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NITDA Reveals Plan To Train 1Million App Developers In 18 Months

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has revealed its plan to train one million developers in various areas of digital technologies’ application development over the next 18 months. 

The director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi made this known during his speech at the Global Digital Economy Summit organised by the Junior Chamber International Nigeria (JCIN) in Lagos.

He pointed out that the training would be in collaboration with various stakeholders in the ecosystem with the ambition of making Nigeria the hub of digital talent in Africa. 

Represented by the acting director, corporate planning and strategy department, NITDA, Dr. Aristotle Onumo, Abdullahi urged everyone to take advantage of the various opportunities provided by the government.

While expressing his delight at the theme of the event, ‘Digital Transformation-Defining our success pillars’, he asserted that the purpose of the event aligns with the agenda of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in sustaining the digitisation of Nigeria. 

“I am, indeed, delighted with the theme of this summit which aptly captures the main essence of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and resonates with the goal of our strategic road map and action plan 2021-2024,” he stated.

Describing digital transformation as a cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge the status quo, Abdullahi agreed that the adoption and use of digital technologies will provide unprecedented opportunities which the private and public sectors can leverage to increase their productivity and market access.

While emphatically stating the Nigerian government’s commitment to the growth of the country’s digital system, the NITDA boss stated that several programmes and initiatives have been designed by the Federal Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy and NITDA to increase the level of digitisation and digitalisation in public and private institutions.

He argued that the ongoing implementation of the NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2021-2024 developed to harness the vast opportunities and growth potentials of the digital tech sector has accelerated Nigeria’s digital transformation.

“As an agency working towards the digital transformation agenda of this present administration as contained in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), we have initiated the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support (TIES) scheme that will encourage more innovation-driven startup ventures to be formed, with an emphasis on indigenous technologies,” he said.

Emphasising the agency’s commitment to ensuring that citizens are empowered with information technologies, Abdullahi disclosed that the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) was established to develop an army of IT-proficient and globally competitive manpower as part of its contribution to the successful implementation of the digital transformation policy.

“NCAIR represents the government’s determination to create a suitable environment for technology innovation, transformation, incubation, and discovery while harnessing the abundant creative ideas of Nigeria’s teeming youth population for national development through the promotion of innovative technologies,” he said.

Motivating all youths to be innovation-driven to benefit maximally from government initiatives, the NITDA DG stated that the agency has engaged in various collaborations in securing grants to support startups to a tune of N3 million and has also sponsored startups to various international fora which, according to him, will give young entrepreneurs global visibility.

Giving more insights into the agency’s continued efforts at implementing Digital skills and literacy, a pillar of the SRAP, Abdullahi stated that 500,000 people have been trained in various areas of digital skills, 1,650 students trained in IT essential across 30 institutions of higher learning while underserved communities, children, women and people living with disabilities are beneficiaries of digital inclusion programmes of the agency.

He, therefore, urged everyone to take advantage of the various opportunities being provided by the government in facilitating the adaptation and adoption of digital technologies to create value for Nigerians.

“Digital transformation is a journey. We have set our strategic road map and action to proactively develop Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy. We, therefore, call on all stakeholders to join hands with us to co-create a digital future for our great nation,” he added.

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