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NITDA Trains Civil, Public Servants On Digital Literacy, Cyber Security

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A cross section of officials of the National Information Technology Development Agency, resource persons and participants during the training in Abuja.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has concluded its three-week capacity building programme organised for staff of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), military and paramilitary on digital literacy, cyber security and cloud computing.

Speaking during the closing ceremony at e-Government Training Centre, Abuja, the director-general, NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, said the training is part of the agency’s continuous efforts to institutionalise digitalisation programmes, particularly to equip Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) with various digital skills.

He said the training is aimed at engaging civil servants to actively participate in the global digital economy space towards the realisation and successful implementation of Federal Government technology-driven initiatives.

The NITDA boss, who was represented by the agency’s director, IT infrastructure solutions, Dr. Usman Abdullahi, stated that digital transformation in the public service is an integral part of delivering high-quality service to citizens.

“Digital literacy and skills, as you may be aware, is the second pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which provides policy backing for massive training of Nigerians from all walks of life, to enable them to become digitally literate,” he said.

Abdullahi noted that the objectives set out for the programme were fully realised due to the reports and testimonies the agency has been getting from the supervisors and participants. “The class attendance in both virtual and physical training sessions have been phenomenal, with high-level participation.”

He emphasised that digital technologies are changing the world at a faster pace than previously experienced waves of technological innovation, reshaping and introducing new business models and sectors.

Abdullahi also re-echoed the need to have a digitally literate workforce. He insisted that Nigeria must succeed in accelerating the growth and modernisation of her economy and governance.

NITDA, as a forward-looking organisation, he said, remained aware of the relevance of civil servants in delivering government programmes and the efforts of the present administration cannot be completed without involving civil servants, the military and the paramilitary. He touted MDAs as an integral part of the implementation of the Federal Government’s digitalisation.

To actualise e-government digital initiatives, Abdullahi said NITDA had to set up digital transformation technical working groups (DTTWGs) in Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) whose members are meant to drive the programmes at different levels of government. 

He recalled that, so far, the members of DTTWGs for 200 FPIs have been trained and another batch of 200 is to be trained.

“We in NITDA have supported FPIs with tools and training. We are already collaborating and will always be willing to partner with stakeholders to support our economic diversification and sustainability plan for the country,” he said. 

While imploring the participants to partake fully and transfer the knowledge gained at the end of the training to their colleagues who could not make it to the training, the NITDA boss said the agency is determined to achieve the benchmark of 95 per cent digital literacy by the year 2030.

In his remarks, the head, IT professional development and outreach unit, NITDA, Dr. Ahmad Tambuwal gave an overview of the capacity-building programme. He said participants of the two-batch training were drawn from 40 MDAs (20 organisations in-person, 20 virtually), military and paramilitary bodies.

He noted that upskilling the 100 participating members will help Nigeria to catch up with the rest of the world in the area of digitisation, job creation, technology adaptation and deployment in the workplace.

Tambuwal expressed hope that both batches, each with 50 participants, will seize the opportunity to effectively learn and utilise the knowledge gained to achieve the sole aim of the initiative.

In his remarks, one of the participants, Dr. Kenneth Okereafor of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), thanked NITDA for organising the training and noted that civil servants need to upscale their digital skills, particularly because of existing realities instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Having participated in this programme, we are very grateful that our skills have been brushed. We are confident that we are going back to [our] offices with renewed skills and all, courtesy of NITDA,” he added.

While expressing his appreciation to NITDA, Mr. Edward Samuel, a staff of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) said: “The training has exposed us to quite a lot of things. Before now, I never knew that whatever I want to do in the office, I could use these tools to do [them].

“Digital literacy helps us to organise all the data and information we use in various offices. After organising this data, there is a need for the public to access it and cloud computing has made it easy for us to carry this information and upload it for people to access,” he added.

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