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FG’s Effort Towards 95% Digital Literacy By 2030 Achievable, Says DG NITDA

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Olushola Okunlade Writes

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said the Federal Government efforts toward promoting digital literacy has started yielding results, indicating its 95 per cent digital literacy target by 2030 achievable.

The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, made this known at the graduation ceremony of 50 children, including 10 Almajiris at the Engausa Global Tech Hub in Kano State.

The young children were subjected to extensive training for two weeks on innovative digital skills in Computer Networking, Installation of CCTV cameras, Graphic Design, innovative creativity, among others.

Engausa Global Tech Hub is an Incubation centre,  currently working in collaboration with NITDA in Kano, where young boys are being subjected to intensive training at their early stage, using the Hausa language in building their skills on digital technology.

Inuwa said that the centre had in 2021 trained over 700 young boys who were selected from various rural communities in the state, adding that he was very happy that the centre has cooped young Almajiris into the system.

STAKEHOLDERS’ ENGAGEMENT CRITICAL FOR REGULATORY AGENCIES -DG NITDA To further underscore the role of data of various kind as the ‘new oil’ in our emerging digital economy, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Mallam Kashifu Inuwa has said; “It has become imperative for stakeholders and regulatory agencies to engage in effective management of environmental data and information management due to the rapid increase of environmental impact assessment that has made data become more valuable during decision making”. Mallam Inuwa, who was represented at the 15th National Stakeholder Forum of the National Environment Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency NESREA, by Barrister Emmanuel Edet, NITDA’s Head of Legal Unit, made this assertion while delivering the goodwill message on his behalf on the theme "Environmental Data and Information Management: A key to Environmental Governance in Nigeria. Mallam Inuwa noted that by looking at levels of pollutants, emissions, and other wastes that are being discharged, government and relevant stakeholders in the environmental protection sector can evaluate how to remain environmentally compliant, become more efficient, and save money, resources and manpower by making informed decisions through the use data. While commending the convening of stakeholders’ forum at this period as very apt and timely, the NITDA boss expressed that adequate consideration to the importance of environmental data and effective information management in providing solutions to environmental challenges would encourage and promote data accuracy. “The availability, ease, and speed of collecting environmental data have significantly accelerated in this information age due to the widespread use of digital technologies that has enhanced easy access to direct observation of various environmental data, which is now increasing within consumers' reach,” Inuwa said. He disclosed that robust environmental governance requires the participation of stakeholders, provision of fair legal frameworks, and transparency in decision-making processes, as well as the enforcement of policies following due rules and regulations. He also appreciated the management of NESREA for its consistency in involving stakeholders in making decisions that concerns the nation. In his welcome remarks, the NESREA’s Director General, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, noted that the Agency had initiated the gradual implementation of its data and information management through the recent automation of its processes namely; the Compliance Monitoring Information Systems, (NECMIS), which is dedicated to ensuring that compliance records generated over the years are organised to produce useful environmental governance and the NESREA Permit, Audit and Management, (NESPAM), which is intended to aid the generation, collation, analysis, storage and retrieval of data for compliance monitoring and enforcement programs. He urged all the participants to synergize their efforts towards achieving the expected outcomes of this year’s forum. The event witnessed various environmental enthusiasts and stakeholders from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) of Government, consultants, corporate organisations, the academia and civil society groups. The Hon. Minister of State Environment, Hon. Sharon O. Ikeazor Esq presented the keynote address while the opening remark was delivered by the former Minister of State for Environment and Emir of Nasarawa, HRH Alh Ibrahim Usman Jibril, who was the special guest of honour at the event.
MALLAM KASHIFU INUWA ABDULLAHI, NITDA DG.

“We have been collaborating with Engausa as the founder said. As a result of the intervention we have done for the centre last year,  they had multiplied the number of people they trained. In 2021 they trained more than 700 people in this centre as a result of this collaboration,” he said.

Kashifu added that the agency has been expanding the collaboration and we are going to do more with them this year to see how we can help the less privileged children to have access to digital technology. 

“One of our mandates is to implement the policy under the National Digital Economy Policy for digital Nigeria to a logical conclusion in achieving the 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030. You know the government cannot do it alone, we need to partner with centres like Engausa to achieve this. So, we are working with them to even expand this centre beyond Kano to other States and also to see how we can equip them more,” DG added.

Explaining further, Kashifu said; “we are also looking at how we can assist the children who have participated in this programme to start their own businesses.”

Earlier,  the founder of the centre, Mr Mustapha Ringim, said the centre was out to bridge the productivity gap among the young people, especially those who cannot make it to informal school. “I realised that there are a lot of things that I can offer to the community concerning breaking some barriers and bridging some gaps which are limiting the productivity of our youth, especially the downtrodden ones at the grassroots, the Almajiris, and school-drop-outs who cannot continue their studies due to lack of proficiency in the English Language, among other things,” he said.

Ringing said he realised that Language should not be a barrier to achieving one’s dream, especially when it comes to the global world. He argued that there are a lot of developments in countries that are not using the English Language as a medium of learning skills, like European countries where English is not well spoken but still technology,  innovation and creativity is flourishing in those countries. 

“So, I realised that the English Language is not the only medium of learning skills, it is not the only medium of prosperity when it comes to knowledge and when it comes to practising what you know.  

That is why I break the language barrier of English and domesticated the technology and the skills I have in me so that the people will easily tap from my knowledge through the use of Hausa language for better understanding of the subject matter, ” he explained.

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Women In Tech: NITDA, NCAIR Reinforces Alliance With NIWIIT To Close Digital Gender Divide

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Women In Tech: NITDA, NCAIR Reinforces Alliance With NIWIIT To Close Digital Gender Divide

…NIWIIT held its 10th anniversary, 7th National Conference, and Annual General Meeting

Rashidat Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE has encouraged girls and women with relevant technological abilities to harness their potential by upscaling their skills in order to close the digital gender gap in the country.

Women In Tech: NITDA, NCAIR Reinforces Alliance With NIWIIT To Close Digital Gender Divide
Deputy Director, Digital Economy Department, NITDA, Dr. Amina Sambo delivered the Director-General’s speech on the occasion of the 7th National Conference of the Nigerian Women in Information Technology (NIWIIT) in Lagos.

The Director-General who was represented by the Deputy Director, Digital Economy Department, Dr. Amina Sambo threw open the challenge at the 10th Year Anniversary of the Association of Nigerian Women in Information Technology, (NIWIIT) National Conference in Lagos.

Inuwa, in his goodwill message on the theme “Unleashing Innovation: Scaling Up Digital Skills for Women and Girls” noted that bringing women to speed in the Nation’s digital economy journey is critical to the country’s long-term prosperity.

“Women and girls account for more than 50% of our population. At this age, building the digital skills of this population is one of the most strategic and wisest things any Government could embark on to unleash innovation in entrepreneurship and other frontiers for social and economic growth”.

Hajjia Khadeeja Aliyyu Yahaya, BICT Bauchi State with NIWIIT President Dele Bayo Osibo on Wednesday.

The NITDA DG while commending the organizers for bringing the digital gender divide concerns to the front burner at its 7th National Conference, was optimistic that the panel discussion sessions will give great insights into creative approaches toward building the digital skills of the women in the most impactful manner.

He averred that the ongoing efforts will not only help the country prepare girls and women for future opportunities but also for global competitiveness.

Inuwa who made reference to the African Developer Ecosystem report quoted that “Female career growth was heavily impacted as childcare and home responsibilities increased during COVID-19 lockdown.’’

The Director-General observed that women and girls are faced with fewer opportunities to develop and explore the heights of their potential, which are mostly attributed to limited support and placements for them, physiological reasons, and perceived relegation of women folk to home keeping and childbearing; thereby truncating the potentials women carry, long before they can be developed.

“These realities remain more dominant in the developing countries of the world. While women in first-world countries also deal with problems of career resilience, their counterparts in poorer countries have the other hurdles of poverty, poor healthcare, and low standard of living, to deal with on a daily basis, thereby depriving them of a conducive environment to develop their potential”.

The NITDA Boss however expressed confidence in the possibility of changing the narrative with the growth in digital technology penetration and consumption in Nigeria; stressing that to fully harness the opportunities that abound, however, requires reorientation, contemporary training in digital literacy and skills, and training that will equip women and girls with the digital skills they need to participate in the ever-growing global digital economy which Oxford Economics values at $11.5 trillion dollars or approximately 16% of the Global Economy.

“Digital solutions and the requisite digital skills have the potential to create opportunities for women to make a difference in society and earn industry-standard fees for making such services available, further positioning themselves to export their skills internationally as real drivers of change”.

Having understood the potential of the value women can create, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa said has been making significant strides to empower women in developing digital skills through the creation of various capacity-building programs and initiatives to support digital entrepreneurship in women and also accelerate the achievement of the objectives of its digital literacy and skills strategy.

“We give women and girls special consideration in all of our initiatives and programs. Women should not be discouraged; there are favourable reports about girls and women’s development. Therefore, there is a need to continue creating and strengthening awareness and preparing our women and girls for the challenge of today and preparing them for tomorrow’s opportunities”,  the DG stressed.

Inuwa who maintained that the rapid rise of digital consumption in Nigeria has created a gap in the supply chain that highly skilled and trained women and girls in IT can fill, charged NIWIIT to create awareness of the need to continually build the digital skills needed to harness opportunities and create value that never existed before through innovations.

He assured the group that the Agency is happy to be associated with the platform and will do its best to support the implementation of the conference’s recommendations in order to unleash spurge digital entrepreneurship innovations for everyone’s social and economic development. 

Women In Tech: NITDA, NCAIR Reinforces Alliance With NIWIIT To Close Digital Gender Divide
Group photograph of NIWIIT members and President Dele-Bayo Osibo in the middle during the event at Lagos Airport Hotel on Wednesday.

The President of the Nigerian Women in Information Technology (NIWIIT), Dele Bayo-Osibo while asserting that inclusion is the currency of the moment, in general, and digital inclusion in particular, affirmed that the urgency to be included in the moving train cannot be overemphasized and must be intentional.

“NIWIIT must take on the baton and contribute her quota to this clarion opportunity for building the Nation of the future”, she added.

The NIWIIT President expressed appreciation to NITDA and other collaborators for identifying with the platform and its projections.

Other speakers also added their voices to the dire need of closing the digital gender gap for the collective prosperity of all, irrespective of gender, tribe, or political affiliations.

Women In Tech: NITDA, NCAIR Reinforces Alliance With NIWIIT To Close Digital Gender Divide
Group photograph of NIWIIT members and President Dele-Bayo Osibo in the middle during the event at Lagos Airport Hotel on Wednesday.

National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) Official, Mr. Muhammad Jidda gave an insightful lecture on Robots and Robotics, and how it works, he said: Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of Robots during his Introduction to Robots and Robotics. Robots are electromechanical systems designed to help people with tedious, repetitive, and sometimes dangerous tasks. Robots are artificial mechanical devices whose motion must be modeled, planned, sensed, actuated, and controlled. Whose motion behavior can be influenced by programming.

“Whenever you hear the word Robot, it may bring to your mind a picture of a human form machine but Robot is more than that, there are different types of Robots”

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NITDA, Only Government Agency Conferred With National Productivity Order Merit NPOM Award

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NITDA, Only Government Agency Conferred With National Productivity Order Merit NPOM Award

…President Muhammadu Buhari Confers National Merit Award On NITDA For its Productivity

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has been conferred the prestigious “National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award” in recognition of the Agency’s high productivity, hard work, and excellence in service delivery.

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR chaired the Award Ceremony held at the Banquet Hall, State House, Asokoro, Abuja.

According to the National Productivity Order of Merit Award Committee, NITDA’s recommendation and subsequent nomination came after a rigorous selection process, and the Agency recorded impressive and commendable achievements in facilitating the development of Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy.

“NITDA adheres strictly to information security and safety. The Agency’s proactive action in creating a robust incident Management Procedure, through which any irregular or adverse event that occurs and affects the normal functioning of a system is adequately dealt with, is a worthy accomplishment”, the statement read.

The Award which falls into the “2020 Organizational Category” highlights NITDA as the only government agency among other privately owned Organizations to be so recognized.

NITDA, Only Government Agency Conferred With National Productivity Order Merit NPOM Award
LEFT-RIGHT: NITDA DG IN HANDSHAKE WITH PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI.

Statement from the organizers further read: “Another commendable attribute of the agency is its commitment to improve and sustain productivity through training and retraining of staff. As a matter of policy, every staff of NITDA is expected to have at least forty hours of training within three years. This has resulted in improved competencies, knowledge and skills of the Staff”.

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE received the glamorous Award on behalf of the Agency.

Shortly after receiving the award from President Buhari, Inuwa pledged the Agency’s continuous determination towards the expansion of the digital space in order to impact more lives of many Nigerians through the development of an increased critical mass of IT proficiency and global competitive manpower.

The National Productivity Order of Merit Award which was part of activities to celebrate the 19th National Productivity Day is an award of honor and dignity instituted by the Federal Government to recognize hard work and excellence.

As the only (Government Agency) recipient of the National Award this year,  and as an Apex IT Agency charged with the responsibility of creating an enabling environment where Nigerians will develop, adopt, and derive value from digital technologies, NITDA sees this rare honor as not just a pat on the back but a challenge to intensify efforts towards its digital inclusion pursuits.

The hope, NITDA believes, is to do the needful to get all Nigerians onboard the Digital journey of the Federal Government and ensure that the country puts its best foot forward in being the comity of technologically driven Nations.

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NITDA Holds Capacity Building Programme For Staff Of MDAs, Military, Paramilitary On Digital Literacy, Cyber Security, And Cloud Computing

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NITDA Holds Capacity Building Programme For Staff Of MDAs, Military, Paramilitary On Digital Literacy, Cyber Security, And Cloud Computing

NITDA Holds Capacity Building Programme for Staff of MDAs, Military and Paramilitary on Digital Literacy, Cyber Security and Cloud Computing

Olushola Okunlade Writes

In view of the fact that digital technologies are changing the world at a faster pace than previously experienced waves of technological innovation and are reshaping and introducing new business models and sectors, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, has reemphasized the need to have a digitally literate workforce, if Nigeria must succeed in accelerating the growth and modernization of its economy and governance.

He said this at the virtual Opening Ceremony of a capacity building programme for members of staff of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Military and Paramilitary on Digital Literacy, Cyber Security Essentials and Cloud Computing.

The NITDA Boss, who was represented by the Special Assistant (Technical ) to the DG, Dr Onimisi Yahaya Mohammed, while underscoring the importance of the training said the agency, as a forward-looking organization, is aware of the relevance of civil servants in delivering government programmes.

According to the DG, the digital transformation efforts of the government cannot be completed without carrying along with the Civil Servants, Military and Paramilitary.

Inuwa further affirmed that the Federal Government of Nigeria is keen on digitalizing its activities; for which the MDAs are central to the implementation.

Meanwhile, to institutionalize the digitalization programmes in the Federal Public Institutions (FPIs), the Director-General said NITDA had to set up a Digital Transformation Technical Working Group (DTTWG) whose members are meant to drive down the programmes at a different level of government.

He recalled that so far, the members of DTTWG for 200 Federal Public Institutions have been trained and another batch of 200 is to be trained this year-2022.

“We in NITDA have supported so many FPIs in terms of tools and training, we are already collaborating and will always be willing to partner with stakeholders to support our economic diversification and sustainability plan for the country”.

NITDA Holds Capacity Building Programme For Staff Of MDAs, Military, Paramilitary On Digital Literacy, Cyber Security, And Cloud Computing

While imploring the participants to partake fully and transfer the knowledge gained at the end of the training to their colleagues who could not make it to the training, Inuwa pledged the agency’s unflinching determination toward achieving the benchmark of 95% Digital Literacy by 2030.

The Manager, ITIS Department, NITDA, Chinyere Nwankwo, who gave an overview of the Capacity Building Programme made it known that the participants are staff drawn from forty MDAs, Military and Paramilitary who were nominated by their various organizations.

She further explained that the training is structured to be delivered in two batches (Virtual & In-person) with 20 organizations in each.

“Upskilling the 200 participating members of staff will help Nigeria to catch up with the rest of the world in the area of digitization, job creation, technology adaptation and deployment in the workplace”.

Mrs. Nwankwo expressed the hope that the first batch which has a number of 100 participants, as with the subsequent batch, will seize the opportunity to effectively learn and afterwards utilize the knowledge gained to achieve the sole aim of the initiative.

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