Hackathon: Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship Crucial To Socio-economic Development – Abdullahi

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

The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has said that driving digital innovation and entrepreneurship by challenging Nigeria’s youth to create and develop solutions from inception to commercialisation will boost the country’s economy. 

He made this assertion at the closing ceremony of a three-day southwest Edition of the ninth NITDA’s Hackathon Challenge with the theme “Innovation-driven Ideas for addressing local challenges in health, government, transportation, financial services and smart city in Nigeria for social and economic development” organised by the agency’s subsidiary, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
He maintained that digital innovation and entrepreneurship would help fast-track the recovery of other traditional economic sectors by supporting the provision and adoption of indigenous and tailor-made solutions for nationwide implementation of the policy through automation, smart processes and ICT solutions.

Abdullahi further revealed that the NITDA Hackathon 2022 is aimed at finding solutions towards building a digital Nigeria. He added that talented Nigerians are challenged to come up with clearly defined ideas and prototypes on solutions around agriculture, logistics and security for the swift growth and development of the country.

“Africa is a den of problems waiting to be solved and presents the next biggest market worldwide. In particular, Nigeria has a rapidly growing youthful population by which taking advantage of the market will lead to the creation of jobs, solutions and revenue flow for the country,” he added.

While stressing the need to come together and find solutions to the diverse problems we face because government alone cannot handle them, the DG maintained that collective responsibility is needed to achieve the positive impacts the nation yearns for.

Represented by Dr. Salihu Abdulkareem, Abdullahi further encouraged innovators not to relent in their various efforts towards tackling the problems bedevilling the country, saying that such solutions will go a long way in addressing issues of development, appealing to teeming youths to always showcase their talents which will serve as channels for solutions to some of the problems that require immediate panacea.

He revealed that the programme also provides an avenue for young Nigerians to contribute their quota in the solution-finding and also provides opportunities for the creation of jobs both directly and indirectly, keying into digital economic policies that will facilitate the swift growth and development of the country.

Earlier, the vice chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, represented by chairman Geo-Hackathon, University of Ibadan, Prof. Olapegba, appreciated NITDA for the diverse programmes and initiatives implemented across the country for the growth of our nation. This is changing the way things are done and has fast-tracked the processes of operations.

Programmes like these are needed to curb the problems being faced in the country, simply because such programmes give an avenue for youths to showcase their talents which will help solve such dilemmas, he added. 

Olapegba encouraged participants not to stop at solution finding after this program, but to go further towards the actualisation of what they have started which will bring about solutions to the problems being faced in the country.

The high point of the event was the presentation of cash prizes of N1.5million, N1 million and N500,000 to the winner, first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively.

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