So, we’ve been anticipating the announcement of the new Minister of ICT, who would be (ad)ministering the tech sector. But I don’t think anyone saw this coming.
When the Nigerian President’s cabinet was announced yesterday, there were two persons of interest on my list – Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Comms, and Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister Of Science And Technology. My knee jerk reaction was, erm… where’s the Minister of ICT?
We finally made some progress during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s government when we got a whole cabinet/ministry dedicated to ICT related things. This was excellent for the Nigerian tech scene as we could finally get all the attention and nurturing we deserve (we’re babies after all).
And now, it’s no more.
Omobola Johnson who was the country’s first Minister of ICT (hopefully not the last) made such an impact on the tech scene, it’s hard to imagine her commitment and progress being replicated without the attention of a dedicated minister/ministry whose core focus is ICT related things. The advantage of having an ICT minister was it positioned technology as a key driver of national development and economic growth.
downgraded upgraded to Communications minister just seems bleh.
Flipping on my optimist switch though, I like to think of this development as the tech scene now having two ministers. After all, the ministry of science and tech has this on their website:
“The Federal Ministry of Science & Technology is a Nigerian ministry whose mission is to facilitate the development and deployment of science and technology apparatus to enhance the pace of socio-economic development of the country through appropriate technological inputs into productive activities in the nation.”
So, in theory, this ministry has our back. In theory. (It also has the back of the agric sector, education sector, health sector and power but let’s stay optimistic, eh?). Let’s see what the Communications minister has to say. As our beloved Mark Essien put it:
I figure that, for the tech scene to continue to grow at a healthy pace, there’s going to have to be some good synergy between the two ministries. But these are still early days. The two ministers are barely a week in office.
Fingers crossed, rubbing rabbit foot.