The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has underscored the vital role of traditional institutions in harnessing the vast opportunities and benefits in information and communications technology (ICT) development for sustainable economic growth.
He made this assertion at the northwest Zonal Stakeholders Engagement Programme themed “Creating Opportunities, Breaking Boundaries Towards Digitalisation and Entrepreneurial Evolution in Nigeria” at the Kano State Government House.
Abdullahi said the stakeholder’s engagement forum convened by NITDA brings together players in the ICT and digital innovation ecosystem to pool knowledge, experience and expertise on how best to harness the vast opportunities in the digital space, adding the meeting also aims to co-create solutions, articulate strategies and extend services to all stakeholders, especially at the grassroots.
“In the 20 years of NITDA, we have moved from being a highly centralised organisation to a functionally decentralised one. We have implemented several people-oriented programmes in consultation with stakeholders and under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
“Some of them include the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), National Adopted Village for Smart Education (NAVSE), Digital Literacy Capacity Training for People with Disabilities, issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), support for ICT innovation hubs, building a community of IT centres, development of state IT policies, amongst other activities,” he said.
Represented by the director in charge of NITDA zonal offices, Jide Ajayi, Abdullahi added that NITDA developed the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021 to 2024, to provide direction for the agency and achieve targets. He added that the platform will establish a sustainable collaboration needed for a viable digital eco-system in the country.
He affirmed that the engagement programme was to avail the stakeholders the opportunity to express their views and opinions on matters relating to the agency’s implementation of its mandate.
Also speaking at the event, the secretary to the Kano State government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, said the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has directed his senior special assistant on ICT and e-governance to come up with a comprehensive plan, to propose a policy intervention in the form of a digital service strategy for the entire civil service.
The policy concepts, according to him, rests on a vision of developing sound digital infrastructure that is pivotal to effective, efficient, transparent and accountable leadership in the state.
“In this regard, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) would develop and maintain interactive portal with facilities to provide online services to the public,” Alhaji added.
The Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, also described as apt and timely, the initiative of NITDA and hailed it as the Federal Government bid to promote digital innovation as a means of job creation and stimulating accelerated growth of Nigeria’s economy. He noted that Bichi Emirate is taking the lead through youth engagement in digital knowledge and skills for self-reliance.