FOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY APPOINTS NIGERIA’S COMMUNICATION AND DIGITAL ECONOMY MINISTER AS GRAND AMBASSADOR
Fausiat Salako-Sanni December 09, 2022
The management of Fountain University Osogbo has appointed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami as a Grand Ambassador to the University.
The appointment was confirmed by the Vice Chancellor of Fountain University, Prof. Amidu Sanni at the NASFAT Eti-Osa Lecture Theatre during the FUO lecture series held on Wednesday 7th December, 2022.
Prof. Pantami was at the University as the Lecturer for the 2022 edition of the distinguished guest lecture series.
This is contained in a release made available to the Lasilkiin.com(Kiin Media) by the Information Officer, Fountain University, Osogbo, Taoheed Alimi.
Conferring the appointment, Prof. Sanni noted that the gesture is in recognition of the tremendous contribution of the celebrated scholar of international to the development of the Nigerian Economy through key innovative developments.
The Communication Minister was also presented with an award of Honour for being the first African Professor to deliver the distinguished Guest Lecture series of the school entitled “Digital Economy, Digital Youth and the imperatives of a sustainable development in the 21st century”.
Prof. Isa whose delight and satisfaction was readily expressed thanked the management and staff for the gesture.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of Fountain University, Prof. Amidu Sanni had explained that, the choice of topic ” Digital Economy, Digital Youth: The imperatives of a sustainable development for the 21st Century” and the lecturer is deliberate; because digital inclusion of the youth through digital skills is very key in today’s education.
“In today’s world, universities should be dynamic, “transformative spaces”, to borrow from Mark Paterson and Thierry M Luescher (2022).”
He continued “In other words, any serious university these days would want to tailor its academic programmes along the lines of innovation and skill that are largely influenced by the facilities of ICT, the imperatives of entrepreneurship, faith-inspired morality.”
“All our students, regardless of course of study are mandatorily exposed to Qur’anic study and Arabic literacy, versatility in all areas of academic career, and societal engagements. So in our lecturer of today is a model of how a first-rate scholar of Islam has transformed into a foremost, if not the foremost, cyber security expert.”
“In towing the path of today’s lecturer, there is our local icon here, too; the Coordinator of our ICT is a promising computational Arabic linguist who has put the Unit to a functional sphere after a long period of disorder. So, our goal is to produce more PANTAMIS who will also be experts in whatever field of study, not threats or dregs.”
Digital innovation refers to the application of digital technologies to solve existing problems in creative ways. Digital innovation has become imperative to achieve long-term growth and it presents an important pathway to improve the quality of goods and services, promote socio-economic development, and provide solutions to global challenges.
Among numerous advantages of digital innovation is that, it provides organisations and nations with a competitive advantage, protects them from threats, improves productivity, and increases revenue generation.
It also leads to a changing entrepreneurial culture, as it lowers the cost of launching new ventures and transforming existing ones, making entrepreneurship more inclusive. Digital entrepreneurs commercialise ideas and create new opportunities for investments and employment, ultimately enhancing economic competitiveness.
Digital innovations embedded in digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Autonomous Systems, 3D Printing, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Cloud computing, internet of things,and Blockchain Cloud generate new possibilities for innovation and entrepreneurship across various sectors of the economy and can be used to drive competitiveness and productivity in these sectors to influence economic growth.
It is an established fact that the direction that many countries are taking to strengthen their economies is that they are going digital.
Developing national digital economies is no longer a fad but it has now become a key requirement for sustainability of different sectors of the economy.
Hence, digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship have been identified as prerequisites for the development of a sustainable digital economy.
To this end the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,
Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FCIIS, FBCS, FNCS highlighted and discussed the importance of a digital economy and sustainable development.
“It is worth noting that any society that lacks innovation and entrepreneurial skills will have to contend with the challenge of unemployment. The incidence of youth unemployment is attributed to the educational system which places emphasis on liberal education rather than the acquisition of vocational skills which prepare school leavers and graduates with vocational skills for better employment opportunities.”
The honourable minister stated that, an economy with a high number of unemployed youths and where finding jobs is very challenging, a lot needs to be done to reverse the trend.
“It is worth noting that unemployability is an even bigger problem than unemployment because on one hand, our youth can explore remote and physical jobs outside the country if they have the requisite skills. On the other hand, even employers in the country have complained that the few
jobs that have been created have remained open because many of the citizens are unemployable because they do not have the skills required to fill up the roles.”
According to him, “National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 –2030) developed a National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. It was unveiled and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 28thof November, 2019.
NDEPS provides a holistic and sustainable approach toward the development of the nation’s digital economy. It is based on 8 pillars namely: Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy and Skills; Solid Infrastructure;
Service Infrastructure; Digital Services Development and Promotion; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Society and Emerging Technologies; and Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.
Prof. Ibrahim Pantanmi concluded that, the International Labour Organisation opines that “the expansion of job opportunities in the digital economy accompanied by efforts to raise educational attainment and skill levels could well contribute to the formalisation of employment among young people”.
Our efforts show our commitment to the development of high-level digital talent in Nigeria. The Academia also has a key role to play in ensuring that graduates are equipped with the skills required to thrive in the global economy.
The event was attended by heads of relevant agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy among which are the EVC/CEO of the Nigerians Communication Commission, the Board Chairman as well as the DG of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the CEO of NIPOST, representatives from Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDBP) among others.