The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has pointed out that engagement with stakeholders in the information and technology sector is critical for the development of a viable digital ecosystem in Nigeria.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ engagement programme themed “Creating Boundaries and Breaking Boundaries: Towards Digitalisation and Entrepreneurial Evolution” in Lagos recently, Abdullahi said the interaction with stakeholders in the state aims to establish a sustainable collaboration adequately needed for a viable digital ecosystem in the country.
He maintained that the agency’s response to the increasing need for the digital economy system had been demonstrated through the implementation of critical areas of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
Represented by NITDA’s director of zonal offices, Mr. Jide Ajayi, Abdullahi asserted that NITDA has evolved from a highly centralized organisation to a functionally decentralised institution.
“We aspire to be close to our stakeholders, pursue our strategies, ensure financial prudence, and to become a process-driven, data-dependent, result-oriented organization,” he said.
Abdullahi also said that despite the challenges before it the agency is ensuring that the objectives of the national IT governance with priority to delivering value to stakeholders are met. He described this as sequential to the agency’s core values of putting people first, leading innovativeness and ensuring professionalism.
“Our stakeholders come first and we must strive to deliver value to you. That would not be possible without listening to you and speaking with you to get clarity on your perspectives, aspirations and needs,” he affirmed.
The NITDA boss expressed the hope that the event and whole stakeholder engagement programme nationwide would offer fresh understandings and ideas on how impactful value can be delivered to Nigerians.
“We see this meeting as a veritable platform to pool knowledge, experience and expertise, and to co-create solutions, articulate strategies and extend our services to all stakeholders, especially at the grassroots,” he stated.
In his keynote address, the commissioner for science and technology in the state, Mr. Hakeem Fahm, commended the ministry of communications and digital economy and the NITDA for organising the stakeholder event and expressed his confidence that all participants will benefit from it through constructive interactions.
He noted that the laws that established the ministry of communications and the digital economy, as well as NITDA, stated that digital technologies have more significant consequences for value creation and value capture than merely providing new options for inventors and entrepreneurs.
“The digital revolution has transformed our lives and societies at an unprecedented rate and scale, bringing enormous benefits and, of course, terrible problems. New technologies have the potential to make major contributions to the achievement of the sustainable development goals,” he added.
While empathising on the numerous benefits of digital inclusion in bridging the digital divide in the country, the commissioner stated that strengthening local cooperation is essential to realising digital technology’s entire social and economic potential.
“I hope this comprehensive approach will answer Nigerians’ desire to participate in the new digital world, not just as users and consumers but also as producers, exporters and inventors, to create and capture more value on their path to sustainable development,” he noted.
Earlier in her remarks, NITDA’s head, southwest zonal office, Mrs. Chioma Okee-Aguguo, thanked all participants for attending and urged them to make constructive recommendations that would help the agency achieve its mandate for the good of the ecosystem.