Isa Pantami, the minister of communications and Digital Economy, says his goal is to make a difference and leave indelible mark in the nation’s ICT sector of the economy by tackling the myriads of challenges inhibiting development the sector.
The minister made the pledge on Friday, December 13, 2019, in Abuja at a reception organised by the Association of Telecommunications Company of Nigeria, ATCON in his honour.
He also assured stakeholders in the sector that his administration would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all the challenges confronting them are effectively addressed but warned them not to take his cooperation for granted.
The minister who promised to defend the rights of Nigerians advised the stakeholders to confront him with constructive criticism rather than propaganda, warning that no amount of propaganda can intimidate them or dissuade him from applying the laws on any infringement.
He encouraged them to join hands with him to take the sector to an enviable height, insisting that propaganda can only push him to do more.
‘‘The responsibility of taking the sector to further heights does not lie on one person but on all of us. We need to get in touch when necessary. I appreciate constructive criticism. If criticism is propaganda, I am not intimidated, I can’t be intimidated by propaganda.
It can’t get into me. Propaganda pushes me to do more. ‘‘I encourage us to join hands together to take the industry to a higher level. I will never lock my doors against you,’’ he said.
He said he had already tabled the numerous challenges confronting operators in the sector to the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and the National Security Adviser, NSA, to the President to for their intervention and had been given their full cooperation.
Pantami, who spoke passionately about his desire to tackle the challenges headlong, said the responsibility of tackling the sectorial challenges does not lie solely on one person but on all stakeholders.
He thanked ATCON for the honour done him and proposed that a periodic meeting be scheduled for him, heads of agencies and stakeholders to enable them to confront the challenges frontally.
‘‘I have tabled the challenges facing the sector to the Federal Executive Council and I can assure you that actions are being taken. AGF requested me to mention facilities by name, including their locations.
‘‘I have also been in touch with the NSA to resolve the issues around him. At the end of the day, we will make a difference. I am interested in getting results.’’
Earlier, the president of ATCON, Olusola Teniola said the reception was organised to formally honour and welcome the minister in line with ATCON tradition.
He also stated that the reception was deemed necessary to familiarise with the minister and to acquaint hi with the deluge of challenges confronting the sector.
He, however, assured the minister of their total support to enable him succeed in his assignment.