President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved N5billion for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to enable it deliver the national digital economy project with appropriate infrastructures and attractive conditions of service in agencies saddled with the responsibility to do so.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami said there was an upward review of the capital budget of NIMC from between N500million and N700 million in the previous years to about N5 billion this year as part of the commitments of the president to digitalise the economy.

President Muhammadu Buhari

He commended the President for his support and approval of proposals on the development of the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector, saying the contributions of the sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last quarter of 2020 was as a result of the support.

Pantami made the remarks at the presentation of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA’s) Employee-Centric Condition and Scheme of Service documents to the public at Frasel Suites, Abuja.

He expressed gratitude for the president’s support and the confidence reposed in him. He said: “We are doing our best to justify this confidence by ensuring that our initiatives support the programmes of the Government. The 2020 Fourth Quarter (Q4 2020) GDP Report recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that our modest efforts are yielding positive results; this reflected in the significant growth experienced by the ICT Sector. The Report indicated that the ICT sector recorded a 14.7per cent growth rate, making it the sector with the highest growth rate.  The growth rate of the ICT sector was over 4 times the growth rate of the Agriculture sector, which was the sector with the second highest growth rate.”

He said the Scheme of Service would serve as a tool for making NITDA more functional as it develops into becoming one of the most strategic government institutions in the country. According to him, the documents provided the approved status for the agency and specifies the skills and certifications required for appointment and promotion. He  noted that the Scheme identified 15 different cadres for the Agency.

The minister said NIMC and NIPOST would be supported by the Federal Government to enable them carry out their critical and statutory functions which would boost national Identity and security and promote digital economy.

He noted that Conditions of Service is to re-engineer the operations and structure of government agencies with the aim of providing an enabling environment for effective strategy development and execution. “This will match the global industry requirements that are needed to develop and regulate the innovative and agile digital economy industry. We are committed to attracting and retaining highly skilled and highly motivated personnel in the Digital Economy sector, including all the parastatals under our supervision,” the Minister added.

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