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Why Pantami annoyed some persons in Buhari’s cabinet – Fashola

A former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has explained why a former Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami,…

A former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has explained why a former Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, was annoying to some people in the immediate past federal administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Fashola who alongside Pantami served in the Buhari cabinet, said one of the reasons was Pantami’s dedication to getting things rights at all times and every ‘T’ and ‘I’ crossed and dotted.

The former Lagos State governor said this on Wednesday in Abuja in his keynote, at the public presentation of a 341-page book titled ‘A Scholar’s Journey: Navigating Academia’, written by Prof. Pantami.

“I got to know Prof. Pantami as my colleague in the Federal Executive Council (FEC), where he served as Minister for Communication and Digital Economy during 2019 to 2023. His passion and attention to detail are very well known. His desire to have every ‘T’ and ‘I’ crossed and dotted in every document was almost annoying for some people.

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“But our memoranda and our cabinet records are undoubtedly better off in terms of accuracy, having been impacted by what I call the Pantami effect. He was essentially our ‘Mr. Compliance’. Either your memo, if it was a tech memo that did not have a NITDA certificate, he would be the first one to see it, and he won’t keep quiet.

“And if your vision and missions did not align, he would let you know very clearly. But he was Mr. Compliance to a good cause. As I said, our records are better off for the ‘Pantami effect’. At a time when truth is the endangered by fake news, when history is threatened by revisionists, books that profess a factual basis, which report history and events accurately, become all the more important to preserve the foundations of our civilization,” Fashola said.

Fashola said the launch is auspicious that such a book dwells on scholarship and academia, which are qualities urgently needed to drive national development.

The event was also attended by Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum; Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya; Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule; former Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Danjuma Goje; former Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kyode; and former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed among others.

Fayemi in his remark commended Pantami for achieving many developmental strides for Nigerian, including broadband penetration which was about 23 per cent as at 2019 and which rose to about 50 per cent currently and also internet penetration to about 87 per cent.

Prof. Pantami in his remark expressed appreciation to everyone present and other who contributed to making the event successful, promising to continue to contribute to the body of knowledge for national development.

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