Digital Innovation Investment Will Boost Education Sector – NITDA Boss

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The director, IT infrastructure solutions, National Information Technology Development Agency, Dr. Abdullahi Usman (fourth from left) and the deputy vice chancellor, administration, Federal University Dutsen Ma, Katsina State, Prof. Mary Agbo flanked by officials of both organisations when the latter visited NITDA’s headquarters in Abuja.

The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has said that continued investment in digital innovation will boost the nation’s education sector and economy.

Abdullahi made this known when he received the deputy vice chancellor, administration, Federal University Dutsen Ma, Katsina State, Prof. Mary Agbo, at the agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja, even as he promised that NITDA will continue its effort at supporting and collaborating with all higher institutions of learning across the country.

“The agency will continue to interact and listen to an active and vibrant higher institution of learning to discuss the challenges they face, especially in IT and innovation. As the prime agency for e-government implementation, internet governance and IT development in Nigeria, NITDA is poised to actualise its mandate by providing a flourishing atmosphere in the digital space,” he said.

Abdullahi added that it is important to explore the benefits of innovations and creativity to bring about a functional education system for the country. 

He further emphasised the need for mutual understanding between stakeholders and the agency in developing standards, building capacity, as well as research and development.

Represented by the agency’s director, IT infrastructure solutions, Dr. Abdullahi Usman, Abdullahi pointed out that the IT sector played a pivotal role in getting the country’s economy out of recession and recorded the highest growth rate in Q1 of 2020 as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The NITDA boss maintained that the positive growth of IT in Nigeria and the fact that is was the only double digits growth rate sector in 2020 and Q1 of 2021, prompted the need to provide support and guidelines in all sectors of development and innovation to Nigeria.

Responding to the plea and request from the visiting university, as outlined by the DVC, especially security challenges and visualisation of the optic fibre cable donated to the university by Prof. Pantami through the NCC, to link both campuses.

The DG recommended the deployment of ‘autonomous drones’ that cut back human involvement and costs while bolstering safety in these often-dangerous situations. 

“By using artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret satellite images, NITDA experts have long been able to tap into satellite images to help in preventive and response efforts,” he said.

He further pointed out that, with the availability and quality of these images, they increasingly offer even more valuable resources for security.

“NITDA always emphasises the importance of knowing how to use modern technology; not just as an enabler but as a strategic design for your general strategy, to inspire you to do more.

“The NITDA Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024) is built on seven pillars with their respective goals and objectives, which are; developmental regulations, digital literacy and skills, digital transformation, digital innovation and entrepreneurship, cyber security, emerging technologies and promotion of indigenous content,” he stated.

Abdullahi noted that the agency’s focus is on improving the use of technology and innovation by creating an enabling environment and innovation ecosystem that will allow all universities to key in.

Earlier in her remarks, Agbo noted that the university appreciated the kind gesture and laudable project from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for the giant projects executed in the university. She also appreciated and solicited further support from NITDA in capacity-building and training for staff of the university’s CBT centre.

She commended NITDA for the various IT intervention deployed across the country towards the growth and development of IT, which she said plays a critical role in the advancement of the country and improvement of her education sector.

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