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COVID-19: NITDA inaugurates advisory committee to protect start-ups, IT in Nigeria



NITDA DG, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE, during the online inauguration of the advisory Committee

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on Thursday, inaugurated a 10-Member advisory committee that will advise the federal government of Nigeria on measures  to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on start-ups, small and medium businesses as well as the Technology Ecosystem in general.

In a statement by the NITDA’s Head of Corporate Affairs & External Relations, Hadiza Umar, and made available to THE WITNESS said the inauguration is in line with the agency’s mandate of developing and regulating Information Technology (IT) inn Nigeria for sustainable national development.

The inauguration took place via virtual digital technologies (video conference), in compliance with the directive against gatherings as part of the anti-Coronavirus battle-plan.

During the inauguration of the committee

Speaking during the inauguration, the Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, disclosed that the constitution of the committee is at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.

Some of the tasks of the committee according to Abdullahi are to “devise suitable strategies for the provision of affordable Internet access to individuals and businesses; develop a Framework to facilitate access to financing for tech and tech-enabled ventures.

“Devise modalities for encouraging the development and adoption of digital technology use support policies in line with the ‘Work From Home’ directives of the Federal Government.

“Develop a support program for Innovation Hubs to facilitate access to remote resources by startups during the work from home as well as other forms of support the hubs may require to be sustainable.

The NITDA DG further said that the committee which will make effective use of digital technologies in carrying out these assignment has been given 48 hours to submit its preliminary report.

The Chairman of The Innovation Support Network (ISN) and President, African Business Angels Network (ABAN), Mr Tomi Davies is to chair the committee. Other members include: Amal Hassan, MD/CEO, Outsource Global, Bosun Tijani, MD/CEO Co-Creation Hub (CCHub), Juliet Anammah, Chairperson Jumia Nigeria and Head, International Affairs, Jumia Group, Kola Aina, Founder, Ventures Platform, Musa Ali Baba, MD/CEO Teasy Pay, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-Founder, Andela, Collins Onuegbu, MD/CEO Signal Alliance and Dr . Kalli Zannah, Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. Dr Amina Sambo-Magaji, the National Coordinator, Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), is to serve as Member/Secretary.

NITDA was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.