Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen
The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami has listed seven key areas of priorities to focus the agency’s technology development initiatives on.
Pantami spoke immediately after he received ‘Special Recognition Award’ presented to the Agency at the National Information Technology Awards (NITMA 2016) organised by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) at Muson Centre, Lagos on Wednesday.
The DG who reiterated that the Agency will focus on its core regulatory mandate said since assumption of office, he has been working strategically with the Management and the entire Staff towards transforming NITDA from an Administrative outlook to IT-Driven agency.
This he said was stop an unnecessary contract awarding to a knowledge-based agency that will drive the digital economy for the country.
He said, “The process of developing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in a society as diverse and complex as ours is quite daunting. However, the potential benefits of developing such a critical sector of our economy far outweigh whatever challenges such a process may entail. A well-developed IT sector will significantly improve our economy. It will reduce capital flight, create jobs, generate revenue and help to position Nigeria as an IT hub for the Region.
“As we join hands to develop the sector, I wish to request your support in the following 7 key areas: Regulation; Capacity Building; Local Content Development & Promotion; Digital Job Creation; Government Digital Service Promotion; Cyber Security; and Revenue Generation”.
He informed that NITDA will give a renewed emphasis to regulation and will ensure development of standards and guidelines for different aspects of the IT sector.
Pantimi stated further that, “In addition, we will put the necessary machinery in place to ensure compliance. The need for effective capacity building efforts cannot be over emphasized. We plan to support the training of thousands of our youth in order to provide them with entrepreneurship and ICT skills. Our scholarship programme will also be reviewed to enable us to strike a balance between the economic realities we face as a result of the high forex rate and the need to give our best and brightest a chance to study in leading IT nations.”
He said NITDA will also take the issue of local content very seriously as, “We will encourage, celebrate and patronize Made-in-Nigeria solutions, but will also ensure that such products meet strict quality standards.
IT has the potential to generate revenue for the government. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributed 12.62% to the total nominal GDP in the 2nd Quarter of 2016, up from its 12.25% contribution in the 1st Quarter. We want to put things in place to significantly increase the contribution of ICT to the economy.”
On the NITMA Award, he said, ”I am delighted to attend this Information Technology Merit Award and Fellowship Conferment ceremony. It provides a good opportunity to encourage the stakeholders of the industry for their effort in the past year and it also provides an opportunity to encourage stakeholders to redouble their efforts in the upcoming year. I wish to commend the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) for this timely and important service to the industry. I am proud of NCS.”
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