Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi: Implementing The National Digital Economy Policy And Strategy For A Digital Nigeria

By Adewole Kehinde

On the 20th August 2019, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi assumed duty as Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), at a relatively young age of 39.

Before I write on his combined  achievements with Dr. Isa Pantami, in NITDA, I will like to touch on his biography.

Born on February 21, 1980, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi.

Mallam Abdullahi is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan trained strategist with 15 years experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture, across both private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the USA, University of Cambridge in the UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

Mallam Abdullahi has worked for nine years (2004 – 2013) at Galaxy Backbone and held several positions such as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect& Lead, Technical Solution Design.

In 2014, Mallam Abdullahi joined Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives 360 view of the

Bank’s IT Infrastructure and facilitated ease of decision making on new IT investment. He was part of the team that executed software license rationalization that has increased cost savings for the Bank in license annual subscriptions.

As the 1st Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s Public Sector, he is also a Certified Project Manager and Solution Architect.

He also has many professional certifications in Networking, Telecommunications, Service Management and Solution Design.

Mallam Abdullahi was a key resource in the development of IT standards for the apex bank, which has reduced mean time to deploy/integrate new system by over 20%. One of his major achievements as a Technology architect was the production of 7 Solution Architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless society in Nigeria.

He joined NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the Director General/CEO. Being the IT regulatory body in Nigeria mandated to implement National ICT policy, he managed execution of strategy which has increased ICT contribution to Nigerian GDP by over 13% in Q2 2018.

He also coordinated a Local Content initiative that has increased ICT local production by over 200% in 2017.

Mallam Abdullahi is a member of both Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and the British Computer Society (BCS).

His invitation to join NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the then Director-General now Minister of Communications and Digital Economy was not a surprise. Furthermore, his appointment as Pantami’s successor was Allah’s way of exemplifying His mercies.

Upon assumption of duty, he immediately hit the ground running. He seems to focus on implementing the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria as well as in contributing to President Buhari’s promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

His achievement and that of Dr. Isa Pantami in NITDA so far will be classified under: Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy and Skill; Digital Society and Emerging Technologies; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Digital Services Development and Promotion; Soft Infrastructure; Indigenous Content Development and Adoption;

Developmental Regulation
• Developed and Published 35 Standards, Guidelines and Frameworks in various aspects of Information Technology.
• Cleared 151 unique IT Projects of 72 MDAs, with a total amount of N1, 185, 223, 483, 015. 54.
• Saved the Federal Government of Nigeria a total of N17, 015, 094, 859. 7 through IT clearance
• Licensed 72 Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs).
• Creation of 5 State Information Technology Agencies for States
• Created 272 user accounts for IT Project Clearance.
• Solved 790 issues on Data Protection

Digital Literacy and Skill
• Trained a total of 730 Persons Living with Disabilities.
• Trained 224 youths on various ICT fields.
Trained 4500 NYSC members on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
• Trained 450 women on ICT and Entrepreneurship
• Trained 145 leading Farmers on Smart Agricultural Practices and modern system of farming
• Trained a total of 1, 050 Artisans in States across the Geo-Political Zones
• Trained 150 NYSC and SIWES students on CISCO certification.
• Held an online National Innovation Challenge to meet the challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. . 3 startups with highly innovative ideas won the challenge and were rewarded with #1,000,000 for 1st Place, #750,000 for 2nd Place, and #500,000 for 3rd Place.

Digital Society And Emerging Technologies
• Trained 150 Virtual Library Stakeholders.
• Established the NITDA Academy for Research and Training with 51 plus active courses, 27,559 plus active students and 24,634 plus active training sessions.
• Successful representation of Nigeria at Gulf Information Technology Exhibitions (GITEX) since 2013
• 12 Successful hosting of e-Nigeria International Conference, Exhibitions and Awards.
• Sponsored 467 Nigerians both at Post-graduate and Doctorate levels in IT related field.

Solid Infrastructure
• Created 988 Digital Job Creation Centers (DJCC).
• Created 12 Virtual Libraries in some Universities across the 6 geopolitical zones.
• Deployed 14 Wide Area Networks (WAN) in higher institutions of learning.
• Deployed 10 Innovation Hubs and incubation parks across selected States within the 6 Geopolitical Zones
• Established NITDA Software Testing and Quality Assurance Infrastructure
• Established Capacity Building Laboratory to assist in testing our locally developed software
• Deployed 4 Special Purpose Community IT Training Centers.
• Developed National Infrastructure Back Bone (NIBB).
• Deployed 200 Digital Capacity Training Centers (DCTC).
• Deployed Four (4) Special Purpose Capacity Development Centers

Service Infrastructure
• Establishment of the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) for the development of IT in Nigeria
• Creation of Galaxy Backbone Limited to a coordinate and harmonise MDAs approach to information and communications technology acquisition, operation and use in the public sector.
• Creation of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) to create, manage and maintain the database of names registered in the .ng country code Top Level Domain name space in the public interest of Nigeria and global internet communities.
• Established NITDA Software Testing and Quality Assurance Infrastructure.
• Developed Public Service Network (PSnet)

Digital Services Development and Promotion
• Established the CISCO Network Academy.
• Established collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to secure funding in special areas of NGEA/Ne-GIF implementation.
• Developed interactive platform for MDAs, consumer and IT service providers to enhance quality of service delivery in government institutions
• Conducted Stakeholders’ engagement on the Service Level Agreement (SLA) framework that will guide MDAs in drafting SLA agreements with service providers.
• Developed the National Digital Economy Strategy
• Constituted and inaugurated the National e-Government Master-plan Steering Committee.
• Established Digital Transformation Technical Working Group (DTTWG) across the first 100 MDAs.
• Trained 40 Media Executives on Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and another 45 on ICT Reportage in the digital era
• Trained 70 Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs)
• Facilitated Training for 375 other stakeholders from different sectors
• NITDA has been tested and certified with ISO 27001:2013 Certificate
• Created over 30,000 Domain names and email addresses for MDAs.
• Trained selected officials from the 6 geo-political zones on eGovernance.
• Inauguration of the Data Breach Investigation Team (DBIT) in partnership with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) for enforcement.

Soft Infrastructure
• Provision of Mobile Internet Unit (MIU) buses.
• Developed e-Agriculture web Portal.
• Creation of the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) and the Smart Agriculture App for precision farming.
• Set up the National Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
• Created a Portal to support the Nigeria ICT Innovation Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV) for the Tech Ecosystem, which consists of a database for hubs, start-ups & other stakeholders.
• Created 251 e-learning Infrastructure Centers (EIC)

Indigenous Content Development And Adoption
• Mandated software projects to local firms by MDAs
• Issued 172 Certificates for Indigenous IT Companies, contractors and Digital Economy Strategists

Adewole Kehinde Is A Public Affairs Analyst And Publisher Of Swift Reporters. You can reach him via 08166240846

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