Communications and Digital Economy Minister Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) says Nigeria is lucky to have President Muhammadu Buhari, who has turned the country into a digital giant.
He congratulated the president on his stewardship in ensuring that Nigeria is up to date with the global trend of innovation, particularly in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The minister said this on Tuesday at the 2020 Nigeria Innovation Summit hosted by Innovation Hub Africa.
He said the theme of this year’s summit “Innovation in Critical Times” is exciting because never before has innovation been more critical than it is now, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to adopt new practices such as social distancing and withdrawal from everything. , adding that the new rule makes innovation have a profound influence on the exit strategy from the pandemic.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said he was satisfied with President Buhari’s commitment to making Nigeria a giant of the digital economy, not only in Africa but in the world in general.
Dr Pantami said that “In Nigeria, we are fortunate to have the right leadership at this time. The government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has laid the foundation for innovation even before COVID-19. “
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister said: “Today, it is obvious that we are at a critical moment. We are facing a crisis like no other, a triple crisis that you and I have not seen in living memory. It is the worst health and economic situation of our generation.
“The World Bank predicted that COVID-19 would plunge the global economy into the worst recession since World War II. It is also a learning crisis for two reasons. First, at the end of March this year, more than 180 countries closed schools, forcing more than 1.5 billion students to stay home. Second, we are forced to unlearn and relearn how we live and work to get out of the pandemic, ”he said.
He added that “at the ministry, we paved the way for remote work and set the pace for innovation in this country during the pandemic. We conceptualize and implement innovative initiatives under lockdown. Here we are today as a ministry going through the pandemic in excellent style.
“These initiatives laid the foundations that helped us as a country to innovate and navigate our way from crisis mode to recovery. At the Ministry and the agencies it oversees, we initiate pioneering initiatives that will change the rules of the game in the innovation ecosystem.
“We have achieved almost all the objectives. We collaborate with the ecosystem to host the COVID-19 innovation challenge, where innovators were invited to showcase their ideas for managing the pandemic. The winners obtained prizes and funds that helped them turn their ideas into impact. We handle them by hand and develop functional products and services ”, he added.
“Some interesting competing inventions are a native ventilator currently being tested on animals, a smart decontamination chamber, which is a smart tunnel that can be used to disinfect a person entering a location, and MyClinic (a platform in line that allows users to make video consultations with qualified doctors from anywhere and at any time, either through their mobile application or through a toll-free line) ”, explained the Minister.