FG plans to reposition Nigeria’s technology ecosystem

A group photograph with Director-General of NITDA, Directors of the agency and journalists
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By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says it plans to reposition Nigeria’s technology ecosystem to emerge as a global digital talent power house.

NITDA Director-General, Malam Kashifu Inuwa, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at a media parley with the theme ”Exceptional Media Relations, Strengthening Bonds Beyond Headlines”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the media parley was organised to discuss NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan for 2024-2027.

Inuwa said the roadmap was designed in line with President Bola Tinubu’s eight priority areas targeted at diversifying the nation’s economy.

He added that the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy also rolled out five strategic objectives to achieve development in the IT sector.

The NITDA boss said the agency crafted the eight pillars Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan as a comprehensive document that reflected commitment to uplifting Nigeria to a premier status in the global digital economy.

He said this would be done by harnessing the potential of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Inuwa said the agency had also developed the National Digital Literacy Framework in line with the first pillar, which was aimed at fostering digital literacy and cultivation of talents.

According to him, the framework has an ambitious target of achieving 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030, and that can make us surpass India in technology, among other initiatives.

“We are working with the Ministry of Education to review the curriculum across the formal education, from nursery to university so that we can infuse digital literacy in our formal education.

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“By doing that, we can empower Nigerians to have digital skills before graduating.

“We are also conceptualising other initiatives which include the Digital Literacy for All Initiative which will be unveiled soon,” director-general said.

He added that the initiative would ensure Nigerians were educated on IT outside the formal education and have access to quality digital content.

“This can help them have the knowledge to navigate around digital technology and digital economy.

“The talents and digital literacy are quick wins and can easily create value for our citizens, but for the future, we need to invest heavily in research.”

The director-general said that apart from digital literacy, the agency was working to ensure digital sovereignty, to develop all digital innovation in the country.

“We conducted skills gap assessment to identify skills in high demand locally and globally, and based on that, we have identified 12 tech skills in high demand and we used that to design three million tech talent initiative.

“The initiative is to train three million Nigerians on those 12 identified tech talents in high demand.

“The idea is that when we train them, some will be able to serve local market and some leave Nigeria to get job somewhere for brain export not brain drain,” Inuwa said.

He recalled that India started brain export about 20 years ago, adding that” presently, almost 25 per cent of sea level executives in big technology companies are Indians and they have dominated the global technology ecosystem.

“Nigeria can do same because we have even more competitive advantage than India. We have the population, better accent, better time zone and if we position ourselves, we can beat India in technology.”

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The NITDA boss added that the agency had a mid-term target of achieving 70 per cent digital literacy by 2027.

He said that the strategic plan intended to position Nigeria as a digitally inclined nation in line with the “Renewed Hope Agenda” of the present administration.

He added that IT was an enabler that would ensure development in other sectors.

He said the pillars of the strategic plan included building a robust technology research ecosystem, strengthening policy implementation and legal frameworks as well as promotion of inclusive access to digital infrastructure and services.

“Others are strengthening cybersecurity and enhancing digital trust, nurturing an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem, forging strategic partnerships and collaborations, as well as cultivating a vibrant organisational culture and an agile workforce in NITDA. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Deji Abdulwahab

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