President, Microsoft Corporation commends Pantami, seeks further Partnerships on Digital Economy.

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  • April 1, 2022
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The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has received commendations from the president of Microsoft Corporation, Mr Brad Smith. Mr Smith who was on a working visit to the Minister’s office today, Friday, 1st April 2022 in furtherance of the existing collaborations with the sector, eulogised the leadership style of Professor Pantami which he noted has impacted significantly on the nation’s economy as well as drawn global attention to the sector in particular.

“We are here today because we are very excited about the future of Nigeria, especially concerning the role you are playing. We are excited about the opportunity for digital transformation which is the centre of your vision for the country. We are thankful to you for launching the Microsoft Development Centre in Lagos. That was a huge step for Microsoft and it reflected our belief in the future of Nigeria. Already, we have more than one hundred software developers working in Lagos and we hope to have three hundred by next year. We are committed to building our digital infrastructure here and we are committed to investing and sustaining the relationship with your Ministry”

In the area of digital skills, Mr Smith further informed the Minister that “we already have seven hundred people who are trained to be trainers and we need to get that number up to seventeen hundred so they can fan out and train the youths across the country. We are also committed to partnerships in expanding broadband connectivity across different parts of Nigeria. We are especially grateful for all your efforts in helping companies like ours, expand their presence in the country”

In his response, the Minister conveyed the Federal Government’s appreciation to Microsoft for citing the Africa Development Centre in Nigeria. “This is particularly beneficial to our young innovators. We are also appreciative of the current training of our citizens by Microsoft as this has given a commendable boost to our digital skills capacity building initiatives’”.

Professor Pantami enumerated some of the initiatives and strategies the government has put in place to ensure an enabling environment for ease of doing business in the country including; Visa on arrival and developmental regulation. “This administration has done a lot when it comes to Ease of Doing Business. Under the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), there are over thirty six major initiatives supporting Ease of Doing Business and that catapulted our nation’s ranking a lot higher in the global ranking of countries implementing the same initiatives and for the first time in our history, particularly in the ICT Sector, we initiated and implemented developmental regulation. This is regulation to facilitate fast track development whereby a regulatory instrument can be amended within twenty four hours if it is found to constitute an obstacle to investment, or contradicts Ease of Doing Business”

Professor Pantami assured the President and his delegation of government’s unwavering support for investors in the sector and the country at large. The meeting was attended by the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Crole Ann Browne, Chief of Staff to the Microsoft President, Teresa Hutson VP Tech and Corporate Responsibility, Daniel Brown, External and Legal Affairs Lead Middle East and Africa, John Edokpolo External and Legal Affairs Lead for MEA Emerging Markets, Ola Williams, Country Manager for Nigeria and Ghana and Nonye Ujan Government Affairs Lead for the MEA Emerging Markets.

Uwa Suleiman
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister
Communications and Digital Economy

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