NITDA, Microsoft Partner On Cloud Technology

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R-L: The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi presenting a copy of NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan to the Microsoft country manager, Mrs. Ola Williams when she paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Microsoft Nigeria have committed to strengthening their partnership to ensure implementation of the Cloud First Strategy in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

The NITDA director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, revealed this commitment renewal when he received the team from Microsoft led by its new country manager, Mrs. Ola Williams at the agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja, saying NITDA had recalibrated its activities to align with the new government’s aspirations as well as crafted new strategies.

“We are committed to aligning with these new government goals by transforming our agency and to achieve this, we need an organization like yours to do that,” he said.

Abdullahi stated that the developmental regulation is one of the strategic pillars of the agency’s Strategic Road Map and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021-2024 which would encourage innovations and help service providers as well as end consumers, thanking Microsoft for being of great assistance in this regard by supporting development of the Cloud Computing Policy.

Abdullahi further stated that the agency was pushing for cloud first strategy in the government and needed further collaboration with Microsoft for the purpose of learning the best practices and domesticate them in the country. 

“We have collaborated on the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations but we need to collaborate more in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy”, he stated.

The NITDA boss said the agency had been intensifying efforts on digital literacy which is another strategic pillar of its action plan in order to help youths upscale their digital literacy skills and retain their jobs in the trending pandemic era. He further disclosed that the agency had trained over 2,400 youths and is currently targeting on training 7,200 people from 11 states basically on Microsoft productivity tools, digital content creation and digital marketing.

Abdullahi named digital transformation, cyber security, digital innovation and entrepreneurship as strategic pillars in which the agency had collaborated with Microsoft in using technology to enhance traditional processes, help government get insights into the dark web and encourage local startups respectively.

“Small and medium scale enterprises contribute up to 90 per cent of the workforce and it is very important to use technology to create fancy employment for our youths. We have so many initiatives with respect to this and I think you can be a key player,” he said.

He added that the agency would need the collaboration of Microsoft in the areas of its public key infrastructure solution to boost cloud first strategies in government institutions and initiate a collaborative process on the acquisition of Microsoft digital certificates.

The NITDA DG earlier congratulated the newly appointed Microsoft boss for being the first female and homegrown boss of Microsoft, adding NITDA and Microsoft had come a long way and must continue to trail that same direction in order to achieve their goals and objectives.

“With the emergence of a new country manager, we should look at areas we can work together for the betterment of our country Nigeria”, Abdullahi noted.

In her remark, Williams thanked NITDA for its support and partnership over the years, while expressing her utmost appreciation to the director-general for the privilege given to them to contribute their quota to the development of cloud policy in Nigeria.

 “Our visit here is as a result of your demonstration of contributions and impact to our organization and to solicit for more support and partnership to create a digital Nigeria,” she added.

A statement signed by NITDA’s head, corporate affairs and external relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, said cloud first strategies which are operational strategies in which infrastructures are being moved to cloud computing platforms like the Amazon web services, Google cloud or Microsoft Azure rather than using physical clusters had been identified to have outstanding benefits in terms of auto-scaling, easy configurability in getting new services online and reliability amongst other benefits.

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