The controversial bill sponsored by the terrorists-linked Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, to destroy ICT startups in the country, will establish a company having a JIgawa State-indigene as a member, says SaharaReporters.
The online news platform said checks into the bill showed that the Jigawa State member, included for no obvious reason, will be part of the leadership of the Digital Infrastructure and Service Provision Company being pushed by the bill.
The current Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA, Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, is from Jigawa State, and the provision hence means he or one of the cronies will sit on the management of the new company.
The new bill for which Pantami is lobbying officials is targeted at repealing the National Information Technology Development Agency Act, no 28 2007.
A copy of the bill obtained by SaharaReporters is titled “A bill for an Act to repeal the National Information Technology Development Agency Act, no 28 2007 and enact the National Information Technology Development Agency Act to provide for the administration, implementation, regulation of information technology systems and practices as well as digital economy in Nigeria and for related matters.’
A source said the NITDA Director-General who is from Jigawa State slotted that a member of the digital company to be established to provide services to the Nigerian government must be a representative of the Jigawa State Government.
“Establishment of a Digital Infrastructure and Service Provision Company. There is established under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, a Digital Infrastructure and Service Provision Company, Galaxy Backbone, or any other name the Ministry in charge of information technology may determine from time to time, in this Act referred to as “the Company” with membership and functions as set out in this Act.
“The membership of the Company shall consist of: (a) A Chair, who shall be the Minister; (b) A representative of the Agency; (c) A representative of the Nigerian Communications Commission; (d) A representative of the Jigawa State Government; (e) A representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and (f) The Managing Director of the Company.
“The Managing Director of the Company shall be appointed by the Minister on the recommendations of the Agency after a competitive and transparent recruitment process open to all Nigerians. The Company shall engage the services of individuals as staff on such terms and conditions that may be approved by its Board from time to time.
“The Company shall perform the following functions: (a) provide digital infrastructure services to the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and public service institutions of the Government in a non-exclusive manner; (b) conduct training for staff of the Ministries, Departments, Agencies and public service institutions of the Government to promote digital services, (c) promote Nigerian content and digital services; (d) provide quality services at competitive pricing to ensure customer satisfaction; (e) explore and engage in international business opportunities on approval of the Board of the company; and (f) Perform any other function that may be assigned to the company by the Agency.
“The Company shall be funded from: (a) profits and earnings from its services and products; (b) subventions and budgetary allocations from Federal Government of Nigeria for targeted projects and services; and (c) grants-in-aid from national, bilateral and multi-lateral agencies.
“The Company shall produce an annual report to be received by 30th June of the following year by the Director-General and forwarded to the Minister.”
SaharaReporters had reported how Pantami recently took members of the NITDA board to Turkey, in a bid to bribe them to get his controversial bill to scale through.
SaharaReporters had also exposed how the minister had been putting in efforts to destroy the technology sector and impose his fundamentalist ideals on the works of other agencies.
Pantami’s past call to Jihad and unalloyed support for murderous groups like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda portrayed him as a dyed-in-the-wool Islamic fundamentalist.
Yet, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Pantami as communications minister to control the country’s massive data and telephone infrastructure and other sensitive details of national intelligence.
The President also recently stood by the minister after his past support for terrorist groups became public knowledge.
One of the sources said, “Pantami tries to destroy technology sector and systematically encroach on works of other agency. He took members of the board of NITDA to Turkey, trying to bribe them over such bills.”
“They were in Turkey last two months and the fruits of the bribery that will destroy startups in the ICT sector and create more jobless Nigerians is on track,” another source said.