Open letter to Dr. Isa Pantami by Abubakar SD

By Abubakar SD
By now you must have received dozens of well wishes and congratulatory messages on your new appointment, so I will just go straight to the purpose of this open letter.

As you assumed office as the substantive minister of communications, you might have conceived your own focus and vision or perhaps an emphasis agenda set by your boss, Mr. President.

And then there should also be a reserved space for people like us to highlight where we think can help improve the sector you are manning as minister.

Thank God, you are not new to the communication system and all the wrongs therein.

Because, this appointment is like an upgrade from your previous position as Ex-DG, NITDA—which means, all that I am about to say will not sound new to you.

Sir, let me start with government agencies. Most of them remain archaic, offline and do not respond to enquiries talk less of sharing some basic information for ordinary citizens.

Citizens are not provided with platforms to ask questions and get clarification at the comfort of their bedrooms courtesy of the advantages brought to us by ICTs.

Are you considering a policy that will make it compulsory to all these agencies to be active online, essence sufferings among Nigerians and create more job opportunities?

Are you considering making it mandatory for these agencies to not only be online, but also have the abilities to publish their activities and respond to inquiries? Is there anything difficult in doing that? Not at all, I believe.

And that will surely save time and help to eliminate compromise or third party “chuwachuwa.”

The normal procedure in Nigeria when dealing with banks and other government parastatals is to ask you to provide same information always, but how boring is that? Very, I believe.

We can easily save ourselves the stress of all this through inter agencies’ data sharing. Please come up with a policy to create an avenue of data sharing. That can not only save time and the stress but can also tackles the problem of giving different information, perhaps deliberately or by error due to the poor literacy and documentation attitudes of ours.

BVN and NIM number advantages should have been maximized since we don’t have national security number like that of the USA.

I am aware that you knew about the sorry incident, where graduates lost their lives during Nigerian immigration recruitment exercise due to poor management. You were thinking how could this relate to your ministry? Yes, it’s the way I see it.

With a simple unemployment code, we could have saved their lives, avoid large uncontrollable screening exercises and unnecessary applications that lead to the collapse of many recruiting portals like NPower and the rest.

How? Is easy. With that code, it can serve as tracker to block anyone that want to apply for more than one job at once just because they are recruiting at the same time.

The areas in Nigerian telecom sector I would like you to check is the quality of their internet bundle. The poor Nigerians are consistently extorted with less satisfaction when it comes to internet bundle.

You buy data with your hard earn money and they give you days to finish it or it will expire. Why is that? My call is to either give us unexpired data bundles or make roll over mandatory. And please don’t forget to open quality data assurance file to cross check their activities.

I have to stop here because I don’t want to see you weep again, courtesy of additional problems, since you are already crying because of the ineptitude you said you have seen in the ministry.

I hope you will address these anomalies as urgently as possible so that we all smile at the end since you have wept for us abinitio.

Abubakar SD is a senior reporter and online editor at Sawaba FM. He can be reached at



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