OPINION

Re: Pantami And Ministerial Arrogance, By Adewunmi Olaoluwatomi

When one person makes an accusation, check to be sure he himself is not the guilty one. Sometimes it is those whose case is weak who make the most clamour.” – Piers Anthony

It is evidently and surprisingly clear that Nigerian online columnists are resorting to distortion, falsification and misuseof their God-given talents, instead of penning on government policies that make impact to citizens. Unfortunately, few and many others avail to be agents of misinformation and manipulation in their quest to gain cheap popularity. Although the Freedom of Information Act gives one chance to comment on matters affecting the nation, it also stated clearly that unfounded and baseless allegations are not to be entertained.

Last Friday 27thMarch, 2020, a faceless columnist appeared on Sahara Reporters (online newspaper) to maliciously discredit one of Nigeria’s famous and revered technocrats in person of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM. The writer, knowingly or unknowingly, failed to set aside his irrationality to at least outline the achievements of the Honourable Minister in the Information and Communications Technology sector of Nigeria.

I wish the writer of that unfounded and ill-nurtured article, Emmanuel John, is known to the Nigerian public so that his-behind-the-scene ulterior motive to engineer a rift between highly respected personalities could be revealed.

At this point in time, the likes of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, should be encouraged, emboldened and cheered for the wonderful job he has been doing since his appointment as Minister by Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. The author of that piece seemed to be oblivious to the current realities at the Ministry and Parastatals it supervises. He has brought himself so low in his move to venomously undermine the personality of Dr Pantami.

The author un-assiduously claimed that the Honourable Minister blocked Professor Umar Garba Dambatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), from making a complete speech during the Launching and Commissioning of some projects supervised by the Ministry. He arrogantly stated that, “the EVC’s Speech was about the complex and how it came into being.  The minister, who had earlier evidently lied to the President that it was him who built the gigantic project, could not allow the EVC to tell the President the truth.”

This assertion is false and aimed at damaging the international reputation of Dr Pantami. To set the record straight, the Honourable Minister has never claimed building the said project, but rather asseverated that it was supervised by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy as enshrined in Nigeria’s law.

The author negated his trustworthiness (if he has any) in throwing tantrums, not knowing that it was paramount that whenever Mr President happened to be at an event, timing must be strictly adhered to. In a situation like this, speakers cling to the time allocated to them and limit their presentations.

One will be flabbergasted on the manner the author is trying to create chaos and conflict between the already established synergy among sister Agencies under the Ministry. 

In a saner society, faceless Emmanuel John lacks moral and intellectual prowess to comment on matters pertaining Digital Technology, especially to someone whose outstanding professionalism and integrity earned him the highest recognition in the global IT industry: The Fellowship of the British Computer Society (FBCS).

Dr Pantami, as a man for the job, who has served as an IT Consultant to many National and International industries, is also a fellow of the Institute of Information Management (FIIM).

Only fools will sit down and be looking at the sky, believing that it will fall. Dr Pantami’s unmatchable contribution and impact to the growth of Information Communications Technology in Nigeria, through his extensive knowledge and vast experience, earned him elevation to the position of Minister. Because of Dr Pantami’s technical-know-how style in the IT sector, saw the need and recommended to Mr President to rename the Ministry’s name and expand its mandate to align his commitment with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Change Agenda as well as be in line with global best practices. He is largely responsible for the renewed vigour and focus in the industry. He has sustained an unprecedented level of professionalism and compliance in the sector.

To say that under Dr Pantami, either the NCC or its Executive Vice Chairman is being undermined is the highest intellectual turbulence one could have ever imagined. People with accurate mindset will never make such baseless allegations with buttress.

The writer should have checked his words before going to press. His piece contained malicious and dangerous declaration that may land him in jail. Nay, personalities like Dr Pantami are always after the progress of the nation, not stooping to the level of low-key bonehead and jackass.

NCC has recorded tremendous achievements under the supervision of the Honourable Minister, only dickhead could shamelessly deny that. Since Dr Pantami was sworn-in as Nigeria’s new Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, he has been working with strict compliance and cooperation from all the Chief Executive Officers under his Ministry.This led to the directive given to the NCC to block all unregistered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.

The NCC, through its Director of Public Affairs, Henry Nkemadu, has since informed  Nigerians that the Commission has successfully deactivated over two million (2m) unregistered SIM cards across telecommunication networks in the country. This action has significantly curtailed the menace of kidnappings and other crimes perpetrated using SIM cards. This has clearly shown Dr Pantami’s working experience and synergy with Parastatals under his supervision.

In today’s world, especially at a time Nigeria is moving towards diversification from resource-based to knowledge-based economy, the need for effective teamwork is critical for the business. This is what Dr Pantami exhibited in matters relating to his relationship with all the Agencies and Parastatals under his purview. The ability to simultaneously perform as an individual and together with your colleagues or employees in effective teamwork is key to attaining growth and success.

The Minister’s achievements can be seen even by a blind man, which is why the President himself commended him for bringing the Agencies and Parastatals to work together as one, align them to work harder, cooperate and be supportive of one another. He even thanked him for the high level of synergy that has been created amongst the parastatals under the Minister’s supervision.

Nigerians are living witnesses to testify on what Dr Pantami, the Honourable Minister, is doing. He has rejigged the Ministry and realigned its work schedule, encouraged mutual support and shared goals, cooperation and provides workplace synergy among the Parastatals. With this, Agencies and Parastatals are able to feel a greater sense of accomplishment, collectively responsible for outcomes achieved and feed individuals with the incentive to perform at higher levels.

Dr Pantami has become steering wheel in leading Federal Government of Nigeria on strategic implementation of programmes aimed at diversifying the economy. Oil and gas can no longer be dependent upon because countries around the world, especially the developed ones, are switching to digitalization in almost all their means of activities, including transportation.

Dr Pantami’s unprecedented achievements in ensuring that Nigeria lifts itself to reach the required level in the Global Information Technology Development Index can never be overemphasized. He is leading a rescue mission of Nigeria’s migration from natural resource economy to ICT-based economy. As true Nigerians, it is our collective responsibility to stifle any nincompoops trying to distract the Minister; we must not let that happen.

olaoluwatomia@gmail.com

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