Data Prices Will be Slashed by 60% in 2025 – Pantami

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SWITZERLAND, JULY 15 – The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has announced that the prices of data and telecommunication services will drop by 60 percent by 2025.

Pantami made this known on Monday while speaking at the official opening of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) training programme organised for ICT journalists themed: ‘Digital Skills in News Reportage For ICT Journalists.

He apprised that the goal would be achievable with what the ministry has put in place in terms of infrastructure, and as the government is making ICT infrastructures as national infrastructure.

The minister attributed the high prices of telecom services to the rising cost of right of way and the burden of providing security for telecom infrastructure by telecoms provider which has now been passed on to the federal government.

“By 2025, Nigerians will pay 40 percent of what data cost them now. In the ministry, we are working on restructuring all the departments because most of them are obsolete.

“We will have many critical departments that will focus on digital innovation, entrepreneurship, digital economy and more to make sure that we are on the right track for a digital Nigeria”, he said.

He hinted on the need for Nigeria to join the rest of the countries that have preference of skills over certificate when employing workers, saying what is most important is not the certificate but the skill. Many developed nations are promoting skills rather than a certificate.

According to Pantami, the ministry, through its agencies, needs to train journalists who are major players in the country’s efforts to drive home the digital Nigeria economic policy.

“Digital Nigeria cannot be achieved without training people who will play a key role in ensuring that we achieve that digital Nigeria. Journalists have a role to play, most importantly our ICT journalists or multimedia journalists as the case may be.

“It is because of this reason that we feel on the top of our priority that you (journalists) are the first to start benefiting from this training before others,” he explained.

The Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Inuwa Abdullahi, also present at the event added that the only way out of the economic woes created by COVID-19 pandemic is digital technology.

“As we are set to embrace this new normal, we need to reskill ourselves; also, we have seen it that the only thing that worked well in this pandemic is digital technology.

“And we have seen it as the most profound solution of getting out of this pandemic. Therefore, as the minister said, we feel it is important to train you (journalists) and reskill you so that you cannot be left behind in our journey to digital Nigeria.”

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