NITDA Plays Vital Role In Nigeria’s technology transformation goals – Prof. Danbatta, NCC
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta has maintained that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), plays a vital role in the efforts made to achieve Nigeria’s technology transformation goals.
Danbatta while speaking at the NITDA @20 Anniversary conference held in Abuja on Monday, April 19, said the NITDA has met Nigerians expectations in the past 20 years.
Speaking, Kashifu Abdullahi, CEO of NITDA said, the purpose of re-naming the Communication Ministry to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, was to create a policy framework that would oversee the development of the digital economy of a digital Nigeria.
“Subsequently, on the 28th of November, 2019, the President unveiled the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) to facilitate the diversification of our economy and position Nigeria to tap from the $11.5trillion global digital economy worth” he said.
Abdullahi also noted that the NITDA is playing pivotal roles to actualize the objectives of the NDEPS as it had done with the National IT Policy.
“These achievements include huge ICT contribution to GDP from less than 0.5% in 2001 to more than 14% in 2020, catalysing job creation and igniting innovative activities in the tech ecosystem.
“Likewise, we have achieved a lot in digital inclusion and literacy. As a result, now we are witnessing the emergence of new economic sectors like Fintech, eCommerce, Venture Capital investment, Business Process Outsourcing, Data Protection Compliance Organisations, IT equipment manufacturing, and robust software industry.
“With this important milestone in carrying out our mandates, we think our 20th-anniversary is worth celebrating. Since its establishment, NITDA has evolved in many aspects and responded to its mandates’ dynamics.
“You may be aware that the Agency’s mandates are to achieve three broad objectives, mainly; To provide advisory services, regulate and develop the Information Technology Sector.
“Therefore, the Agency focuses on bridging the digital divide, providing the enabling environment, and strengthening the tech ecosystem. In 2007, we started our developmental interventions by deploying ten (10) Rural Information Technology Resource Centre (RITC) across the country’s six Geo-Political zones. The number increased to 17 in 2008, 58 in 2009, and 119 in 2010.
“These include Community Access Venues (CACs), Knowledge Access Venues (KAVs), Digital Capacity Building Centres (DCBCs), Digital Job Creation Centres (DJCCs), Digital Divide Bridging Centres (DDBCs), Digital Economy Centres (DECs), IT Infrastructure for Higher Institutions, Wide Area Network for Higher Institutions, Virtual Library, IT Innovation and Incubation Parks, IT Community Training Centres, IT Innovation Hubs, and IT Skills Acquisition and Computer-Based Testing Centres.
“From inception to date, you will be glad to know that the Agency has deployed over one thousand, five hundred and sixty (1,560) Centres across the country, with a minimum of two Centres in each of the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
“Another critical area of focus for the Agency was Capacity Building. This started with a Train-the-Trainer programme for Lecturers in Tertiary Institutions.
“These include, the Rule-Making Process Regulation of NITDA; The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation; Guideline for the Clearance of Information Technology Projects in Federal Public Institutions; Guidelines for Public Internet Access” Abdullahi said.
Listing the achievements of NITDA, he said; NITDA licensed 72 Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCOs), created over 2,686 new job roles in the industry and developed a new data protection sector valued at around 2.2 billion Naira.
He said the Agency has successfully investigated and issued data breach fines to many organizations, including public institution. Adding that other countries are looking up to the Agency for guidance on Data Protection Regulation.