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NITDA takes benefits of digital technologies, transformation to grassroots

Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, Director-General of NITDA (middle); alongside Hadiza Umar, Director of CAER at NITDA (far right); SSAs to the President on Community Engagement for South-West, Ms Moremi Ojudu (2nd right); South-East, Barr. Chioma Nweze (3rd left); North-West, Hon. Abdallah Tanko Yakassai (2nd left); and Member of NITDA Strategic Team, Ms Dayo Johnson (l)         Photo: NITDA

*Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency expresses its readiness to collaborate with relevant organisations to effectively extend the benefits of digital technologies to all the local government areas across the West African country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of the agency’s continued effort at transforming Nigeria into a globally recognised hub of technology and innovation to drive economic diversification and boost productivity across all sectors, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said it is set to collaborate with relevant organisations in effectively cascading the benefits of digital technology to all the local government areas across the country.

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, Director-General of NITDA, disclosed this development when he played host to the Senior Special Advisers (SSAs) to President on Community Engagement – South East, Barr Chioma Nweze; South West, Ms Moremi Ojudu and North West, Hon. Abdallah Tanko Yakassai, who visited the agency to discuss possible areas of collaboration on Nigeria’s digital transformation journey.

ConsumerConnect reports NITDA has affirmed that the move aligns with the present administration’s priority areas, particularly in the area of reforming the economy for sustained inclusive growth.

Inuwa, who emphasised the agency’s vision for Nigeria is where inclusive economic growth is fostered through technological innovation, noted that the vision aligns with the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s eight priority areas.

The Director-General of NITDA also stated: “The President wants to Reform the Economy to Deliver Sustained Economic Growth; Strengthen National Security for Peace and Prosperity; Boost Agriculture to Achieve Food Security; Boost Infrastructure and Transportation as Enablers of Growth; Focus on Education, Health and Social Investment as Enablers of Development; Accelerate Diversification through Digitisation, Industrialisation, Creative Art and Innovation; and Improve Governance for Effective Service Delivery to Citizens.”

He disclosed the agency recently crafted its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2.0) 2024-2027, and stressed that its pillars are the tool that would help Mr President in delivering on all the presidential priority areas.

Fundamentals of NITDA’s SRAP 2.0, by Inuwa

Enumerating the 8 pillars of the SRAP, Inuwa further highlighted that “Foster Digital Literacy and Cultivate Talents”, as one of the most important pillars in the document, is anchored on where inclusivity is pronounced.

The NITDA Chief explained: “To ensure we are inclusive; we need to get our citizens to be digitally literate. So, we developed the National Digital Literacy Framework with an ambitious target of achieving 95% digital literacy by 2030 but Mr President cited a mid-term target for us to achieve 70% by 2027.”

Inuwa as well disclosed that the agency is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Education in infusing digital literacy into all academic institutions’ curricula while at the same time developing standard training with certifications that would be a prerequisite for securing government employment.

He noted: “We have already worked with the Head of Service to put it as a requirement for government workers to be digitally literate. But for the market people, artisans and so on, what they need is the literacy to use digital devices to access internet banking, government digital services and others.

“We have, therefore, been exploiting many channels to deliver them through TV programmes, social media, radio, roadshows, and so on.”

According to Inuwa, the 3 Million Tech Talent (3MTT) programme is yet another initiative of the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy in collaboration with the agency to identify skill gaps in the country and build youth’s capacity on skills in high demand locally and internationally.

He stated: “We have started the training and so far we have trained over 30,000 and completed the first phase which is a pilot. We are now executing the second phase of the training.”

Inuwa equally gave extensive insights into the seven other strategic pillars, including Building a Robust Technology Research Ecosystem; Strengthening Policy Implementation and Legal Framework; Promoting Inclusive Access to Digital Infrastructure and Services; Strengthening Cybersecurity and Enhance Digital Trust; and Nurturing an Innovative and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

He listed other items as Forging Strategic Partnerships and collaborations and Cultivating a Vibrant Organisational Culture and an Agile Workforce in NITDA, as he noted the various infrastructure, innovative solutions, sponsorships and training programmes, which the Federal Government has been offering Nigerians nationwide.

In his remark during the meeting, Hon. Yakassai, the Presidential aide on Community Engagement for the North West, appreciated Inuwa for his “wonderful presentation” by expatiating on the various activities of the agency to ensure a digitally empowered economy by building the digital capacities of Nigerians.

Yakassai, however, expressed his team’s willingness to collaborate with the agency in the areas of propagating the agency’s activities to the grassroots throughout the 774 local government councils in the country.

“Mr President is a grassroots person that is why he created this office so that we make sure whatever the government is doing is taken down to the grassroots level, and we need to show the people the importance of your programmes and how they can key into them,” he said.

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