The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has called for collaboration between government, institutions and the people, to fully harness the potential of the digital economy.
He made this call in his keynote address during the 2023 Digital Economy Sensitisation Lecture Series themed “Digital Economy: The Triple Helix Model of Government, People and Institutions” at the Kwara State University Malete. Also, the lecture series coincided with the launch of the university’s centre for digital economy.
“Digital economy presents a wealth of opportunities for the growth and development of the country. But this could only be achieved if the government, institutions and people work together in a manner that ensures inclusiveness and sustainability,” he stated.
The NITDA boss maintained that the three elements involved in the advancement of the digital economy need to put resources together to foster economic prosperity for other sectors of the economy.
“The triple helix model is an interaction among these three to foster the economic transformation of various sectors of the economy.”
The DG described the role of the government in developing the digital economy as critical because it must enable a conducive environment for innovation, investment and growth. He observed that institutions must impact knowledge on the people and promote research and intellectual discussion, adding that the people and the industries must be a vehicle for commercialisation.
He recalled that the rigorous implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) by relevant stakeholders under the leadership of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has increased significantly the contribution of the digital economy to the nation’s gross domestic product to 18.44 per cent”.
Abdullahi maintained that NITDA has been a playing critical role in the implementation of NDEPS and is at the forefront of promoting technology, innovation and building Nigeria’s digital economy.
“In building a digital economy, NITDA has developed and is implementing several projects with the resolve to develop digital skills in educational institutions and rural communities across the country. In addition, the information technology (IT) knowledge gap is being bridged in under-served areas to develop human capital and provide universal access to knowledge to create a knowledge-based economy.”
While acknowledging the role of government to provide basic and relevant regulations that will serve as guidance for the institutions, people and industries, Abdullahi stated that NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (2021-2024) was mapped out in line with the vision of NDEPS.
According to him, the document, with seven strategic pillars would not only ensure the development, usage and sustainability of digital technology but would also deepen Nigeria’s economy digitally, ensure diversification and promote innovation and digital literacy in Nigeria.
“The NITDA’s SRAP is focused on the facilitation of a rapid transformation of the digital economy through elaborate stakeholders’ collaborations for the implementation of the NDEPS. All seven pillars of the roadmap and their objectives require extensive collaboration with the stakeholder to achieve their aims.”
Abdullahi noted that the theme of the lecture resonated with the Digital Literacy and Skills, and the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship pillars of the SRAP which are designed to facilitate the digital transformation of the country.