastructures as national infrastructure.

The minister made this known yesterday in Abuja during the official opening of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) training programme organised for ICT journalists with the theme: ‘Digital Skills in News Reportage For ICT Journalists’.

Pantami said high cost of right of way, provision of security for telecom infrastructure by telecoms provider are responsible for the high cost Nigerians pay for telecoms services, and now, the federal government has taken that burden off them.

“By 2025, Nigerians will pay 40 percent of what data cost them now,” he stated.

Speaking further, he said: “In the ministry, we are working on restructuring all the departments because most of them are obsolete. We will have many critical departments that will focus on digital innovation, entrepreneurship, digital economy and more to make sure that we are on the right track for a digital Nigeria.”

He hinted on the need for Nigeria to join rest of the countries that have preference of skills over certificate when employing workers, saying what is most important is not the certificate but the skill. Many developed nations are promoting skills rather than certificate.

The minister said the ministry, through its agencies, needs to train journalists who are major players in the country’s efforts to drive home the digital Nigeria economic policy.

“Digital Nigeria cannot be achieved without training people who will play a key role in ensuring that we achieve that digital Nigeria. Journalists have a role to play, most importantly our ICT journalists or multimedia journalists as the case may be.

“It is because of this reason that we feel on the top of our priority that you (journalists) are the first to start benefiting from this training before others,” he explained.

In his remark, the Director General of NITDA, Dr. Inuwa Abdullahi, was of the opinion that the only way out of the economic woes created by COVID-19 pandemic is digital technology.

According to him, “As we are set to embrace this new normal, we need to reskill ourselves; also, we have seen it that the only thing that worked well in this pandemic is digital technology.

“And we have seen it as the most profound solution of getting out of this pandemic. Therefore, as the minister said, we feel it is important to train you (journalists) and reskill you so that you cannot be left behind in our journey to digital Nigeria.”

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