Tag Archives: Yemi Osinbajo

Government renames ministry

The Federal Ministry of Communications has been renamed the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Isa Pantami

Minister of communications Isa Pantami made the announcement while briefing state house correspondents after a Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja.

Pantami said the digital economy had become a global trend and was contributing immensely to Nigeria’s gross domestic product.

“I am here to convey the message to Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Communications which I supervise, has been renamed and re-designated as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, so that the amendment is that digital economy should be added to the name,” he said.

“We came up with the proposal knowing that digital economy today is about to dominate the world and even in Nigeria, if you look at it critically, the contribution of ICT to gross domestic product is increasing by the day.

“If you look at the second quarter of 2019, you will find out that oil and gas contributed 8.82% to our GDP while the non-oil sector collectively contributed 91.18% and ICT contributed 13.85% to our GDP.”

He stressed the need to have a ministry that can supervise the development and implementation of the digital economy in Nigeria with regards to its economic recovery and growth plan.

He said that many nations were creating ministries for the digital economy and the move had to be made to align with the global best practice.

“In Nigeria, looking at the contributions of ICT and, secondly, at how our population, most importantly youths, are addicted to ICT, I feel it is very important. No one will argue with me that if you look at the richest people today in the world, they come from that aspect of the digital economy,” said Pantami.

“For example, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, came up with that idea of Amazon in 1994. Up to 2003, he couldn’t get any profit. By 2004, he got his first profit and he became the richest person in the world.

He added that Nigeria was blessed in terms of its population and resources and should harness digital to improve its economy.

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NGO calls for NBC chief to go

Nigerian digital rights body Paradigm Initiative has called for the removal of Modibbo Kawu, director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), over a social media message.

Mallam Is’haq Modibbo-Kawu

The non-governmental organisation made the request through a letter to NBC’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo, claiming Kawu recently made provocative and tribalistic comments on a WhatsApp group that could incite hatred.

As Paradigm Initiative pointed out in its letter, the NBC monitors all Nigerian broadcast stations and sanctions them if they breach the national broadcasting code.

However, NBC’s director general seems not to abide by the same rules, Paradigm Initiative alleges.

“We do not believe that Mr Modibbo has the moral compass to continue to administer the affairs of the NBC. This country deserves leaders who not only promise the rule of law and the observance of democratic principle but also administer it, not only during office hours but every day of their lives,” the company said.

Boye Adegoke

Boye Adegoke, programme manager at Paradigm Initiative, added: “Given the sensitive nature of Mr Modibbo’s position and role in the affairs of the NBC, it is highly unbecoming of him to be seen creating and promoting such inciting content.

“Not only are his actions inappropriate and unbefitting of a public servant but also unacceptable of the director general of the commission responsible for, among other things, regulating and controlling the broadcasting industry in Nigeria. It will be hypocritical for him to remain in office and continue to determine what is broadcast and what is not.”

Further details are yet to be disclosed about the complaint or any responses to it.

The NGO’s request comes days after Tony Akiotu, MD of Daar Communications, said the NBC’s recent sanctioning of Daar’s TV station was “inappropriate.”

Paradigm Initiative is an indigenous organisation that aims to ensure that the rule of law and human rights are adhered to in the digital age.

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VP defends Nigerian media freedom

Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo has spoken about the challenges faced by the country’s media at a forum marking the 50th birthday of top journalist Kadaria Ahmed.

Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of Nigeria

Speaking at the forum, held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Victoria Island in Lagos, keynote speaker Osinbajo addressed the audience on the topic ‘A Conversation on Media Renewal in Nigeria.’

Commending the Nigerian media for contributing to the movement and development of the nation since colonial days, Osinbajo said: “The democracy we enjoy today would not have been possible without the guerrilla efforts of some of our finest and most irrepressible journalists.

“The Nigerian press is and has always been one of the most vibrant in the world. You can always take it for granted that no matter the intensity of the clampdown on press freedom in Nigeria, there will always be a prominent group of journalists who will refuse to be cowed, and will seize every tool at their disposal to hold the authorities to account.”

He then went on to note the challenges and drawbacks in the media industry that journalist face, highlighting the lack of innovation and vision as well as poor financial provision.

Osinbajo noted that the media’s response to technological advancements and innovations has been slow and it must do well to reinvent itself to overcome declining sales.

He added that the media is not spared from the corruption affecting the nation, saying: “The Nigerian contemporary press is caught up in a crisis of confidence. The faith in the media is at all-time low because faith in all things in the country is at all-time low.

“The crisis of corruption is systemic and every institution is infected. Justice can be bought so headlines can also be bought. Wherever you find a judiciary that is poorly paid, you will find a judiciary that is compromised. The same applies to the media – a poorly paid journalist should not be expected to be ethical.”

After his speech, the VP joined other dignitaries, including Hajiya Hadiza El-rufai, Dr Wale Babalakin and John Momoh, to present Kadaria Ahmed’s scholarships and book.

With over 20 years of experience in media, award-winning Kadaria Ahmed is one of Nigeria’s top journalists. She started her career at BBC before moving on to become an editor of the now defunct Next newspaper. She was also a presenter of Straight Talk on Channels Television.

She is currently one of the board members of Premium Times and also hosts The Core on Channels Television.

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