NITDA, VON Forge Robust Collaboration To Drive Digital Literacy, Combat Fake News For Nat’l Progress

The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi (ninth from left) flanked by a delegation from Voice of Nigeria when the team paid him a visit in his office in Abuja.

In a significant move towards advancing the digital literacy agenda and curbing misinformation for sustained national growth, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has intensified its collaboration with the Voice of Nigeria (VON).

This development aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to economic reform and inclusive growth by leveraging digital literacy and talent cultivation while mitigating disinformation risks.

The director-general of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi hosted a delegation from VON, led by its newly appointed director-general, Jibrin Baba Ndace at the agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja. The meeting underscored the shared commitment to achieving the objectives outlined in the Federal Government’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.

Highlighting the ambitious Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (2024-2027) designed to position Nigeria at the forefront of digital transformation, Abdullahi emphasised the pivotal role of collaboration in realising these goals. The restructured SRAP focuses on eight pillars, aiming for 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030 and establishing Nigeria as a technology hub in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

“As we digitise our economy, we need our citizens to have access and use these digital devices and platforms safely and responsibly. The only way to achieve that is through digital literacy,” noted Abdullahi.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the UK government and GIZ, NITDA is working on developing national digital literacy standards to empower Nigerian youths with certifications from local institutions. Recognising the media’s crucial role, Abdullahi emphasised the importance of partnerships with institutions like VON to effectively communicate the government’s transformation goals and counter fake news.

“We are thinking of developing content in local languages on TV and radio stations so that we can reach as many people as possible, and I think that is an area of collaboration where we can work together,” added Abdullahi.

The NITDA director-general highlighted the need to publicise the government’s efforts in poverty alleviation and economic growth while educating the public on the safe and responsible use of digital technologies to protect them from cyber manipulators.

Expressing excitement about the collaboration with VON, Abdullahi assured the visitors of NITDA’s support in digital infrastructure and capacity-building development, envisioning a future where the partnership propels the nation into a digital era.

In response, Ndace expressed gratitude for the support VON has received from NITDA and commended the agency’s milestones under the leadership of the present director-general. While acknowledging the achievements, he appealed for deeper collaboration and increased support to fully realise the goals and objectives of the present administration.

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