By Ibiyemi Mathew
A statement by the president’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu on Tuesday announced the approval and appointment of new heads of Federal Government agencies to replace persons that were recently appointed as ministers.According to the statement,Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is to replace Dr Isa Pantami as the Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency and the appointment is to take immediate effect.
For many that have been in the telecommunication sector,the name Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is not anything new to them but one that commands respect because of the achievements attributed to his name.Prior to his recent appointment by the President, he had occupied the position of the Technical Assistant to the Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) from March 2017 until his appointment as the new Director General of NITDA.During his time as Technical assistant to the DG of NITDA,he managed execution of strategy which has increased ICT contributions to Nigeria’s GDP by 9.7% in Q2 2018. He also coordinated Local Content initiatives that has increased ICT local production by 230% in 2017 and was also a key player in the overhauling of IT clearance process to encourage shared services which has saved more than N13 billion from Federal Government’s IT projects.
Kashiwdu Inuwa Abdullahi also oversaw the procurement process that has reduced cost of major projects by 5 to 7% in two consecutive annual procurement and managed project execution that has implemented 300+ IT infrastructure intervention.
The newly appointed DG has a rich private sector experience coupled with his expierence in the public sector.He had previously worked at Galaxy Backbone as a senior Solution Architect – Lead, Technical Solution Design Team.During his time at the organization,he orchestrated solution architecture templates that reduced the time to develop Enterprise Solution Architecture from 15 to 10 days and Nation’s IP/MPLS backbone that successfully connected 500+ locations and integrated 150+ agencies in Nigeria. He was also responsible for the development of over 10 National IT systems that helped in promoting e-government deployment in Nigeria.
While occupying the position of senior Network Engineer at Lead IP Operations Team, he was at the frontline of developing an improved operational processes which led to wining UN Public Sector Award, for e-government.
He mentored three subordinates to earn CCIE, the most prestigious network certification in the world. Amongst many others he had also worked as IP Network Field Engineer at Galaxy Backbone and as Network Engineer at Galaxy Information Technology & Telecommunication Limited.
He is a graduate of the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University where he obtained a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science in 2003.Asides,having an educational qualification in technology, he is also an individual who is concerned about good leadership and the benefits it would accrue to his country. This has prompted him to acquire a couple of professional degrees and acquire skills needed for leadership at MIT Sloan School of Management Strategy and Innovation in 2018, Harvard Kennedy School Digital Transformation in Government in 2018 and IMD Business School Driving Strategic Innovation to broaden his knowledge.
He graduated recently from the Cambridge Judge Business School GMP which is a two-week intensive programme that provides an understanding of the fundamental principles in key management disciplines, and how to apply them to improve decision-making within your organisation and also the MIT Sloan School of Management and Leadership.
The new DG also has certifications as a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Cisco, Allot Certified Technical Engineer (ACTE)Allot Communication, CA Spectrum r9.0 Foundations 200CA,IP Bearer Network Advanced Technology, Huawei University amongst many others.
He is a product of knowledge, skills, education and hard work. At a time when the rebuilding of Nigeria has become a child of necessity, definitely, the contributions of technocrat like Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi who have done a lot for humanity in the business world will be pivotal to the advancement of Nigeria. With people like Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as Director General, there is hope for the country. He is knowledgeable and understands the issues confronting the agency. He will no doubt bring his experience to bear in moving NITDA to the next level in line with the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda and further bolster the image and progress of the agency.