The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said it has entered a collaboration with Mastercard to host a training workshop with representatives from the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) and NITDA on cyber security and data protection.
The agency said the move is a part of its role as one of the key implementers of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a digital Nigeria, coupled with an ambitious target of achieving 95 per cent of digital literacy by 2030.
Receiving the Mastercard delegation in his office, the director-general of the agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, said: “To ignite digital innovation activities in the country, relevant partnerships would be necessary, as the Federal Government is not relenting in its efforts of creating an enabling environment to attract local and foreign investors which will, in turn trigger the exponential growth of the sector and the nation’s gross domestic products (GDP).”
While highlighting the agency’s virtual academy – a massive open platform for online courses where Nigerians can go and learn at their own pace and acquire get digital certificates – Abdullahi informed the Mastercard delegates that in addition to exploring possible cooperation in the stated area, the agency would like to engage with multinational corporations to train about 1million indigenous ICT professionals, to fast-track the creation of some digital services Nigerians currently need.
“Globally, there is a shortage of talent and Africa is the next frontier because we have the youngest population. So, everybody’s looking to Africa to provide the talent.”
Abdullahi, who expressed worry that the dearth of key professionals in the field of programming has impacted negatively on the Nigerian market, said that there is a need to grow the ecosystem and compete with other countries that are outsourcing professionals to most of the big tech companies.
“I believe we cannot succeed in isolation. That’s why we won’t work in silos. We need to work together so that we can see the impact and harness the full potential.”
The country manager and area head, Mastercard West Africa, Ebihijie Momoh, who was accompanied by the director of public policy for Mastercard, Sub-Saharan Africa, George Owuor, spoke with the DG about a planned data protection and cybersecurity workshop to be held in May, in collaboration with NITDA. Momoh said this engagement would help build data protection and cybersecurity capabilities in the country.
Owuor affirmed the corporation’s readiness to support NITDA in achieving its mandate, particularly as it relates to the agency’s digital literacy (capacity-building) in the seven pillars of the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP, 2021-2024).
According to Owuor, the forthcoming workshop will be beneficial to not just NDPB but the spectrum of the digital value chain.