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NITDA urges Ondo State to empower citizens with requisite digital skills, infrastructure

Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, Director General of NITDA

*Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, enjoins the Ondo State Government of Nigeria to equip its people with digital skills, provide them with digital infrastructure to enable them establish innovation-driven enterprises, and participate in the global digital economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has enjoined the Ondo State Government to equip its people with digital skills and provide them with digital infrastructure to enable them to establish innovation-driven enterprises in the state, and also participate in the fast-paced global digital economy.

Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, Director General of NITDA, gave this admonition when he delivered a keynote address, titled: “Tech-Forward Ondo” at the Develop Ondo 2.1.

The Information Technology (IT) sector regulatory agency stated the Ondo State Ministry of Regional Integration and Diaspora Relations organised the virtual summit.

Inuwa, represented at the event by Dr. Aristotle Onumo, Acting Director of Corporate Planning and Strategy Department of NITDA, urged the ‘Sunshine State’ to prepare its people for tomorrow’s jobs.

The Director-General of NITDA said: “To compete in the digital economy, the state government needs to prioritise education and build the digital skills of its workforce by creating efficient safety nets to support those transactions.”

Impact of digital transformation on Ondo economy, by Inuwa

In affirming the fact that Ondo State is blessed with abundant material resource, especially human capital, both at home and in the Diaspora, Inuwa said digital transformation could become impactful in the South-West state of the country, only if the people are prepared and ready to participate in the global digital economy.

The continuous evolvement of technology in the state’s processes would make the state government to adopt new technologies and leverage them to their advantage, stated the Director-General.

He further noted: “For the state government to effectively deliver on its promises of efficient services to the people, there is a need to be prepared to constantly adapt to the impact of technology in their operations.

“You have to create the enabling environment for increased efficiency and innovation to empower the public and private sectors to function effectively and collaboratively for the delivery of transparent, efficient, and cost-saving services to the people.

“This will not be functional without the availability of critical public digital infrastructure to facilitate digital innovation.”

Enumerating the myriad of opportunities of which the Ondo State could take advantage, Inuwa advised  the state government to replicate “Yaba” (a notable tech hub in Lagos) in Akure, the state capital, as the technological hub for the state, deliberate on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for digital talent development programme for talent export in some identifiable areas.

He equally suggested the government adopts the National Digital Literacy Framework for the state’s education curriculum, organise innovation challenge among startups to solve local problems, engage the Diasporans to mentor startups, and build digital infrastructure in the state.

The Director-General, however, urged the state to consider partnering with NITDA to drive digital innovation and entrepreneurship to increase the number of innovation-driven enterprises and expand Nigeria’s pool of talented innovators.

“Ondo State provides a friendly base for nurturing these talented innovators whose ingenuity can be exported to impact the global digital economy and create wealth and job opportunities within the domestic economy.

“Through one of our subsidiaries, the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), NITDA will continue to execute programmes and initiatives geared to expand the tech innovation ecosystem across States of the federation,” stated Inuwa.

The NITDA, therefore, commended the Ondo State Government and organisers of the programme for the initiative.

He described the forum as a “momentous event to deliberate on ways to harness the abundant opportunities that digitalisation and technological innovation offer” in the country’s ecosystem.

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