From the Pantami community of Gombe State, in the northeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria comes Dr Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami, the renowned Islamic scholar changing the face of global technological space since he was appointed by President Buhari Muhammadu in September 2016 to head the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), one of the then newly created government agencies, under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications, saddled with the responsibility of “developing and regulating Information and Telecommunications Technology (ICT) in Nigeria.”
His uncommon leadership qualities and outstanding performance at NITDA is applauded by all and sundry. Sheikh Pantami led so many positive contributions in the Nigerian and global ICT ecosystem revolution, including youth empowerment and promotion of good governance and just like his boss (President Buhari), Pantami has zero tolerance for corruption; thus he led his agency to a partnership with EFCC to fight against corruption in the ministry.
Within his short period in public service, he has received over 110 awards and recognitions both within and outside the shores of Nigeria, including an award as the “ICT Promoter of the Year 2017″ in London in 2017”.
Allah (SWT) in His infinite mercies finally heard the prayers of those who saw the astounding transformation at NITDA. President Buhari, on his election for a second term, elevated Dr Pantami, entrusting him with higher responsibilities as the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy in Nigeria.
Since his swearing-in in August, 2019, Dr Pantami, a PhD holder from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, has been changing the narrative with his innovative and impactful policies. Few weeks after assumption of office, Dr Pantami directed all the agencies under the ministry, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to block the about 9.2 million unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards in his quest to tame cybercrime in Nigeria.
Being a devout Muslim scholar with indepth Islamic knowledge is perhaps what further attracted us at Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic newspaper to developing a keen interest in the leadership style of Sheikh Pantami, who once worked as the Head of Technical Writing at the Islamic University of Medina.
Fondly called Sheikh Pantami by friends and admirers – especially on social media and by Muslim faithfuls who avidly follow his Islamic activism both online and terrestrially, he has been leading thousands of Muslim congregations in solat (prayers) especially on Fridays for more than 20 years both in Nigeria and UK.
Surprisingly, his engagement as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has not taken away his da’wah activism. He has developed a system of juggling between the two without one adversely impacting the other.
While many of his former staff at NITDA and current officials at the Ministry of Communications hail his commitment to work and transparency, a lot of Muslims have been appreciating his Islamic scholarship which he is using to impact knowledge and directing people to the right path with sound creeds. He is no doubt a doyen in Islamic scholarship, and has raised many rising Islamic preachers.
In view of this brief and in line with our mantra of celebrating Muslim achievers for changing the narrative and flying the flag of Islam in their various professions, we at Muslim News, Nigeria therefore honour Sheikh Pantami as the first runner-up, Nigerian Muslim Personality of the Year 2019.
Specifically for his exemplary leadership in both Islamic and secular spheres across his years as DG, NITDA and upon his assumption of ministerial position as Minister for Communications and Digital Economy.
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