By Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim
YBTC News—I am writing this in joy considering the number of achievements Dr. Isa Ali Pantami has recorded so far in less than two years in communication ministry. Therefore, he deserves all forms of accolades from every patriotic Nigerians if not all (including the selfish one). It has become my tradition to write upon his success and pray for him.
This is also coming as part of celebrating his success at the communications ministry. As a result of this he was crowned as the Muslim news personality of the year. He has also won Muslim news Nigeria award last year. This is not a surprise. He even deserved more.
This is not only his award so far. There are many which can be found in the subsequent paragraphs. But I solely chose to write to celebrate with him over winning this award. This is because it is from a Muslim owned newspaper (Muslim news Nigeria) whose focus is promoting Muslim achievers. Though I have been celebrating, congratulating and praying for him upon the receipt of every award. This one is so special.
I am indeed happy to see that Dr. Pantami is crowned as the muslim news Nigeria personality of the year. Taking into congnisance how he has made the Muslim ummah proud. In both his professional work and Islamic scholarship. He is a minister who leads prayer, conducts tafsir and teaches other religious books despite all his engagements. We are really proud of him. He has taken Nigeria forward during his short stay in the Information Technology (IT) sector. He is not disappointing us.
With this, I will still reiterate that I am
still optimistic about Nigeria having a bright future. We still hope that Nigeria will change positively. And you and I have to keep on praying for this. My prayer is for a better Nigeria for all. May Allah continue to guide Dr. Pantami and his likes.
For many young Nigerians who came when Nigeria is quite bad, have not witnessed an honest, humble, hardworking and dedicated political office holder. Until the coming back of Dr. Pantami to Nigeria to serve his country, leaving a juicy opportunity to a lesser one, (NITDA), as a sign of patriotism, things began to change.
He woke the agency from the sleep or even semi death state to the state of life and action. Soon, NITDA became a very vibrant agency in the country within a short time frame. Projects of the agency are now found in secondary schools and tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Adamu Usman Garko in 2019 has described Dr. Pantami “as a jewel” but to me, he is not only a mere jewel but also a blessing from Almighty Allah to Nigeria and Nigerians at large. It is necessary for us to thank Allah for the gift of Sheikh Dr. Pantami as a next level minister. Indeed he is worthy of the name of a next level minister. That’s why I titled my article ‘Next Level Minister.’
Whenever I am writing about Dr. Pantami, I know some characters will think I am writing for just writing sake or something else. But I am sure by now, they are gradually getting to understand that Shaykh is really working for a better Nigeria. And it is leaders like him that we need as a nation. That is why I always celebrate him by writing his successes.
After his nomination as a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria, by President Muhammadu Buhari, I wrote an article (Ministerial Nomination: Dr. Pantami’s Nomination, Not A Surprise) in July 2019, to show his capabilities to run a ministry after a clear and good demonstration of his leadership skills at NITDA.
Also, I highlighted some of his achievements at NITDA, a sleeping federal government agency which he woke up and made it to be the leading in the country, (Dr. Pantami: A New Promising Nigerian Leader At NITDA). We are all aware of the digital capacity building centres built in secondary schools, and tertiary institutions across the country during his time at NITDA.
He came when Nigeria needed no one but a person like him, qualified and professional who can attend to the ills of the Nigerian ICT sector and doctor them. Dr. Pantami is indeed an academic doctor, treating the wounds of the Nigerian communications sector. So far the outcomes are of success and we pray to hear more of it.
But to skip here without telling my fellow patriotic Nigerians both those at home and abroad to continue praying to Dr. Pantami and Nigeria at large, my message will be incomplete. We all know that when a doctor enters a theatre to perform surgery, we are not supposed to sleep and rest but include him in our prayers. This is also applicable to Dr. Pantami. He is the doctor here. Include him in your du’a.
Dr. Pantami is a very religious person and a scholar who despite all of his engagements as a Director General of NITDA didn’t stop him to teach people the religion of Allah and also lead them in prayer. Not only this, even when he assumed office as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he continued to disseminate Islamic knowledge to people.
I could remember that during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, he was amongst the first if not the first to shift his Islamic lessons to virtual classrooms in line with the covid-19 protocols with the view of containing and preventing the spread of the virus.
Dr. Pantami is the only minister despite the covid-19 pandemic, has launched so many projects nation wide virtually. This is an achievement not only for him as a minister but for the country in general. Just recently, he has commissioned the first national intelligence and robotics centre in Abuja to enable startups to carry out their activities smoothly.
Wherever you see Dr. Pantami travelling is not for tourism purposes. He is responsible for the development of the IT sector. We have seen it. Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has stated how IT has contributed to the Gross Domestic Products of Nigeria. It is quite unfortunate for one to say that the minister is not working. Even if he is his enemy.
It is sad that there are some characters that still find pleasure in abusing the honourable minister. A person who is discharging his duties perfectly and beyond imagination. This is happening in a country where there are poor performing ministers. However, they are not even known not to talk of even being criticised.
Like others have said, if Nigeria had had leaders who are patriotic like Dr. Pantami in the past, we wouldn’t have found ourselves in this situation. I always say that at this age of Nigeria, we are supposed to have passed this level that we are currently in.
From his coming to date, we know that things have changed. When he travels within the country, just put it at the back of your mind that there is something important he is going to do. Either to carry out an assignment or commission new projects.
Some of the projects he initiated and launched are many. But few are national broadband plan 2020-2025, National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, Digital Entrepreneurship: Abuja MIT Reap Advisory Board, Robotics Center, NIMC mobile app amongst other numerous projects across the country.
For my reader to attest that I am not the only one commending Dr. Pantami, this quote has it all. According to MURIC, “We are greatly impressed by the performance of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. He has proved himself as an uncommon federal minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His ministry is always on one activity or another and most of such programmes and projects are designed to take Nigeria to the next level in a highly competitive digital world.
Without doubt, the transfer of the National Identity Management Commission to the supervision of his ministry, is not unconnected with his hard work which has been manifested. Immediately after the transfer, the agency was shaped. Things began to change. We all know how those workers behave before but now, he is dealing (sacking) with corrupt ones.
The activities of National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA), under the supervision of Dr. Pantami’s ministry has increased very well. Efforts were made towards transforming Nigerian agricultural sector to e-agric. This is most welcomed for the betterment of Nigeria.
This novel initiative is titled National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA.ng) with the aim to assist farmers with digital skills which will enable them showcase their produce in a digitised agricultural platform.
It has since started in Jigawa state and has adopted more than 100 farmers with the intention of reaching all other local government areas in Nigeria, as said by the agency. We have seen it in Gombe. It is going round as promised.
May Allah continue to guide and protect all patriotic Nigerians like Dr. Pantami.
Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim is a journalist, fellow African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC) 2020. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org