Former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, explained why ex-Communication Minister Isa Ali Pantami (Prof) was perceived as annoying.
Fashola praised Pantami’s commitment to precision and attention to detail during their time in President Buhari’s administration.
Fashola shared these insights at the book launch of Pantami’s ‘A Scholar’s Journey: Navigating Academia’ on Wednesday in Abuja.
“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.
“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 highlighted the significance of a book focusing on scholarship and academia for national development.
The event saw the presence of notable figures, including Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum; Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya; Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule; former Gombe State Governor, Danjuma Goje; former Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode; and former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, among others.
Fayemi lauded Pantami’s accomplishments, notably in enhancing broadband and internet accessibility, with penetration rates increasing from approximately 23 percent in 2019 to around 50 percent presently, and internet access reaching about 87 percent.
Pantami, expressing gratitude, pledged to contribute further to the nation’s development through knowledge advancement.