Governors want Tinubu to consolidate on gains of ICT, digital assets

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Three governors from Northern Nigeria have advocated the consolidation of the achievements recorded by the immediate past administration in the areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and digital assets to address the challenges facing the country.

The Governors include Babagana Zulum of Borno state, Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State.

Former Lagos State governor and immediate past Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, also joined them in their advocacy, saying Nigeria should keep an eye on Artificial Intelligence, especially.

The governors made the call at the unveiling and public presentation of the book written by the immediate past Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami in Abuja.

The book which chronicled Professor Pantami’s journey in public service and his scholarly contributions to ICT and digital economic growth in Nigeria was titled: “A Scholar’s Journey Navigating Academia.”

Zulum, who chaired the event, said the previous administration recorded a lot of achievements in the areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and deployment of digital assets to address contemporary challenges and urged the present administration to consolidate on the gains.

According to the Borno State Governor, the ICT sector witnessed an unprecedented turnaround and contributed significantly to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), asserting that it enabled the government to earn enormous revenues from the non-oil sector.

Zulum commended Professor Pantami’s dedication to public service, noting that some of the challenges facing the country, especially in the areas of security and economic growth can be addressed with ICT and digital assets already put in place.

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Gombe State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Inuwa Yahaya, who spoke in the same manner, said Prof Pantami’s name has become a household name in Gombe for the development he facilitated and the increase in digital literacy among the people.

Governor Sule of Nasarawa State, while congratulating Prof Pantami for putting the book together within the shortest period, said he admired the former Minister’s advocacy for prioritising skills above certificates as a solution to unemployment and poverty.

According to Governor Sule, digital skills and knowledge, especially amongst Nigeria youths, would create job opportunities and wealth, while youth restiveness would decrease significantly.

Former Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola, said Nigeria should keep an eye on usage of Artificial Intelligence as a dominant asset on digital technology, asserting that “we are experiencing a new reality that’s changing our understanding of the environment and our roles as a people “.

Fashola urged Nigerians to read as many books as possible as Nigeria is rated as number 76 amongst countries with many book publications with over 300,000 titles in a year.

The book was reviewed by Prof Abdulrasheed Abubakar, former Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), while the event was anchored by Malam Garba Shehu, former Special Assistant on Media to former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The event was attended by Former Ministers of Justice, Abubakar Malami, former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode, and former Minister of state for budget and national planning, Clem Agba.

Other dignitaries at the event were the former Governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje; the Group Managing Director of NNPCL, Engr Mele Kyari, former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; and former Army Spokesman, Brig. Gen Sani Usman, rtd.

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