Digital Transformation: NITDA Unveils SRAP 2.0

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Director General, Kashifu Inuwa, unveiled the NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2.0, highlighting the critical role of collaboration with stakeholders in the technology ecosystem to achieve a resilient and prosperous digital transformation for Nigeria in the agency’s ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity and engagement.

At the Omniverse Summit, which took place at the Landmark Event Centre in Lagos, the Director General made these declarations.

Inuwa emphasised the need for common objectives, assets, and expertise to have a long-lasting influence on Nigeria’s digital future.

“Our vision for Nigeria is to digitally empower the nation by thriving on innovation and fostering inclusive economic growth through technology,” Inuwa stated.

Inuwa emphasised the value of stakeholder cooperation during her discussion of the SRAP 2.0, or Strategic Road-map and Action Plan (2024–2027), pillars.

The NITDA Director-General claims that the road map is centred around eight key pillars that are intended to expedite President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s directive to accelerate the digital transformation of all important economic sectors.

He maintained that all the pillars in the SRAP 2.0 resonate with the strategic pillars of the Ministry of Communications, Innovations and Digital Economy blueprint tagged “Accelerating our Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency” which are Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation, entrepreneurship, and Capital, and Trade.

He revealed that the first pillar, fostering digital literacy and cultivating talent has an ambitious goal of achieving 70% digital literacy by 2027 through the implementation of National Digital Literacy Framework as well as developing technical talents which is being implemented through one of the Ministry’s initiatives “the 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT)”, designed to address the impending global talent deficit and position Nigeria as a leader in technological expertise.

Inuwa noted that the second pillar is to build a robust technology research system, aimed at putting Nigeria at the 25 percentile in global ranking in research in six key areas of AI, IoT, Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, blockchain and UAVs.

The third pillar emphasises the need to strengthen policy implementation and legal framework, with all ecosystem stakeholders contributing to achieving national goals.

He said, “Promoting inclusive access to digital infrastructure and services forms the fourth pillar which aims at connecting the unconnected by investing in learning centres and innovation hubs across the country.”

“Strengthening Cybersecurity and enhancing digital trust is the fifth pillar. This addresses the importance of instilling confidence in digital platforms for its users,” he said.

He identified the sixth pillar as focusing on plans to nurture an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem, which will promote synergy in the industry and an enabling platform for digital transformation.

“While the seventh pillar is to forge strategic partnerships, and collaborations with external stakeholders as evident with the active partnership NITDA is building with the Omniverse platform, the eighth and last pillar of the SRAP is directed to cultivate a vibrant organizational culture and agile workforce within NITDA he added.

“We believe that by working together, we can transform Nigeria into a global digital powerhouse,” Inuwa declared. He subsequently invited stakeholders to download the soft copy of the road map, providing a QR code for easy access, and encouraged feedback to refine the document for collective success.

Inuwa assured the commitment of the government to create enabling policies for citizens to thrive. According to him, “The aim is to position Nigeria among the top 25 in artificial intelligence, IoT, UAV, robotics, Blockchain, and additive manufacturing, propelling the nation into a prominent role in the global digital economy.”

The Omniverse Summit is targeted at driving the digital economy on the continent. The summit explores the narratives about Africa and Africa, with a focus on how to regain control of these narratives to re-frame the future of our economies, societies, and geopolitics.

The convener of the Omniverse Summit Obi Asika along with his team members, Charles Emembolu, Dr. Thwueba and Isioma Udeozo stated passionately during a panel session tagged “Why Omniverse? Explained that the Omniverse is a collaborative platform, which is designed to bring people together. They mentioned that one of the core objectives of the program was to bring different segments of the ecosystem like the academia, tech, startups, gaming people, music industry, film industry, television industry, the arts and arts culture among others together.

In their submission, they noted that the move is towards creating a platform for anyone to have a clear understanding of what is happening in Nigeria, Africa, and the world.

The US Consul General, Mr. Will Stevens in his address affirmed that the dynamic digital innovation ecosystem in Nigeria has led to the creation of this crucial platform, emphasizing the nation’s role as Africa’s largest economy and democracy.

Mr Williams stressed a paradigm shift in collaboration, moving from discussing what can be done for Africa to what can be achieved together. He added that the focus is to ensure African nations have a significant voice in global policy discussions, particularly addressing shared challenges like climate change, food insecurity, and global pandemics.

He called for a permanent African representation in the UN Security Council underlined the need for African solutions to global problems, emphasizing collaboration on a worldwide scale.

He noted that Nigeria, as a key player in driving innovation, faces challenges such as safeguarding intellectual property and addressing exchange rate risks noting that, “the partnership between the U.S. and African tech startups is substantial, with around 60% of venture capital in Nigeria originating from the United States.”

“However, there is an expressed need to protect intellectual property locally and create laws to support startups, ensuring innovators can safeguard their creations within the country. The imperative is to foster collaboration that goes beyond geographical boundaries and promotes a collective effort to tackle shared global challenges,” he concluded.