Ali Pantami appointed Nigeria's new Minister of Communication


President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in Isa Ali Pantami, head of Nigeria's National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as the country's Minister of Communication.

The appointment follows a post-re-election decision by Buhari to drop Adebayo Shittu as the Minister of Communication.

Pantami studied computer science at Nigeria's Federal University of Technology Bauchi and a PhD in Computer Information Systems from Scotland-based Robert Gordon University.

During his tenure at NITDA, he drew signficant attention to the country's annual loss of revenue due to reliance on foreign software.

Although industry experts said the efforts only achieved sub-optimal success, Pantami disagreed and said: "We have enforced local content policies which have helped in discouraging procurement of foreign IT products except when we cannot produce such goods in Nigeria. We have increased the number of original equipment manufacturers to 265,000 and established IT hubs in 246 institutions across the country."

In welcoming the newly appointed communications minister, the permanent secretary Musa Istifanus said the Ministry "could pull 50 million Nigerians out of poverty within 36 months".

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, technical assistant at the Agency, has been appointed as the organisation's new Director General and chief executive officer.