The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has stated that Nigeria has carved a niche as one of the most digitally competitive nations globally. This remarks comes after President Muhammadu Buhari redesigned the Ministry of Communications into the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. Abdullahi during a webinar which saw him discuss on the topic ‘The Social and Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Nigerian Youth,’ revealed that Nigeria can count itself as a nation with great impact on the digital space.
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Commending the initiative of the government towards making Nigeria a leading digital economy, the NITDA boss noted that the agency has refocused its efforts towards ensuring that the National Digital Economy Strategy is fully implemented. He went further to reveal that the sole aim of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) policy is to restore the Nigerian economic growth while equally leveraging on the opportunities made available by the talent and knowledge of Nigerians, especially the youth population. The key role played by ICT towards encouraging investment in the digital economy is equally identified in the ERGP policy.
Commenting further, Kashifu noted that the government in a bid to accelerate digital transformation in Nigeria has embarked on numerous initiatives such as:
- Development and implementation of the Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (Ne-GIF)
- Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA)
- Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP)
- Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR)
- Nigeria Smart Initiatives Policy Framework (NSIPF)
While addressing the opportunities available for the Nigerian youth in the digital space during and after the corona virus pandemic, the DG opined that there is always a hidden opportunity which he described as ‘silver lining’ in the time of crisis. Also, he mentioned the agency’s successful initiatives under the COVID-19 lockdown such as the Tech4covid19 initiative and the Virtual Startup Clinic.
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The most promising silver lining during COVID-19 crisis is the accelerating trends that is shaping the future of digital economy. At NITDA we have rolled out several initiatives in order to help Nigerian youth identify and grab the hidden opportunities within COVID-19 crisisKashifu Inuwa Abdullahi
Also, NITDA in its bid towards meaninfuly engaging the youth to utilize their time during the lockdown, initiated and successfully executed the NITDA Academy Virtual Learning Platform. A platform which has assisted a lot of youth in the country to develop a strong mental resistance to the psychological effects caused by staying at home, as well as learn new skills.
So far, we have over 13,400 active students learning 47 different courses; Nigeria COVID-19 Innovation Challenge – held online to tackle the challenges our society is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Five startups with highly innovative ideas were selected for the final challenge after exciting pitch and contest, three of them emerged best and won prizes; NITDA Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Support Scheme – a scheme to support startups and hubs across the country. With over 120 hubs in Nigeria, we are finalizing plans to ensure rapid intervention is provided for hubs and startups based on competence and carefully selected criteriaAbdullahi
Tech Economy NG
Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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