The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) recently held an ICT Stakeholders’ Engagement Programme in Ilorin, Kwara State to take input on best way for the agency to implement its mandate notably in the area of harvesting opportunities in the digital economy.
The stakeholders including ICT experts, government representatives, academia, startup ecosystems, ICT associations, technology solution providers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) shared ideas on how Kwara IT ecosystem could leverage various opportunities and platforms being provided by NITDA to upskill, connect and build a robust network that will facilitate gainful collaboration across sectors.
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Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said the meeting is one of the veritable platforms to pool knowledge and expertise, and to co-create solutions, to best extend NITDA’s services to all stakeholders, especially at the grassroots.
“Throughout the twenty-one-year journey of the Agency, we have had to look continuously at our mandate, reset our vision, and invigorate our mission. We have moved from being a highly centralised organisation to a functionally decentralised Institution. Our aspiration is to be an Organisation closer to the stakeholders,” said Abdullahi who was represented by Director, Zonal Offices Directorate, Mr. Babajide Ajayi.
He added: “We are also increasingly becoming a process-driven, data-dependent, and results-oriented Organisation. Our strategies and choices are pursued while always ensuring financial prudence – even in the most turbulent times and ensuring that we meet the objectives of national IT Governance, foremost of which is delivering value to our stakeholders.
“These are in tandem with our core values of People First, Innovativeness, and Professionalism. Indeed, that is why we are here today. Our stakeholders come first, and we must strive to deliver value to you. That would not be possible without listening to you and speaking with you to get clarity on your perspectives, aspirations, and needs.”
Speaking on the agency’s people-oriented programmes, Abdullahisaid, “under the supervision of Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and stakeholders, we have implemented programmes such as National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), National Adopted School for Smart Education (NASSE), Digital Literacy Capacity Training for Persons Living with Disabilities, support for ICT Innovation Hubs, building of Community IT Centres, development State IT policies, and a host of other activities.”
He said as the needs of the digital economy ecosystem grow; the agency has responded appropriately in the strategic actions it has taken in the implementation of critical areas of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
His words: “We are aware that we still have a lot to do. Therefore, we are committed to making further progress over the coming year, and we look forward to the continued support of all our stakeholders.”
On his part, the Commissioner for Business Innovation and Technology, Ibrahim Ajake, said digital platform in entrepreneurship is critical to real growth and digitalisation changes the dybamivs of doing business across borders, bringing down the cost of international interaction and transaction.
According to him, digital entrepreneurship knowledge is one of the major ways Nigerian entrepreneurs can upscale their potentials in the global market.
His words: “Digital evolution creates markets and user communities with global scale, providing business with huge base of potential customers and effective ways to reach them.”
“I am confident that the stakeholder’s engagement meeting will be of immense value to the ICT inclined public and keep abreast with necessary opportunity to enhance market access in order to tap into the foreign exchange earnings.”