The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has described digital entrepreneurship as a crucial element necessary for ensuring the achievement of a sustainable digital economy for Nigeria.
He made this known when he delivered his keynote address at a one-day action-oriented roundtable/interface organised by Civil Society Groups for Good Governance with the theme – ‘Maximizing potentials of digital entrepreneurship for youth empowerment and self reliance’ in Abuja.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Fast-tracking digital revolution in Nigeria through the mandate of NITDA’ Abdullahi who was represented by his special assistant (Digital transformation), Dr. Aminu Lawal, he stated that the rapid evolution of digital technology had made it possible for people to access information and it had in turn led to tremendous efficiency and effectiveness in work environment.
Abdullahi stated that NITDA had various initiatives geared towards digital entrepreneurship, citing digital state initiatives programmes as an example.
He said NITDA had trained over 6000 youths on digital marketing, content creation, branding and many more, adding other trainings were undertaken, including training people living with disabilities, women in ICT and artisans on mobile phone repairs which were all aimed at teaching them how to derive economic value from digital technologies.
He noted that in order to carry out its mandates and objectives as stipulated by the NITDA Act 2007, the agency is guided by its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021 – 2024, which is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria, he pointed out.
The SRAP, according to the DG, is anchored on seven pillars with their respective goals and objectives namely, developmental regulation; digital literacy and skills; digital transformation; digital innovation and entrepreneurship; cybersecurity; emerging technologies and promotion of indigenous contents.
The DG said progress had been made towards the realisation of the objectives and targets set in the roadmap, including issuance of several IT developmental regulations and guidelines among which are the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR); Guidelines for the Management of Personal Data by Public Institutions in Nigeria; Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in Information and Communication Technology (ICT); Framework and Guidelines for Public Internet Access; Guidelines for Clearance of Information Technology (IT) Project by Public Institutions; Guidelines for Registration of ICT Service Providers/Contractors for Delivery of Services by MDAs; Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA); Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (Ne-GIF).
Others are establishment of IT hubs and digital capacity building centres across the country; provision of the enabling environment that facilitated the establishment of a number of Indigenous IT companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); strategic digital literacy capacity building initiatives for civil and public servants, artisans, women, unemployed youths, and people living with disabilities; enhancement of the security of the country’s cyberspace through the establishment of a number of sectoral computer emergency readiness and response teams (CERRTs).
The agency also intensified efforts in attracting investments in the ICT sector through collaboration with multi-national companies; initiated smart initiatives such as the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) and National Adopted School for Smart Education (NASSE); established the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics as part of the agency’s commitment towards transforming the Nigerian digital economy and creating a thriving ecosystem for innovation-driven entrepreneurship, job creation, and national development.
Abdullahi added digital revolution had been characterized by the emergence and evolution of technologies such as computers, mobile phones, the World Wide Web, online social networking, virtual communities, and many more.
He opined that these changes had brought many benefits and affected the way people consume and use information.
The NITDA boss averred that digital revolution had led to digitalization or digital transformation of processes as well as incorporation of Artificial Intelligence in virtually all aspects of our lives, which is also accelerating at a high pace.
“One thing is certain, there is no turning back now. Digital technologies will continue to grow and we will witness more technology disruptions in the future,” he added.