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NITDA @ 20: Pantami, others hail ICT agency’s landmark contributions to Nigerian economy



NITDA @ 20: Pantami, others hail ICT agency's landmark contributions to Nigerian economy
Isa Pantami, Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, DG NITDA, Abdullahi, EVC of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, DG NIMC, Abubakar and MD NIGCOMSAT, Dr. Alale unveiling the anniversary logo

It was a session of encomium pouring on the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) for its gaint stride in the Nigerian technology and ICT as well as its developmental impact on the nation’s economy.

The 20th anniversary ceremony which was held to at the Nigerian capital city with virtual participation by the stakeholders was an opportunity to reflect on the journey so far by the agency, which narrowly escaped been scraped by the Oronsaye Report.

Leading the encomium procession during the virtual event which was monitored by TechnologyMirror, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami in his keynote address stated that NITDA which was marked for scrapping by the Oronsaye Report is now been asked to take on more responsibility due to the impact that it played in helping to move the Nigerian economy out of recession.

The Minister who left NITDA to take-up Ministerial responsibility in the government of President Mumammadu Buhari noted that the management bequeathed the running of NITDA to under the leadership of Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi made key achievement, he listed to include: IT Project Clearance for the government and Data Protection.

According to him, the NITDA leadership under Abdullahi save the Nigeria government the lost of about N2 billion through its consistent scrutiny of government IT project adding that the level of integrity in the clearance process of the IT projects is commendable.

He also stated that NITDA made tremendous achievement in area of Data Protection, an aspect, he said has put Nigeria on the global map following the impact of the NITDA Data Protection policy adding that other African countries are coming to learn from Nigeria.

The Minister equally lauded the Abdullahi team for out its meager resource to offer IT training to Nigerians including the women and the physically challenged adding that return for the hardworking team, the Government recently introduced a new service condition.

And the Managing Director, Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, Dr. Abimbola Alale in her goodwill message appreciated the legacy of achievement that the Minister left for the Agency, noting that his commitment to NITDA made it focused on the agenda he set before leaving.

She noted the consistency of the NITDA team in keeping focus on the agenda, which the minister set for NITDA while he was heading it.

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission, (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Abubakar disclosed that NITDA has transform Nigeria and has made NIMC more resilient.

While congratulating Abdullahi and his team, he expressed hope that the team will achieve more milestones and that he looked forward to more acceleration for the team.

While welcoming the stakeholders to make the 20th anniversary, the NITDA Director General/Chief Executive Officer disclosed that the agenda that brought the Agency thus far has expired and a new one will be unveiled this week.
According to him, NITDA was was established in April 2001 and it has the mandate to regulate, develop, and advise on Information Technology practices in Nigeria saying that the marking of the anniversary was “a huge milestone for every Nigerian because NITDA’s creation symbolised our resolution to embrace digital transformation.”

He said: “NITDA has been working assiduously to help Nigeria catch the train of the 4th industrial revolution without leaving any sector of the economy behind. The Agency has played critical roles in national development by providing the legal framework for information technology development, pioneering IT developmental projects, facilitating access to information technology goods and services, catalysing job creation and ensuring national security.”

Abdullahi disclosed that the instituted strategic planning and crafted the Agency’s Strategic Roadmap, 2017-2020 was the brain child of the Minister saying that it was anchored on seven (7) pillars: IT Regulations, Local Content Development and Promotion, Cyber Security, Government Digital Service Promotion, Digital Job Creation, Digital Inclusion, and Capacity Building.

He noted the Roadmap shaped and created a direction for the Agency’s activities and immensely contributed to the unprecedented achievements.

He expressed excitement that NITDA has substantially actualised the National IT Policy’s goal to digitise Nigeria and the Agency is now in the phase of digitalising the country noting that the IT Clearance has saved over N22.45 billion for the Federal Government.

He stated that with the expiration of NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap 2017 – 2020, we have developed a new Strategic Roadmap in line with NDEPS, which will be unveiled next week.

The Minister unveiled the anniversary log at the event.