DG NITDA Extols Traditional Institutions Role In Harnessing ICT Benefits In Nigeria

The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, has said Traditional Institutions have a vital role to play in harnessing the vast opportunities in Information and Communications Technology for sustainable economic growth.

Kashifu, who was represented by the Director in charge of NITDA zonal offices, Jide Ajayi, made this statement in Kano while speaking at a Northwest Zonal Stakeholders Engagement Programme with the theme: ‘Creating Opportunities, Breaking Boundaries Towards Digitalization and Entrepreneurial Evolution in Nigeria’, held at the Africa House wing of the Kano State Government House on Tuesday.

The Stakeholders engagement is a platform that brings together players in the ICT and Digital Innovation ecosystem to pool knowledge, experience and expertise on how best to harness the vast opportunities in the digital space.

Convened by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the meeting also aims to co-create solutions, articulate strategies and extend services to all stakeholders, especially at the grassroots.

Kashifu said, “Throughout 20 years of NITDA, we have moved from being a highly centralised organisation to a functionally decentralised institution. We have implemented a number of people-oriented programs in consultation with stakeholders and under the supervision of our ministry, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

“Some of them include; The National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), The National Adopted Village for Smart Education (NAVSE), Digital Literacy Capacity Training for People with Disabilities, issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), support for ICT Innovation hubs, building a community of IT centres, development of state IT policies and a host of other activities.”

The DG added that to achieve the target, NITDA has developed Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021-2024, to provide direction for the agency. He added that, the platform will establish a sustainable collaboration adequately needed for a viable digital eco-system in the country.

Inuwa affirmed that the engagement program was to avail the stakeholders the opportunity to express their views and opinions on matters relating to the agency’s implementation of its mandate.

Also speaking at the event, the secretary to the Kano State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, said the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has directed his Senior Special Assistant on ICT and e-Governance to come up with a comprehensive plan, to propose a policy intervention in the form of a digital service strategy for the entire Civil Service.

The policy concepts, according to him, rests on a vision of developing sound digital infrastructure that is pivotal to effective, efficient, transparent and accountable leadership in the state.

“In this regard, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would develop and maintain interactive portal with facilities to provide online services to the public,” Alhaji added.

The Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero described as apt and timely, the initiative of NITDA being that the Federal Government is promoting digital innovation as means of job creation and stimulating accelerated growth of Nigeria’s economy, noting that Bichi Emirate is taking the lead through youth engagement in digital knowledge and skills for self-reliance.

The engagement brought together stakeholders from different parts of the state to deliberate on ways of ensuring digital literacy in the state.

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