Connect with us

Infotech

Startup Ecosystem: DG NITDA engages key stakeholders in Lagos

Published

on

In view of the fact that Lagos State has continued to maintain itself as a viable community with the strongest unicorn of innovation in the Nation, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, has reiterated the Agency’s commitment towards giving the ecosystem the needed support to boost the sector’s contribution to the economy and strengthen the value chain.

He made the pledge during a dinner meeting with some key stakeholders of Lagos Ecosystem, including representatives from Microsoft, MasterCard, Norebase, among others.

Inuwa while suing for trust, and strengthening of the value chain deliberated on the best way to accelerate growth and support startups in the country, said, “There are lots of distrust within the government and the ecosystem, so much that the only way to engender trust between the two entities is to have this conversation.”

The Director-General assured the group of his unrelenting support to the ecosystem which he maintained would be his return base upon retirement from government service, emphasised the need for collaborations across the board to achieve a faster and more sustainable digital economy.

“We cannot succeed in isolation; we need each other to succeed. Innovation is not distributed evenly across the world. Innovation and digital economy is about humans.

“A company is as good as its next product and its products are as good as the person or people who make them. This underscores the relevance of talents. If you don’t have the requisite skills and talents, then it is no deal,” he added.

The DG seized the opportunity to share his thoughts on different issues bordering on investments, partnerships, commercialisation of innovations, enabling policies and acquisition of relevant skills as well as trainings.

“At NITDA, we are reenacting our act and laws to make it more robust so that we protect the ecosystem,” Inuwa stated.

The NITDA Boss whose friendly body language gave the forum some sort of a relaxed atmosphere was keen on listening to their opinions and suggestions on how to get the ecosystem perform much better.

“The sector we are in is dynamic and we must move with its pace, so we don’t play catch ups or get left far behind. We must disrupt the way we do things and bring to bear professionalism, innovations that will solve indigenous problems but have global impact,” the DG urged.

While taking turns to share their ideas and challenges, some of the representatives touched on diverse areas of concern and specialisations, including soliciting for government support in the development of hardware space, funding, talents, procurements, local content enforcement, mitigating gateways, policy timings and changes, data protection and management, digital skills framework, standardisation and others.

Reacting to their comments and questions, the Director-General extensively explained the efforts of NITDA under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and by extension, the Federal Government in addressing most of the issues deliberated.

The Start-up Bill was also on the front burner of his response as the DG quickly reminded them that most of the concerns raised would soon be rested, given the recent passage of the Bill into law by the National Assembly.

He assured the startups of a speedy and effective implementation of the bill to deal with the bottlenecks experienced and in the process, fast track the anticipated growth of the ecosystem.

Moreso, Inuwa highlighted the Code of Practice for Interactive Platforms as another document that is expected to engender appropriate monitoring to enforce compliance to established regulations guiding the sector, while seeking for their contribution to the document.

“We need to decide what and what are the right regulations so that every startup and industry player would have a Code of Practice that works for everyone and is adhered to the latter. Also, I think we need to form a union for Startup Ecosystem,” Inuwa added.

The engagement with Lagos ecosystem ended with a resolve by all parties to forge ahead against all odds but not just as an ecosystem but a more united and prepared for the future tasks.

The meeting was part of NITDA’s stride towards making Nigeria a talent hub for Africa and possibly the digital world, especially as there are several reports indicating a global talent shortage.

Infotech

DPI: Ministry partners ICPC to boost anti-corruption efforts

Published

on

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.”

Continue Reading

Infotech

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Infotech

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending