Posted on:

March 24, 2024

#WeekInReview: Full Week Recap of Activities of the Honourable Minister, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani

ITU Digital Innovation Board


Over the last few weeks, there have been significant developments that have highlighted the critical role that connectivity plays in ensuring economic growth and development. From the increasing rollout of Project 774 to Local Government Secretariats across Nigeria to the submarine cable cuts off the coast of West Africa, the need for intentional and urgent action to not only expand digital infrastructure but also to build resilience into existing networks came to the fore. This and other ongoing initiatives by the Ministry of Communications, Innovation & Digital Economy, influenced the Honourable Minister’s focus this week.


Infrastructure Development and Global Partnerships: The Honourable Minister prioritised key elements of his Strategic Blueprint that are targeted at accelerating infrastructure development this week. These include global engagements with the ITU and partner discussions with UNDP, Luminate, Meta amongst others.

Innovation: Innovation was also a priority this week as the Honourable Minister participated in conversations at the ITU Digital Innovation Board around the future of digital innovation and entrepreneurship as well as creating new opportunities through partnerships with organisations like Zipline, looking to expand their investment in Nigeria. 




  • Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani started the week by hosting Elsie Attafuah, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative and her team in his office to discuss their interest in supporting a number of the Ministry’s initiatives including the 3MTT programme, Artificial Intelligence and e-trade. Both parties also discussed the importance of innovation and digitalisation towards achieving the global digital agenda.
  • Following this, he had a meeting with representatives of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to discuss the governance structure, operations, and mandate of NIPOST Transport and Logistics Services Limited (NITRALS) and NIPOST Properties and Development. Present at the meeting were Ignatius Ayewoh, Acting Director General of BPE; Tola Odeyemi, Postmaster General of NIPOST; and Engr. Faruk Yusuf Yabo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Innovation & Digital Economy.
  • His next meeting was with representatives of Luminate led by Chief Executive Officer, Stephen King to explore partnership opportunities in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a view to responsibly leveraging the technology for inclusive development. Luminate will be supporting the Ministry’s plans to build a coalition of partners and experts as we develop our National AI Strategy.


  • The Honourable Minister travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the first meeting of the International Telecommunications Union – Digital Innovation Board. 

The Board which comprises 24 members selected in their own capacity, is mandated to support the ITU’s efforts to accelerate the achievement of the five strategic objectives of its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance for Digital Development, which includes;

1). Trend Research Readiness

2). Open Technology Innovation

3). Entrepreneurship & SME Growth

4). Policy Experimentation

5). Ecosystem Initiative Acceleration

  • Members of the board will provide strategic guidance, expertise and advocacy regarding its mission of building critical local enablers and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in digital development to create a more inclusive and equitable digital future for all
  • Day 1 of the meeting which was led by Dr. Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, had two main sessions including the Presentation of an Overview of the Alliance and its Acceleration Centres.
  • Board members also formally approved the draft Terms of Reference of the Board and held discussions on the proposed focus areas for the Alliance to achieve real impact in innovation through the ITU Acceleration Centres.
  • In his remarks during the session, Dr. Tijani emphasised the need for the board to have clarity on its role in the innovation ecosystem and to make innovation a core area of focus for the government and all citizens and not only about youth empowerment. He acknowledged the ecosystem approach presented by the Board Secretariat and called for more representation of other stakeholders involved in innovation, including tech hubs and venture capitalists on the board.


  • On the back of the submarine cable cuts that had affected a few African countries in the previous week, the Honourable Minister had immediately called for urgent global action to review laws and policies protecting the operations of submarine cables. As a follow up to this, Dr. Tijani met with the Deputy Secretary General of the ITU, Tomas Lamauskas to initiate action on organising efforts to protect submarine cables and other digital infrastructure. 
  • In a very productive discussion, the Honourable Minister and the Deputy Secretary General agreed to engage other African countries affected by the cable cuts in a roundtable in Abuja as a first step towards building resilience in global digital infrastructure.
  • Dr. Tijani returned to the ITU Digital Innovation Board Meeting to present his perspective on how to support the Alliance through raising awareness, engaging, and committing to its goals and objectives. Specifically, he spoke about the importance of learning diverse points of view and his commitment to sharing Nigeria’s perspectives on accelerating innovation.
  • Before the conclusion of the Board meeting, the Honourable Minister accepted an invitation by his fellow Board members to serve as Co-Chair to support and provide input towards shaping the agenda of the Board as it works towards creating a more inclusive and equitable digital future for all.
  • The 2-day meeting wrapped up with a takeaway session which defined actionable steps and timelines for implementation.


Last week, the Honourable Minister advanced actions on the Infrastructure, Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Capital pillar objectives of his Strategic Blueprint, as he engaged with the ITU and member states in setting a clear agenda for the growth of innovation globally as well as leading efforts to take action to address the protection of global digital infrastructure. 

His other partner engagements were in support of the momentum being built in the area of expanding connectivity and the benefits of a thriving digital economy to all parts of the country. 


  • Back in Nigeria, Dr. Tijani met with a delegation from Meta led by its President, Global Affairs, Sir Nick Clegg, accompanied by Kojo Boakye, Vice President, Public Policy, Africa, Middle East and Turkey; and Adaora Ikenze, Director of Public Policy, Anglophone West Africa, and others. Both parties had extensive conversations on diverse issues including Artificial Intelligence, monetization opportunities for Nigerian businesses on Meta platforms, building resilience into global digital infrastructure amongst other topics. The Honourable Minister commended Meta’s sustained investment in Infrastructure on the continent, most notably the 2Africa subsea cable which recently landed in Nigeria, while also reiterating his commitment to partnering with the company towards unleashing the full potentials of our digital economy for shared economic prosperity.
  • He then joined the Meta team on a visit to the State House for a courtesy visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
  • Dr. Tijani later had a virtual meeting with the Smart Africa team on the back of an initial engagement held at the Mobile World Congress Africa in Rwanda last year. The team introduced their Bulk Internet Capacity Purchase project aimed at alleviating costs associated with interconnectivity with a view to narrowing usage and connectivity gaps and achieving a more digitally inclusive Africa.
  • The Honourable Minister expressed Nigeria’s interest in spearheading the initiative towards enhancing digital access and promoting economic growth. The Smart Africa delegation on the call was led by Didier Nkurikiyimfura, Senior Director/Chief Strategy & Growth Officer.


  • Dr. Tijani’s first meeting of the day was with Engr. Salisu Kaka, Director, Digital Economy, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to discuss next steps for Nigeria’s participation as a member of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG). The Honourable Minister stated that Nigeria must take leadership and set the tone for discussions in the global digital economy space while reiterating the need to work collaboratively towards achieving set objectives.
  • He then received a courtesy call from the first cohort of The Platform Public Service Bootcamp. Dr. Tijani highlighted the importance of maintaining a high level of excellence and clarity of purpose in public service, noting that these are critical imperatives for success. The Bootcamp is the brainchild of The Covenant Nation convener, Pastor Poju Oyemade to grow a new generation of public servants with renewed mindset to serve diligently, purposefully, and ethically.
  • His next engagement was a virtual orientation session with grantees of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Technology Application (4IRTA) in Agriculture programme, an initiative of the Ministry launched last year to select 10 pilot 4IR technologies to demonstrate their application in Nigeria’s Agriculture sector. At the session, the Honourable Minister highlighted the essence of the Project and its alignment with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision to raise productivity in the agriculture sector and ensure food security. 
  • The Honourable Minister met with Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, Statistician-General of the Federation/CEO, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to receive briefing on the Bureau’s activities and explore key areas for collaboration. One of the outcomes of the deliberation was the setting up of a representative committee in the Ministry of Communications, Innovation & Digital Economy by Dr. Tijani to support NBS efforts to effectively incorporate the digital economy into the ongoing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rebasing.
  • His final engagement for the week was a co-creation session with representatives of Zipline, a logistics company interested in significantly expanding their operations in Nigeria. Both parties explored the goals to be achieved, existing dependencies which impact their operations, and proposed solutions to identified problems. The Zipline team had Reginald Bassey, Government and Aviation Affairs Manager; Bolaji Iwayemi, Head of Growth, Africa; and Catherine Odiase, General Manager, Nigeria.

Isime Esene

Office of the Honourable Minister

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