Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, the director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has been honoured with IT Gold Merit award at this year’s National Information Technology Merit Award (NITMA).
NITMA is a flagship award of the Nigeria Computer Society aimed at recognising, celebrating, and rewarding outstanding excellence and exceptional contributions of individuals and organisations in the Information Technology field in Nigeria.
Born on the February 21, 1980, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
Abdullahi is a Massachusetts Institute of technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years+ experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture, across both private and public sectors. He attended Leadership and Management courses in Harvard University in the USA, University of Cambridge in the UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.
In 2014, Abdullahi joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing technology architecture repository that gives 360 view of the Bank’s IT infrastructure and facilitated ease of decision making on new IT investment.
He was part of the team that executed software license rationalization that has increased cost savings for the Bank in license annual subscription.
As the 1st Cisco Certified International Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s public sector, he is also a Certified Project Manager and Solution Architect.
He also has professional certifications in Networking, Telecommunications, Service Management and Solution Design.
Abdullahi was a key resource in the development of IT Standards for the apex bank, which has reduced mean time to deploy/integrate new system by over 20%. One of his major achievements as a technology Architect was the production of Seven (7) Solution Architectures for Critical IT Initiatives that helped in achieving cashless society in Nigeria.
He joined NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the Director General/CEO. Being the IT regulatory body in the Nigeria mandated to implement National ICT Policy, he managed execution of strategy which has increased ICT contributions to Nigerian GDP.
He also coordinated Local Content initiatives that have increased ICT local production by over 200% in 2017.
President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the appointment of Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, as the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in August 2019 following the elevation of the then Director General, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami now Professor of Cybersecurity), to the position of Minister of Communications, which was his ministry later re-designated to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
In these two years+ of his appointment, Abdullahi proved to the world that he knows the ICT global terrain deeply and he is very aware of the challenges, limitations and constraints keeping Nigeria – a nation of about 200 million lagging behind in the evolving world of digital economy.
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Against all odds that face Nigeria’s IT sector, Kashifu has an indefatigable vision and passion to take the nation into the comity of nations running on digital economy.
Tough, it is a herculean task considering six month after his appointment, the entire world found itself fighting an invisible enemy – COVID-19, but that does not stop him from looking outside the box to find out the lasting solutions of the economic challenge posed by the deadly virus.
Abdullahi has already made it to a stage where he plays pivotal roles in Nigeria’s quest to be Africa’s largest digital economy.
Abdullahi is a member of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and the British Computer Society (BCS).
While conferring the award on Abdullahi, Professor Adesina Sodiya, president of NCS, said “We must encourage those in our environment who are using their knowledge, creativity and resourcefulness to develop local tech solutions that are so essential to the drive for socio economic, growth, recovery and development.
“NCS calls on you to celebrate them because this is about progress and the future of our nation.
The NITMA event is a strong and purposeful indication of our commitment to celebrating talent and highlighting the innovation, excellence, vision, and dedication of individuals and organizations within the IT industry and community”, Prof. Sodiya said.