The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has described the web as the backbone of the digital economy.
In his keynote address at the World Wide Web Day, a hybrid event with the theme – ‘The world wide web: Creating opportunities for the new African digital economy’ organised by the Centre for Cyber Awareness Development (CECAD), he said the web serves as a pathway to opportunities in the digital economy through connectivity, data, and digital platforms.
Represented by his special assistant on digital transformation, Dr. Muhammad Lawal, Abdullahi said “internet connectivity ensures that value is created and captured; it also ensures global access to products and services 24/7 in the digital economy,” adding through the web, digital data continue to drive the evolution of the digital economy.
“The web provides access to massive volumes of data used for analysis on virtually every aspect of our lives,” he said, identifying another significant contribution of the web in driving the digital economy as the development of digital platforms.
“Many businesses, social and personal activities are happening on various digital platforms; these leave tons of digital footprints that provide huge amounts of data for analytics,” he stated.
He opined that by leveraging on the world wide web, many digital economy potentials lay ahead for Africa, pointing out that the potentials would increase growth and productivity as exploiting the web would reduce the cost of production and distribution of goods and services; improve management efficiency and communication with stakeholders; increase competition and broaden markets; provide options for customers and improve marketing and pricing.
Abdullahi emphasised that the agency through its strategies, had come up with numerous regulations and initiatives to ensure that opportunities were created and utilised to achieve a digital economy.
Some of the initiatives, according to him, include encouraging free domain registration for public institutions through Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA), facilitating digital literacy training and awareness, digital content creation and indigenous language translation, effective digitisation of government services (e-Government) as well as other e-services, deployment of IT intervention projects that facilitate digital literacy and skills development, development of Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA) and Nigerian e-Govt Interoperability framework (Ne-GIF), funding capacity building and innovation initiatives to facilitate digital jobs creation, establishment of National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).
Earlier in his remarks, the convener, the CECAD executive director, Dr. Bayero Agabi, said the world wide web day is a global celebration dedicated to web browsing, online activities that brings wealth of knowledge to your fingertips.
“It is a chance to celebrate the way the internet created an environment for collaboration and business growth while also taking a deeper look into its evolution the past years,” he said, adding the purpose of the event was to come up with policies that would help create a sane secure digital society.
According to a statement obtained from the agency’s website, dignitaries in attendance include the director general, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Aziz; managing director, Galaxy Back Bone Limited (GBB), Prof. Muhammed Abubakar; president, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Adesina Sodiya; ATCON president, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, former NCS president, Alhaji Ladi Oguneye, chief executives of IT companies and other relevant stakeholders.