By Egena Sunday Ode
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja directed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy to work with all relevant government agencies to ensure full protection of critical national infrastructure.
The President issued the directive at the unveiling of the National Broadband Plan 2020–2025, commissioning of the Communications and Digital Economy complex, flag-off of the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training and launching of the Abuja Emergency Communication Centre and the National Emergency Toll-Free Number 112.
According to a statement by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President also urged mobile network operators to ensure full attainment of the targets set in the National Broadband Plan by giving special attention to un-served and underserved areas while deploying their services.
President Buhari expressed concern about the challenges faced by operators in the country, particularly vandalism of telecommunications equipment.
He assured the operators of government’s commitment to ensuring that all stakeholders have a conducive environment to ensure the successful implementation of the Broadband Plan, which seeks to boost broadband penetration as well as support the deployment of 4G across the country.
On the newly commissioned Emergency Communications Centre and Toll Free Number 112, the President explained that it further demonstrates his administration’s resolve to keep Nigerians safe.
Similarly, President Buhari declared that the newly commissioned Communications and Digital Economy Complex will provide a befitting coordinating centre for the new focus on the Nigerian Digital Economy.
Earlier, the President acknowledged that the dwindling price of crude oil had adversely affected budgetary projections and increased the sense of urgency to diversify the economy.
He, however, expressed delight that the projects commissioned would enhance the development of the National Digital Economy and support efforts at diversifying the economy.
According to President Buhari ‘’ The Digital Economy will also support us in fighting corruption through digitalization and enabling government digital services.
‘’Digital technologies have become a useful platform for economic diversification. Having recognized the benefits of these technologies we have decided to adopt the Digital Economy paradigm early,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami said broadband penetration is key to reviving the Nigerian economy.