Tuesday, December 6, 2022

NITDA Engages Grassroots’ Stakeholders

NITDA Gombe
A cross section of participants at the stakeholders’ forum in Gombe State.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in its aspiration to be closer to its stakeholders, today, organised a one-day stakeholders’ engagement programme to cascade its projects and policies to the grassroots.    

Speaking virtually during the first edition of the programme, the NITDA director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, represented by the director, information technology infrastructure solutions, Dr. Usman Abdullahi, disclosed that the agency holds its stakeholders in high esteem and would ensure they derive value from all its interventions.

The programme, slated to hold in eight different states across the country, commenced in Gombe yesterday, at the Banquet Hall, Gombe International Hotel, Gombe, Gombe State with the theme “Creating Opportunities, Breaking Boundaries: Towards Digitalisation and Entrepreneurial Evolution”.

The other states are Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Bayelsa.  

The stakeholders’ engagement programme, Abdullahi said is aimed at delivering values to our stakeholders, in tandem with our core values of people first, innovation and professionalism.

He added that part of why the agency is organising the event is its efforts to deliver value to its stakeholders.

“That would not be possible without listening to you and speaking with you to get clarity on your perspective, aspirations and needs,” he stated. 

Abdullahi noted that the meeting would serve as a veritable platform to pool knowledge, experiences, and expertise and to create solutions, articulate strategies, and extend the agency’s services to all its stakeholders.

The NITDA boss emphasised that the engagement would constantly rethink its ideas, system, and processes. He maintained that the objectives of the programme are to offer stakeholders the opportunity to express their views and opinions on matters related to the agency’s implementation of its mandate, establish a sustainable collaboration and consistent channel for feedback and exchange of ideas, and also share with the stakeholders the agency’s vision, the regulatory instrument for national development and the agency’s journey so far.    

He assured the participants that the agency is not oblivious of the fact that more still needs to be done and pledged the commitment of the agency to make further progress with the stakeholders in the coming years. 

In her remarks, the Gombe State Commissioner of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Aisha Umar Maigari, commended NITDA for its role in ensuring that policies are also domesticated in states which she described as “a better way to ensure uniformity in developing the ICT sector in the country”. She stated that the stakeholders’ engagement programme is coming at the right time when the state needs more collaboration from NITDA.

She said NITDA has helped them develop a very ambitious state ICT policy and the state has since commenced implementation of some of the initiatives in the document after it carried out its need assessment analysis.

Maigari added that the present administration has ensured that civil servants in the state are using ‘dot ng’ for government businesses, adding that the state is also building the capacity of the staff in basic computer operation and promoting digital literacy in the state, especially among the unserved natives of the state.

She further noted that COVID-19 has also made them train over 60 persons in the area of digital and online marketing, adding that most of the government processes have been digitised, especially the process of remitting internally generated revenue to the government.

Participants at the event shared their observations on how they think NITDA could deepen its influence among the rural populace. 

In his goodwill message, Mallam Zakari Suleiman of the Computer Professional Council of Nigeria (CPN) opined that NITDA constitutes a monitoring team to inspect all its interventions to ascertain proper usage. He said the agency should ensure that end-users are trained on how to properly take care of those interventions. 

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