The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has hailed strategic collaborations amongst the parastatals under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and stakeholders in the sector as the reason for the unprecedented achievements recorded in the sector.
Kashifu made this assertion during a paper presentation ‘The Nigerian digital architecture: The journey so far’ at the 2021 edition of the World Fintech Festival jointly hosted by Nigeria and Singapore.
Abdullahi said the unprecedented 17.09 per cent contribution of the digital economy sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) during the second quarter of 2021 was sequel to such collaborations.
Represented by the agency’s director of e-government development and regulations, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Abdullahi stated that the way forward for Nigeria in attaining a vintage position in the global digital economy remained in the country’s resolve to foster public-private partnership initiatives, funding, human capital, advocacy and continuity.
“The digital economy from Nigeria’s perspective revolves around the utilisation of digital transformation, knowledge and technology to deliver goods and services, an economy that thrives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the convergence of all sets of digital innovation that drives socio-economic development and economic output created from digital technologies and innovations,” he said.
The NITDA boss averred that the redesignation of the ministry to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) were responsible for the paradigm shift in Nigeria’s digital economy, adding that NDEPS was developed to reposition the Nigerian economy to take advantage of the many opportunities that digital technologies provide.
According to him, the eight pillars of NDEPS align well with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government and addresses three key focus areas, namely economic development, anti-corruption and security. He noted that the various policies and strategies put in place by the ministry and being executed by its parastatals laid the foundation for the success recorded so far.
While listing Nigeria’s achievements through the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, he said the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation initiative impacted the ease of doing business, cross border data flow, creation of over 3000 jobs, international recognition, creation of a new sector worth N5.2 billion and protects Nigeria from digital colonialism.
On IT project clearance, he said the initiative has saved the country over N30 billion and reduction in IT project failure in the country while over 20,000 Nigerians have been trained and 250,000 enrolled in both NITDA Academy and Digital Nigeria.gov.ng platform, as part of the Digital Literacy and Skill programme.
“Digital economy continues to play an important role in our developmental agenda as we move into the age of artificial intelligence,” he added.