The National Information Technology Development Agency, said the ICT sector has bailed Nigeria out of a COVID-19 -induced recession that was predicted to crush the Nigerian spirit.
The Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, made the disclosure at the NITDA 20th anniversary, and launch of the SERAP (2021-2024).
He added that the agency has attracted more foreign investments into the digital economy sector than any developing country globally.
“Our developmental regulations have created new economic industry such as business process outsourcing, data protection and a robust software industry.
Despite the modest achievements recorded by the Agency, we are not oblivious of the multi-dimensional challenges confronting our country. But we believe there is a silver lining for innovation to create prosperity for all. We have an excellent opportunity to leapfrog into the future through the 4th industrial revolution. We are blessed with the most prominent black diaspora, resilient and resourceful youths, solid and diverse culture, abundant natural resources.
According to him, NITDA is prepared to act as an institutional catalyst to actualize the long-held dream of every Nigerian to build a nation where peace, prosperity and justice will reign.
“The theme for the day Growth and Resilience is exciting because it captures the moment. NITDA has grown beyond the dreams of its founders. NITDA was established to implement the Nigerian National IT Policy, which I can confidently say, that we have delivered 100% with higher and deeper impacts to our economy. Now, we talk of resilience because NITDA sees digital technologies as a source of inspiration to reinvent and meet the digital age challenges in an increasingly dynamic and competitive world.”
Speaking further he said the agency has made significant difference and touched the lives of more than 2.5 million Nigerians.
“Twenty years is a significant milestone in the life of any institution. Some of the biggest companies in the world today were established in the last twenty years or less. Therefore, it is critical for NITDA to introspect its past and project into the future, set new targets, and improve for the better. Today’s event is twofold. The first part will review the purpose of NITDA’s existence and reflect on the journey so far, and the second part will unveil the next phase of the journey.”
While speaking about Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), he said it is an overarching policy vision that needs strategic action by all relevant stakeholders to become a reality.
“NITDA, no doubt, is pivotal to the implementation of the NDEPS. It is for this purpose that the Agency has initiated a thorough strategy drafting process as introduced by my predecessor, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. This process was carried out in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders by identifying gaps and opportunities in Nigeria’s digital economy aspiration. Critical government policies and documents such as the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship policy, National Broadband Action Plan, Cyber security Policy, amongst others, were consulted to have strategy coherence”.
Speaking at the event, Mr Abdul Hakeem Ajijola,commended the NTDA team for contributing to ICT development, and thereby increasing the country’s Gross Domestic product.
He further charged the agency to be more encompassing in its approach, and deployment of ICT innovation.
“In developing framework , do not assume there is funding available, always ensure that funding is available every time, there is need for a new project. We still have lot of work to be done, especially in the rural communities. We need to improve in our efficiency and the way in which we do things in order to be relevant in the 4th industrial revolution.”
He further advised NITDA to empower the youths in the area of ICT development, as they make up a large part of the population.