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How Tijani’s project to connect 774 local governments will bridge Nigeria’s digital divide, yield economic gains



Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani’s recently announced policy to connect all 774 local government areas in Nigeria represents a bold and forward-thinking initiative from the Minister with far-reaching implications for the country’s communication, innovation, and digital economy. By aiming to connect every local government area, the policy seeks to address the digital divide that exists between urban and rural areas, as well as between different regions of the country.

As contained in the policy which was announced on the Minister’s X (formerly Twitter) page, one of the key benefits of this policy is the potential to improve access to communication and digital services for millions of Nigerians who currently lack such access. This can have a transformative impact on various aspects of their lives, including education, healthcare, commerce, and governance. For example, improved connectivity can enable better access to online education and healthcare services, facilitate e-commerce and digital payments, and enhance government services and citizen engagement.

Although achieving such universal connectivity across all local government areas will require a concerted effort from both the public and private sectors, in an interview with NewsDirect Correspondent, Special Adviser to the Minister, Mr. Osibo highlighted that; “Project 774 is a very feasible one.” He reiterated that the project will be co-anchored by two of the agencies under the ministry; Galaxy Back Bone (GBB) and Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat).

Mr. Osibo further revealed to our correspondent that plans are already in place and the project should take between three to six months to be achieved.

Moreover, ensuring the successful implementation of this policy will also require addressing various challenges. These include the need to bridge the digital literacy gap by providing training and support for users in rural and underserved areas, ensuring the affordability of digital services, and promoting the development of locally relevant content and services.

If successfully implemented, the Project 774 LG Connectivity Initiative has the potential to significantly improve access to digital services and contribute to the overall development of Nigeria’s digital economy.

The Minister also did mention that this policy has the potential to create about 300 jobs for the Nigerian Youths.

“Project 774 LG Connectivity will create at least 300 direct jobs as we deploy nationwide and potentially more jobs indirectly from the increase in digital access. It is also aligned with our Ministry’s Strategic Blueprint and is a significant step in achieving President @officialABAT’s mandate to deliver efficient public service to our citizens at the LG level,” Minister Bosun Tijani said.

In addition to the employment opportunities to be created by this policy, there are various benefits of connecting all the local governments in Nigeria which the Minister has set out to do and a few.

Top of the list is that connecting all local governments in Nigeria can significantly boost economic growth and development. Improved connectivity can open up new markets and business opportunities, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural and underserved areas.

Businesses will be able to expand their reach, access a larger customer base, and engage in e-commerce more effectively. This can lead to increased economic activity and more job creation, especially at the local government level.

Also, the initiative will provide enhanced access to essential services. With reliable internet access, students in remote areas can access online learning resources and educational materials, reducing the educational gap between urban and rural areas. Similarly, telemedicine services can provide remote communities with access to healthcare professionals and medical advice, improving rural health care and reducing the need for costly travel to urban centers for medical treatment.

Universal connectivity will also improve governance and public service delivery in Nigeria. With digital connectivity, government agencies can streamline their operations, reduce paperwork, and improve the efficiency of service delivery. Also, citizens can access government services online, reducing the need for physical visits to government offices. This can lead to greater transparency, accountability, and responsiveness in governance, ultimately improving the overall quality of life for Nigerians.

In conclusion, Bosun Tijani’s policy to connect all 774 local government areas in Nigeria has the potential to be a game-changer for the country’s digital economy and overall development. By focusing on digital connectivity across all the Local Governments, the policy has the opportunity to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Nigerians, regardless of their location or socio-economic status.


DPI: Ministry partners ICPC to boost anti-corruption efforts



The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Ministry of Communication Innovation and Digital Economy (FMoCIDE) have initiated a partnership to advance the fight against corruption through the utilisation of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI).

The Collaboration was sealed during a courtesy call by ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN on the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijjani yesterday.

Recognising the pivotal role that DPI plays in combating corruption and fostering transparency and accountability in the public sector, ICPC is committed to leveraging this innovative technology to achieve its anti-corruption objectives.

The ICPC Chairman said, “Through our partnership with MoCIDE, ICPC will harness the power of DPI to enhance public registries and create an environment where corruption finds no refuge. By leveraging state-of-the-art digital solutions, we aim to establish a robust framework that leaves no room for the misappropriation of public funds or the concealment of ill-gotten gains.”

“Furthermore, in accordance with our statutory mandate outlined in Section 6, ICPC will provide expert guidance and oversight to ensure the effective implementation of DPI-based solutions to eradicate corruption and corrupt practices at every level of government. We remain steadfast in our commitment to driving systemic reforms that promote integrity, accountability, and ethical conduct across all sectors,” he added.

Dr. Aliyu further said, “The impact of this collaboration extends far beyond the realm of anti-corruption efforts. By strengthening transparency and accountability in the public sector through DPI, we anticipate significant improvements in the ease of doing business, economic growth, and job creation. Moreover, by fortifying the integrity of digital systems, we enhance Nigeria’s reputation on the global stage, attracting foreign investment and fostering sustainable development.”

“As Nigeria’s lead anti-corruption agency, ICPC is fully dedicated to the pursuit of a corruption-free society. We call upon all stakeholders – government institutions, private sector organisations, civil society groups, and citizens – to join us in this noble endeavor. Together, we can build a future where integrity, transparency, and accountability serve as the cornerstones of our nation’s progress.”

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Food Security: NITDA, USAID to partner in tackling food insecurity



With over 70 million arable land enough to feed not just Nigeria but Africa, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that the Agency is willing to partner with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and relevant stakeholders to tackle food insecurity in Nigeria.

The Director General made this known while receiving representatives from USAID led by Josh Woodard Senior Digital Advisor Bureau for Resilience, Environment, and Food Security, at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja. The purpose of the visit was to have a rapid landscape assessment of digital agriculture in Nigeria and partner with NITDA.

Inuwa said, “One of President Tinubu’s areas of focus is boosting agriculture to achieve food security, and at NITDA we were set up to develop the National IT Policy, and IT policy is not just about developing IT but developing IT to boost productivity across all critical sectors including agriculture.”

“That is why we do a lot of initiatives in trying to see how we can build an agriculture Strategy with IT in mind and make it a more attractive business to the younger generation,” he added.

Inuwa stated that NITDA has identified six emerging technologies that will aid in achieving food security in Nigeria. He said, “We have an  Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy co-creation workshop going on, which started on Monday, where we are working with the ecosystem to develop a strategy on how to use AI in agriculture, health, education, and so on.

“We are working on how to use the Internet of Things, (IoT) in agriculture for crop monitoring, soil monitoring, precision irrigation, climate monitoring, livestock monitoring, and so on.”

“We are working using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to facilitate pest detection, water control, yield assessment, and so on.

“We are working on using Blockchain for the traceability of farm produce from farm to store, record keeping, quality assurance, and so on.

“We are working on using Robotics to enhance productivity in agriculture in terms of automation of physical farm processing like weeding, harvesting, tractors, and many more.

“For additive manufacturing, we are working on using it to upscale our manufacturing industry in the Agricultural sector for the production of crop and soil monitoring devices, customised equipment, and many more.”

Speaking on NITDA’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria develops its digital offering in-country, Inuwa noted that the Nigeria Startup Portal was launched during the week with over 12,000 startups registered so far. He said they would be labelled after which they could have access to incentives.

Earlier Josh Woodard, USAID said that the meeting was to enable USAID to have first-hand information on what Nigeria is doing in digital farming to see how to enhance the integration of digital technology in agriculture.

He revealed that USAID recently launched the Global Food Security Strategy for Nigeria (2024 -2029) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

He said, “We want to work with all stakeholders to ensure food security in Nigeria.”

The meeting discussed the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) in relation to the success stories the initiative has recorded, the expansion strategy it is adopting and calls on the USAID to be part of the initiatives.

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NITDA, NIMC forge partnership to revolutionise Nigeria’s digital infrastructure



By Blessing Emmanuel, Abuja

In a strategic move aimed at reinforcing Nigeria’s digital ecosystem and fostering digital trust, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has announced its collaboration with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on the implementation of the National Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) initiatives.

This collaboration is expected to significantly enhance digital identity management, streamline the payment ecosystem, and facilitate secure, seamless data exchange across the country.

The partnership was formalised during a recent high-level meeting between NITDA Director General, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, and NIMC Director General, Engr. Bisoye Coker-Odusote.

During the meeting, Inuwa reiterated the importance of building robust DPI stacks to ensure the secure exchange of data, emphasizing that partnerships such as this are instrumental in transforming the national identity system. He also highlighted the pivotal role of PKI in driving Nigeria’s digital transformation agenda forward.

This partnership represents a key step forward in enhancing Nigeria’s digital infrastructure, ensuring secure data exchange, and fostering digital trust among stakeholders.

In discussing NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2.0, Inuwa provided insights into the agency’s evolving vision and mission, which have been crafted to align with current industry realities.

The SRAP 2.0 is built on eight key pillars, including fostering digital literacy, cultivating talent, building a robust technology research ecosystem, strengthening policy implementation and legal frameworks, promoting inclusive access to digital infrastructure and services, enhancing cybersecurity and digital trust, nurturing an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem, forging strategic partnerships and collaborations, and cultivating a vibrant organisational culture with an agile workforce.

Echoing Inuwa’s sentiments, NIMC’s Director General expressed the commission’s enthusiasm for collaborating with NITDA to advance the digital economy sector.

She emphasised the importance of cooperation among institutions to achieve common goals, stating, “No institution can implement all its policies and programs in isolation; we need each other to achieve the set targets.”

She also highlighted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s support for data integration and harmonisation across Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the adoption of PKI to drive the country’s growth and development agenda.

The meeting concluded with the inauguration of a 12-man committee tasked with kick-starting and harmonising the initiatives outlined in the collaboration.

The committee is expected to deliver a comprehensive implementation report in the coming weeks, marking a significant milestone in the collaboration between NITDA and NIMC.

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