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Human capital development critical in repositioning NASENI – Halilu

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The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu has stated that investing in human capital development and staff motivation remain the best ways of repositioning the Agency into a power-house of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) at the global scene.

In his keynote address, at the opening ceremony of a 5-Day training for Information, New Media and Protocol staff of the Agency, drawn from the Headquarters and Institutes, on New Media and Protocol Strategies for a Modern Government Agency in the 21st century, held on Monday at the Exclusive Serene Hotel, Wuye, Abuja, Mr. Halilu said that investing in staff training and development was vital for the success of any organisation.

According to him, “We are building a new NASENI where one of the overarching goals is to have well trained employees with knowledge and requisite technical, vocational and management skills required for the Agency’s growth and technology advancement.”

He said this reorientation would “equip us to bring to fruition the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed TinubuAdministration and also the Eight Priority Areas of the administration.”

Buttressing the mandate of the Agency, the NASENI boss noted that the Agency’s mission is to drive Nigeria’s rapid industrialisation through the new three Cs of Collaboration, Creation and Commercialization.

He added that in the past four months since he took over the leadership of NASENI, the Agency has embarked on new partnerships and collaborations aimed at turning NASENI’s over 150 scientific and technological prototypes, products and intellectual properties rights (IPR) into finished products.

“We have signed multibillion dollars new Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) and revived old ones with international technical partners to establish coal-based fertilizer plant, Lithium processing and Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant,  Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Agric afforestation, smart solar irrigation, tractor repairs and crop traceability for food security,” he further explained.

He said that the 5-Day intensive training programme will enable information and Protocol staff of the Agency to catch-up with the current trends and international standards required for Mastering the Intricacies of New Media and Protocol Strategies that would take the Agency to greater heights.

“We have assembled about forty-one (41) staff responsible for information and protocol activities from ourHeadquarters and Institutes to benefit from this training. This training will upskill the crop of staff to communicate our new strategy and partnerships to the public,” he stated.

He said that he was confident that by the end of the training, the staff of Information, Protocol and New Media Unit would be equipped with requisite skills to be at par with contemporaries in the public and private sectors as well as those in the international sphere.

The Coordinating Director, Engineering Infrastructure, Prof. Bagudu Dansheu Gwadangaji who was ably represented by Engr. Dr. Olayode Olasupo urged the Information Staff to adapt to new media and protocol strategies to ensure the continued success and relevance of NASENI.

Encouraging the participants, he said, “Your presence at this training signifies not only personal and professional growth but also a collective effort to enhance our capabilities as a forward-thinking government agency.”

“I encourage you to actively engage in the sessions, collaborate with your peers, and absorb the wealth of knowledge that this training has to offer. The insights gained here will understandably contribute to your skills, allowing you to make valuable contributions to our ICT initiatives,” he said.

Also, the Coordinating Director, Science Infrastructure, Prof Umar Ibrahim Gaya stated that the theme of the training was timely as it will equip participants with necessary skills and tools to combat fake news which can affect organizations negatively.

“When you talk about NASENI, so many things come to mind. As an Agency with first line charge from the Federation Account, there is likely to be fake news out there about us. Therefore, this training will help equip the participants to separate information from misinformation and misrepresentation. We hope your deliberations will help the EVC/CEO and Management to achieve the Agency’s mandate,” Prof. Gaya added.

In his welcome address, the Director of Information, Protocol and New Media Unit, Mr. Segun Ayeoyenikan commended the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NASENI, Mr. Khalil Halilu for making staff motivation, development and productivity top priorities in his agenda since he assumed the position as EVC/CEO barely four Months ago.

He said in an era defined by rapid advancement, the training was a crucial step towards navigating the complexities of digital age, adding that the new slogan in the media profession and business world is “You either communicate or you are easily forgotten, because of the complexities or sophistication of the society wherein we live today.”

Throwing more light on the training, he said the training for the Communication and Media arm of the Agency, the first of its kind in 33 years, was indeed timely with the wave of reforms currently sweeping across the Agency with the coming on board of a Techpreneur, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu.

“The Information, New Media and Protocol Department play a critical role of projecting the image, products, mission and vision of the Agency amongst its technology end-users and critical stakeholders,” he said.

The EVC/CEO has committed to building a 21st century institution built on the 3 core principles of Collaboration, Creation and Commercialization guided by a strategic corporate plan which ensures that NASENI’s human and material resources are optimally harnessed with a view to achieving the Federal Government’s Industrialisation drive.

While welcoming the participants to the training, he pointed out that the training marked the beginning of a journey towards an enhanced popularization of digital skills communication and knowledge sharing within the NASENI Headquarters and Institutes’ Information and Protocol, more effectively.

Pointing out that the knowledge acquired from this training promised to reposition NASENI into one of the foremost agencies of the Federal Government, he called on all the participants to see the training as a call to duty and to ensure use of the opportunity and strive for excellence.

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DPI: Ministry partners ICPC to boost anti-corruption efforts

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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

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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

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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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