The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is seeking the support of Business Sweden which the regulatory agency has identified as a major attraction of foreign partnership towards talent development.
Business Sweden, a platform to drive business, has a unique government and private sector mandate that helps international and Swedish companies to leverage their strengths and lay the foundation for green, inclusive, and digital growth – in Sweden and across global markets.
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Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi expressed the desire of the agency to work with Business Sweden in line with the proposal made by the Deputy Ambassador of Sweden in Nigeria, Mr. Joran Bjallerstedt and his team during a recent courtesy visit to NITDA in Abuja.
Abdullahi expressed NITDA’s readiness to partner with the Business Sweden to explore the diverse avenues in promoting trade and entrepreneurship for the Nigerian teeming youths in line with one of the pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
“With the Startup Act, Nigeria is positioning to thrive in the Information Technology ecosystem, and President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is set to inaugurate the Council for the Startup Act, which is the apex organ for the implementation of the Nigerian Startup Act,” said the NITDA boss adding that a technical working group committee is drafting the implementation framework for the Startup Act in collaboration with the private sector.
He also said the government was working on the Nigeria outsourcing strategy, which is going to focus on making Nigeria the preferred outsourcing destination of the world.
According to him, the National Digital Skills and Strategy, which is aimed at making Nigeria the global talent factory towards bridging the global talent gaps is already working to connect various talents with jobs.
“We can supply Sweden with the right talent needed to develop your businesses because in the digital economy or in the world we are today, companies are as good as its next products or services,” he said.
He assured that Nigeria has the requisite talent required to nurture its citizen to fit into the best digital offerings the world has to offer because of the nation’s youthful population.
“NITDA recently, launched the regulatory intelligence framework that creates awareness on happenings within the ecosystem and gathers intelligence on how to regulate processes which enables dynamism in our regulation formulation.’’
“Our regulations focus on achieving four objectives which are, to regulate market creation, to enable innovation, to regulate customer or consumer protection, and to regulate efficiency and effective service delivery,” he added.
He noted that some issues of concerns in Nigeria are waste management, transportation and logistics, financial inclusion, and agriculture among others
He said efforts are ongoing in building clusters for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to wedge against the lack of job opportunities for graduates. The agency is into many partnerships geared towards digital skill acquisition with MIT-REAP, Google, CISCO and others.
“In the same vein, we are sponsoring students for first degree, MSC and PhD on different courses, and currently in talks with the Universities in changing their curriculum to address the skill gap deficiencies among graduates,” he added.
The Director General for Business Sweden West Africa, Anthonia Adenaya, earlier expressed her organisations intent to work with NITDA.
“We work to promote relationships in Sweden and other countries in Africa and would love to develop innovation highway between Nigeria and Sweden, especially in areas that Nigeria wants to develop under the purview of NITDA.” Said Adenaya as she commended NITDA’s efforts in enabling a robust digital economy adding that NITDA’s objectives aligns with Business Sweden which is “a powerhouse of innovation, sustainability, co-creation, and equality.”
She agreed that there are lots of talents in Nigeria notably when it comes to trade talent which her organisation is willing to export to Sweden. She said the proposed training format is project-specific; tailored to fit a particular company specification and requirements.
“We train students from the perspective and the vision of the company so that they are ready to be exported into the system,” she added.
The Special Assistant on Digital Transformation to the NITDA boss, Dr. Aminu Lawal, while speaking on other strides of the agency towards co-creating within the ecosystem, said that there have been several internal reforms in the agency to prepare it for emerging challenges and opportunities.