Nigeria needs to harness skills and resources of Nigerians in diaspora to sustain the country’s digital economy; achieving this requires robust partnerships with Nigerians living overseas, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has stressed while urging for greater cooperation with the technology agency.
Abdullahin spoke in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the Continental Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization, Europe (NIDOE), Dr. Bashir Obasekola.
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He said fostering partnerships with Nigerians in the diaspora would enable the government to tap into the vast opportunities offered by Nigerians with industry exposure overseas to provide a deeper sense of purpose to national development.
“NIDOE is the second largest Nigerians in diaspora organization across the world, and you being here is the beginning of a relationship we have been hoping to build”, said Abdullahi, who was represented at the meeting by the agency’s Director of Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi.
Partnering with NIDOE will provide a foundation that can be built on for further collaborations with Nigerians in the diaspora, said the NITDA boss adding that through its Research and Development department, the agency has developed a Brain Circulation Strategic Program for 2023 by networking with people in the diaspora to drive the Research and Development ecosystem of the country.
“Individually, Nigerians in the diaspora are making efforts and driving good initiatives but collectively, we can work to sustain all these initiatives which is why, in developing our regulatory instruments, we have open invitations for volunteers across the world”, Abdullahi said even as he revealed that the Code of Practice for social media, National Artificial Intelligence Policy, National Digital Skills Strategy (NDSS) and the National Outsourcing Strategy (NOS) are initiatives of the agency undergoing stakeholders engagement – all of which have drawn the interests of Nigerians in diaspora.
Citing the LEAP event held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where two Nigerian startups won a $300,000 grant as an example, Abdullahi said the engagement with NIDOE would further improve the flow of foreign direct investments into the country.
Dr. Bashir Obasekola lauded NITDA for its immense contribution to the growth of the national economy and assured that his organisation will collaborate with the agency through effective training, mentoring, consultancy, investment and funding in areas of IT Research & Development, Cybersecurity, amongst other initiatives.