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NITDA, NUJ Partner On Digital Journalism

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NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi

“Today, anybody can be a journalist without knowing the journalistic ethics” – NITDA DG

Olushola Okunlade Writes

In order to check quackery and the rising cases of fake news in the practice of journalism as well as provide eligible journalists with the latest technological tools with which they will carry out their jobs professionally and be at par with international best practices, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has given a nod to the proposed partnership sought by the national body of the fourth estate of the realm -The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

This was during a courtesy visit by members of the Union, led by its National President, Mr. Chris Isiguzo.

The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE, while emphasizing the relevance of emerging technologies in journalism, decried the adverse effect of fake news which he described as unimaginable and a huge threat to the profession.

“Today, anybody can be a journalist without knowing the journalistic ethics. So, how can we address that? We can only do that through this kind of engagement; by training and retraining because journalists need to understand that it is now about digital journalism and for you to engage in that, one needs to understand the technology and be able to verify the information and its source before publishing or broadcasting”.

Although saddled with the mandate of regulating the use of Information Technology (IT) in the country, the DG noted that in recent times, the responsibility has gone beyond establishing the DOs and DON’Ts due to the dynamic nature of technology which he said has further necessitated the need to up the ante in making journalists acclimatized with requisite skills and ‘technology know-how.

“We need to always reskill, update our knowledge and understand how the technology works in order to harness the potentials and use it for better things because technology can be used as either a tool or a weapon; so it is left for the user to decide what should drive the purpose…so everyone has a part to play in ensuring that unscrupulous elements don’t misuse the tech to mislead people”.

While describing journalism as the best medium to sensitize the public on what the Federal Government is doing towards achieving a digital Nigeria,  Inuwa said the partnership would greatly be beneficial to both parties.

“As a government, we have an ambitious target of achieving ninety-five percent digital literacy by twenty-thirty. It is not possible for us to train ninety-five percent of the population on one on one basis, so we need to be innovative; We need to find a way of leveraging on organizations like yours to achieve that because if we can have people writing about digital literacy, the reach would be far wider than what we can do as a government so that’s why we had already even started engaging your members in some states of the federation;  training and letting them know they have a responsibility of helping the government in sanitizing the system so that we can address the challenge of fake news misinformation and disinformation”.

On the forthcoming National Executive Council/ Workshop on Digital Journalism organized by the Union, the NITDA Boss expressed interest in the planned program and assured the body of the agency’s support.

He also encouraged the team to work out the modalities for the interventions/training as requested in order for NITDA to know the number of members and make adequate provisions toward kick-starting the process.

Speaking earlier, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo while applauding NITDA for the different training sessions held for journalists in Jigawa, Kano, Gombe, Katsina States e.t.c. which he observed are usually accompanied with working tools, said the visit was to formally meet for the first time with the DG and also express the Union’s profound gratitude for the ongoing training packages so far and to seek for partnership at the national level.

“A journalist that is not exposed to constant training and retraining programs is a danger to the society and that’s why what you’re doing, we must applaud and we are also asking that we take it beyond and accommodate more of our people so that they will also benefit; that way, such issues about fake news which of course is about misinformation, disinformation and the rest of them would have been effectively tackled”.

Isiguzo also appealed for digital facilities to be provided for the Union’s National Secretariat and  International Institute of Journalism in order to aid optimal operations.

“There’s a need that we get those facilities because most of our colleagues especially those operating online always come back because they don’t have offices and that’s why the umbrella body there is more like a shade and was provided to everybody that comes and when you have these people operate within one enclave control is easier. So we also want to demonstrate some level of control that’s why we are asking for your assistance with some of these facilities and I believe that it will go a long way in also helping the government and its message against fake news”.

The belief is that the partnership forged during the meeting will ultimately be a step closer towards making journalism practice in Nigeria more technologically driven and devoid of unprofessionalism while NITDA achieves some of its seven pillars in the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP- 2021-2024) including Digital Literacy and Skills.

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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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Data Protection; Key To A Sustainable Digital Economy – Olatunji

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Data Protection Key To A Sustainable Digital Economy - Olatunji

DATA PROTECTION; KEY TO A SUSTAINABLE DIGITAL ECONOMY – OLATUNJI

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The National Commissioner (NC) of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji CPPPS, CDPO, FIIM has said that with the exponential rise in the processing of data online through satellite communications, appropriate mechanisms must be put in place to ensure adequate security, effective protection and regulated data processing in line with laid down legislations in Nigeria.

The National Commissioner who made this assertion during a working visit to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale, and her management team at the Space Agency’s Headquarters in Abuja noted that best practices that meet global standards in the protection of data must be adopted in satellite communications.

Dr. Olatunji said that with the redesignation of the supervisory Ministry to include the Digital Economy and with the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), relevant laws must be put in place to guarantee the protection of data.

“The NDEPS is the roadmap for the digitization of the country and appropriate laws and regulations must be put in place to ensure the protection of data in line with global standards bearing in mind local and international regulations to safeguard data of citizens”, he stated.

Data Protection Key To A Sustainable Digital Economy - Olatunji
The NDPB National Commissioner, Dr. Vincent Olatunji on a working visit to the MD/CEO NIGCOMSAT’s office, Dr. Abimbola Alale.
Data Protection Key To A Sustainable Digital Economy - Olatunji

While commending the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Pantami for the giant stride he took in the issuance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulations (NDPR), Olatunji disclosed that the industry is now worth over 4 billion naira with about 8000 people gainfully employed.

He added that the role of the Bureau is to ensure that data of Nigerians wherever they are is adequately protected and to ensure that all organizations in Nigeria comply with the provisions of the NDPR.

Olatunji further mentioned that the Bureau was established to ensure the implementation of the NDPR to safeguard the rights, freedom, and privacy of citizens as well as ensure that the country has principal legislation in that regard.     

The NDPB boss however noted that the Bureau was not out for sanctions but rather encourage organizations to comply with the provisions of the NDPR and make it a culture by default.

“We are out to create awareness on data protection for all data processors and data controllers to adopt and see as a norm so that the global community will see us as being serious when it comes to issuing of data privacy and protection”, he averred.

Emphasizing the importance of the awareness being created by the Bureau, he emphatically stated that data subjects need to know their rights in terms of consent, security, storage and cross border transfer of their data while at the same time enlightening data controllers on their obligations to data subjects.

“It is highly important that those in charge of data processing in organizations are sound enough to know what to do, how to do and the kind of measures they need to put in place in terms of organizational and technical measures to ensure the safety of data of their subjects”, he mentioned.

He then gave assurances of the Bureau’s support in terms of training, peer reviews, and guidelines to NIGCOMSAT and urged them to comply with the provisions of the NDPR by annually filing their audit reports with NDPB.

Dr. Alale in her remark applauded the National Commissioner and his team for their proactive initiatives in ensuring the security of data in the country.

Affirming her support to the Bureau, Alale stated that NIGCOMSAT is already working on their data privacy audit report for the year which will be filed with the Bureau, and promised to share the guidelines with their partners who in turn can be independently monitored by the Bureau.

“As we push forward the digital agenda of Nigeria, we should support one another and we at NIGCOMSAT pledge our support to you”, she said.

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