The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has revealed that it is committed to intensifying cybersecurity awareness and promoting emerging technologies in the country.
The director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi made this known when he received the head of computer science and information systems department of University of Limerick, Ireland, Prof. Mike Hinchey at the agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja.
Represented by the agency’s director of information technology infrastructure solutions department, Dr. Usman Abdullahi, the NITDA boss explained that the agency saddled with the responsibility of driving information technology development in the country has development, regulation and advisory as its three core mandates.
Speaking on the mandates, he said that the agency coordinates IT development in the country through infrastructure development, capacity-building and awareness creation.
“Every year, we deploy over 100 centres and we have larger centres in higher institutions which are called high information technology innovation hubs,” he said.
According to him, the information technology innovation hubs were deployed for research and development purposes as well as to provide opportunities for students in higher institutions of learning to develop their skills.
To ensure the growth of the sector, Abdullahi posited that the agency has been working closely with relevant stakeholders in developing regulations that will support innovation and entrepreneurship. He further noted that the agency provides advisory services on the deployment and penetration of information technology to government and private sector organisations.
He added that the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) which initiated the development of the agency’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) is a product of advisory service and a key policy document that is driving the ministry.
According to the DG, cybersecurity and emerging technologies have remained critical pillars of SRAP and the agency has developed several initiatives and awareness campaigns to ensure the protection of citizenry data as well as create employability opportunities for Nigerian youth, respectively.
In his comments during the tour of the agency’s Computer Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) unit, as well as the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), Hichney expressed his uttermost admiration and respect for the achievements made by the agency.
“I am very impressed with what I have seen today and I think Nigeria has a reputation in cybersecurity and emerging technologies,” he noted.
While commending the agency on its unprecedented achievements thus far, he expressed his admiration for the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, whom he described as an “enthusiastic technocrat” inspired to drive the digital growth of the nation to global standards.