By Hashim Suleiman
It does not need too much echoing to recognize how much the surge in social media participation has been since the ascendance of Dr Isa Ali Pantami unto the headship of NITDA and ultimately to become the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
The increased interest and surge is as a result of increased broadband penetration as well as increased government participation on these emergent technologies and applications, in fact the honorable minister himself is personally active on these platforms which made people increased interest through engaging him most times for good and a little times for bad and mischief but that’s what you get from serving humanity. What’s most important is that the job is being done.
However, in a developing country like Nigeria, while you’re developing the emergent technology sector which has resulted in the influx of many more people into the virtual social space, you would have to recognize the resultant negative effect especially as relates to the fact that education and awareness wise, the country’s citizenry cannot be said to have attained a maximal critical thinking stage. It is the understanding of this fact that makes Dr Pantami to make capacity building, mentorship and awareness critical pillars of his digital transformation. The idea is to have an all round technological as well as usage development so it can be geared towards national development.
The major way the digital agenda deploys all of these strategies is through engagement, it’s our most important tool, that’s why as much as Dr Pantami has engaged Nigerians enough to get them to embrace the digital technology as a tool for the advancement of democracy, free speech and progressive ideas, he equally knew at some point that the tech giants needed to be engaged about our peculiarities especially as relates to the majority’s ability to assimilate and process every class of information. This is the area we are at the moment and it seems to be going well to the extent that the resultant delivery will be a functional social media that’s aligned towards national development.
It is the foregoing and more than has made some of us to insist that the Digital Agenda is the most ideal formation for the 2023 where Dr Pantami must be utilized for a presidential cadre position.
He has all it takes to partner with his colleague to ensure the consolidation of the solutions to the nations problems. The problems which are mostly misunderstood due to their being twisted by mischief makers to hoodwink the innocent lots whose level of understanding is pretty low to discern properly.
If you take the increased participation of the people of the Northern Nigeria into the virtual social space and their level of increased engagement, you will understand what I mean by Dr Pantami’s understanding of the major problem to be awareness and education. There has been increased voices speaking up from the northern Nigeria on national issues, thanks to his mentorship qualities.
He has demonstrated rare mentorship skill by empowering able youths to take up critical national positions as in the case of Kashifu Inuwa, the current DG of NITDA.
The level of engagement down south has been very impressive and has resulted in the springing up of industries that are manufacturing chips and SIM cards for usage in Nigeria and the African continent, the states governments have been encouraged to develop their digital roadmaps to align with the national one and you know the southern states are more tech savvy than their northern counterparts even though the honorable minister is trying to ensure the expansion of the broadband penetration to ensure overall national digital development.
As 2023 approaches, it is our firm belief that the Digital Agenda is more than ideal and well placed to take over the nation with a view to being fully armed with what’s needed for consolidation of national progress.