NITDA, NNPC-RTI To Foster Development Of Emerging Technologies

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has proposed strategic initiatives in strengthening the collaboration with the Research, Technology and Innovation division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to achieve a sustainable digital economy in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution.

The DG made this known yesterday when he led members of management team of NITDA to the NNPC Corporate Headquarters where he met with the Research Technology & Innovations team headed by the Chief Information Officer, Mrs Betty A. Ugona.

He said the aim of the visit was to review collaborative initiatives the two agencies are working on and to further deepen their relationship by harnessing thoughts and creative ideas. He said the purpose of the collaboration between two organizations is to identify their different mandates and seek solutions collectively to achieve these mandates.

Abdullahi stated that for any innovative tech company to thrive, it needs to be actively involved in the technological ecosystem and have a good relationship with the relevant stakeholders. The DG highlighted the stakeholders which are the Universities where human capital that seek raw ideas are groomed, the Corporate bodies like NITDA and NNPC who absorb these human capital from the universities and develop the ideas, the Entrepreneurs who process the ideas and evolve it, the Risk Capitals who basically fund the conceptualization of these ideas and lastly, the Government who come as intervention in terms of policies, infrastructure and enabling environment to actualize these ideas.

The DG said it was necessary to join all these stakeholders together in a connective web and platform to improve digital technology which was why the agency engaged the Mass Challenge, a global, zero equity startup accelerators in the United States of America that will collaborate and strengthen innovations from the technological ecosystem.

The Director General mentioned that although the agency is collaborating with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, the Central Bank of Nigeria among many others who have grants for startup innovations, their engagement with the Mass Challenge is also an avenue to gain support through startup innovation funding.

The DG mentioned that collaboration with the Research Technology and Innovations unit of the NNPC will align them with all the advantageous strategic innovations the agency is working on and all other services the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will be offering. He emphasized that collaborating with them as a stakeholder in the innovation ecosystem will enable an alignment with the NCAIR’s Research and Development innovations which will help them diversify their revenue streams.

He reiterated that the collaboration between the two organizations coupled with the engagement with Mass Challenge will institutionalize a platform in which Nigerian technology experts all over the world can come together to share innovative ideas and consequently help build an enviable and globally recognized digital nation.
Mrs Betty Ugona thanked the NITDA Director General and the management team for the much appreciated working visit to the organization.

She said that the Research Technology and Innovations unit of the NNPC which was created June 16, 2020 is saddled with the mandate of championing research technology so as to touch lives of every citizen and also shift the organization’s perspective from Research and Development into a wider innovative perspective.

She stated that unit has been having challenges within the system and from stakeholders and they have been working on ideas to identify solutions. She however stated that she is highly optimistic that with the extensive strategic collaboration with NITDA, their mandates will be achieved efficiently.

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