Tuesday, February 7, 2023

2022: How NITDA Revolutionised Digital Literacy In Nigeria

The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi.
The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi.

It is a brand-new year and 2022 is all but a memory. For those whose lives were transformed positively by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the year will continue to be indelible for their lives.

Since he assumed office in 2019, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi set eyes on transforming Nigeria’s digital landscape to demonstrate that the internet is not only a platform for social engagement but also one which provides massive job opportunities and skills for millions of Nigeria as the country increasingly becomes more integrated into the global economy and digital infrastructure.

As part of its effort to bolster digital literacy and skills among Nigerian youths, NITDA under Abdullah has trained 67 members of the Youth and Environmental Development Association (YEDA) on digital marketing.

Journalists were not left behind as the agency trained over 100 journalists in 2022 on digital journalism as more and more Nigerians rely on the internet for news updates which means the internet is in Nigeria to stay.

Also, Abdullahi facilitated the training of over 300 women in digital skills, in a bid to empower them to play active roles in digital content and job opportunities online, in line with the policy priority of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. This giant stride recorded by Abdullah is one of the most realistic legacies to empower women and help them be financially independent in the long run.

So far, 210 hub managers were mentored in 2022 alone and 300 participants of MDAs were trained in digital skills in 2022. Over 1500 junior secondary school teachers were trained in digital skills such as online schools, copy editing, online sales and other necessary skills vital for economic development. 

Moreover, the NITDA under Abdullahi liaised with the Kano State government to train 53 senior executives on e-government and cut down the cost of governance in the state; 573 civil servants trained in management leadership, 6644 youths trained in digital skills transformation programmes across the country and 1858 beneficiaries trained in phone repairs.

Under Abdullahi, NITDA did not stop there. The agency keeps trailblazing and preparing the country for digital transition through the offering of scholarships to 652 students – 42 doctorate students and 610 master’s students.

When it comes to empowerment, NITDA distributed 530 laptops and desktops to Nigerian students in 2022. Of these, 966 different tools were distributed to trainees, with 485,000 others trained in NART to mention but a few.

As a result of compliance with the National Data Protection Regulation, over 75 domain names were registered in 2022; 5764 people were trained in NDPR, 985 audits were filled and the market value of the NDPR soared for the first time to N1.2 billion.

While these achievements did not take into account several other projects the agency under Abdullahi embarked upon, Nigeria is well in a better position to become a hub of digital excellence over the next few years.

With a total population of over 200 million people, training Nigerians on the proper utilisation of digital content would present massive opportunities for Nigerian youths who are desperately searching for jobs to make ends meet. 

As a result of the training, over 7500 jobs were created in 2022 with multiplier effects. Abdullahi’s administration proved that making a dent in the unemployment rate using digital literacy and skills remains its top policy priority.

The hope for 2023 is for the NITDA to continue to demonstrate its willingness to accelerate our digital transition and pave the way for socioeconomic growth.

Sadauki, an information technology analyst, wrote in from Abuja.

Rukayya Sadauki
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