The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has emphasised the need for an inclusive approach to achieve digitalisation in the country.
The DG who was represented by the Agency’s Director, Zonal Offices Directorate, Ajayi Babajide Ayodimej made this known during a one-day stakeholders’ workshop programme in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital, organised by the Agency in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Science and Technology
Inuwa said as Nigeria navigates digitalisation and entrepreneurial evolution, NITDA stands as a beacon of guidance and is committed to providing an enabling environment, a framework of support, and a platform for collaboration that empowers all stakeholders to be catalysts of change.
The DG added that whereas available resources are at the disposal of industry players, the Agency’s doors are open to partnerships that would pave the way for a digitally empowered future.
“Digitalisation is when digital technology becomes a part of every aspect of society. It is not just a fancy word but it is what causes big changes in industries because it changes the way we do business, take care of our health, educate ourselves, and even govern.
“In fact, digitalisation changes things for the better, eliminates obstacles, and creates new chances that we couldn’t even think of before; our responsibility is therefore to take hold of these possibilities and use them to transform society,” Inuwa stressed.
Inuwa who described the theme of the event: ‘Creating Opportunities, Breaking Boundaries: Towards Digitalisation and Entrepreneurial Evolution’ as apt for the engagement, noted that the gathering was not only to discuss concepts, but to chart a course that will redefine industries, empower individuals, and shape the future of the nation.
“Modern digital technologies have changed how uncertainty in business processes and results work and how we can effectively handle these uncertainties.
“This brings up important questions about where digital technologies and entrepreneurship intersect, especially in digital business. We think about two main results: more flexible business processes and results, and less fixed places where business decisions are made,” the DG said.
According to the DG, to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, NITDA established the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI) and the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), stressing that these Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) have supported startups, including technology incubation, acceleration programmes, and training for students.
The innovation ecosystem in Nigeria, he affirmed, has attracted significant investments and produced multiple successful startups, including unicorns.
“Today, as we focus on entrepreneurial evolution, we underscore the need to nurture a culture that not only welcomes innovation but also celebrates resilience in the face of adversity,” Inuwa avowed.
The NITDA Boss informed participants that creating opportunities demands a multi-stakeholder approach and therefore there is need to continue to foster an environment where creativity flourishes, risk is cushioned by support, and innovation is rewarded.
“Our digital landscape is bursting with ideas waiting to be transformed into impactful solutions; as we engage in conversations and partnerships today, let us remember that each connection forged, each idea shared, and each resource pooled is a step towards unlocking these opportunities,” the Director-General urged.
The Honourable Commissioner for Science and Technology, Akwa Ibom State, Imoh Moffat represented by the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Lawson David enumerated five critical focus areas for the Ministry which included embracing the digital revolution, nurturing a culture of innovation, empowering the digital workforce, bridging the digital divide and cyber security.
“As stakeholders of NITDA, we have a unique opportunity to drive innovation, foster a culture of creativity and bridge the digital divide and by empowering our workforce, protecting our digital future and embracing the digital revolution, we can position Nigeria as a global leader in the digital era,” Moffat assured.
The event which brought brilliant minds together also served as a testament to mutually shared commitment to dismantle barriers that hinder progress, thereby shifting efforts towards promoting knowledge exchange, facilitating access to resources, and fostering mentorship that will enable a wave of innovation that transcends traditional limits.
Nigeria’s IT sector will remain strong inspite of challenges – DG NITDA
The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa has stated that Nigeria’s IT sector will remain strong inspite of challenges.
Speaking during an event ‘CONNECT THE DOT’S CONFERENCE’, with the Theme ”Igniting Resilience and Empowering Youth”, which was held in Abuja, the DG said the agency is focusing on building resilience in the face of challenges for the development of Nigeria’s information technology sector.
He stated that NITDA is working on various initiatives to ensure that the country’s IT industry remains strong and resilient in the face of challenges.
“We must be resilient in the face of challenges, and this is particularly important in the IT industry,” Inuwa said.
“We are working on various initiatives to promote resilience in the sector, including the establishment of IT hubs in universities, and the promotion of local content development.”
He also highlighted the importance of digital transformation in building resilience, stating that NITDA is working to ensure that more Nigerians have access to digital technologies and skills, which will enable them to adapt to the changing digital landscape.
He further reiterated the agency’s commitment to building a strong and sustainable IT industry in Nigeria, and pledged to work with relavant bodies towards achieving its goals.
NCC pledges support to Meta on digital economy initiatives
By Blessing Emmanuel, Abuja
The Nigerian Communi cations Commission (NCC) has pledged its readiness to support digital economic initiatives of investors, including Meta (formerly Facebook), that align with Nigeria’s vision for a robust digital economy.
During a visit to the NCC’s headquarters in Abuja, a delegation from Meta, led by Kojo Boakye, the company’s Vice President for Africa, the Middle-East, and Turkey, met with Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The NCC EVC emphasised the importance of compliance with industry laws, regulations, and guidelines for creating a level-playing field that encourages healthy competition and sustainable growth in the Nigerian telecoms sector.
Boakye congratulating Dr. Maida on his appointment, shared Meta’s ongoing efforts to land the 2Africa submarine cable in Nigeria.
According to Boakye, “The 45,000-kilometer-long cable, scheduled to go live in 2023, will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects, interconnecting Europe (via Egypt), Asia (via Saudi Arabia), and Africa.
“With a design capacity of up to 180 terabytes per second (Tbps), the 2Africa cable aims to deliver much-needed Internet capacity and reliability across Africa, supporting the growth of 4G, 5G, and fixed broadband access.”
Boakye sought NCC’s support in navigating legal and regulatory processes for the cable’s landing in Nigeria, emphasising the positive impact it will have on connectivity and affordability.
The Meta delegation also outlined plans to simultaneously land the 2Africa cable in Lagos and Akwa-Ibom States through a consortium.
Boakye emphasised that this approach aims to connect those currently without access while enhancing and providing affordable access for those already connected.
Responding, Dr. Maida assured Meta of NCC’s commitment to supporting initiatives that align with Nigeria’s digital economy agenda and welcomed the potential benefits the 2Africa cable could bring to the country’s telecommunications landscape.
Minister Tijani reels out 100 days achievement, hails Tinubu
The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy has reeled out his 100 days achievements as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a recent address, Minister Tijani expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for the unique honour bestowed upon him, and highlighted the collective accomplishments, outlining the path ahead for the Ministry.
Commending the unwavering support from directors, agency heads, and the entire team (NCC, NITDA, NigComSat, NDPC, NIPOST, GBB, etc), he emphasised the dynamic and cohesive force that has been shaped within the Ministry during this period.
Highlighting his achievements in office, Dr Tijani said, “The Ministry’s mandate, structured around five pillars – Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Capital, and Trade – forms the core of the Strategic Blueprint. This blueprint guides the Ministry’s role in realizing the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
“In the first 100 days, the Knowledge pillar has been instrumental in driving initiatives, most notably the Three Million Technical Talent (3MTT) program. With over 1.6 million talented Nigerians applying in a month, partnerships, including a N1 Billion commitment from IHS Nigeria and UNDP’s funding for 3,000 internships, have significantly amplified the impact.
“The National AI Research Scheme received 2,118 proposals, showcasing the depth of talent in applying technology to critical sectors. Collaborations with the Raspberry Pi Foundation led to the establishment of Code Clubs in 17 locations, fostering technological talent from a young age.
“Under the Policy pillar, collaboration with NITDA resulted in the launch of the Startup Support and Engagement Portal, aligning with the Startup Act. White Papers on top AI talent of Nigerian descent and the 1:10:100 Implementation approach outline strategic directions.
“The Infrastructure pillar achieved milestones, including mapping over 2,500 innovation spaces and revamping NigComSat’s platforms. Extending coverage to underserved locations aligns with the commitment to providing digital opportunities. Engagements at global forums such as the Mobile World Congress and ITU-World Radio Conference underscore Nigeria’s global presence.”
On innovation, entrepreneurship and capital, Dr Tijani noted that “significant partnerships were forged under the Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Capital (IEC) pillar, including the $116 million financing for AFD’s I-DICE program and a $100 million Global AI partnership.”
“Initiatives like the 4IRTA platform and the Young Innovative Builders program demonstrate dedication to leveraging technology for sustainable development,” he narrated.
The Minister explained further that the achievements of his 100 days in office were a result of collective efforts that have shaped the first 100 days.
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