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Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch

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Nigeria, Japan to Deepen Bilateral Relations as NITDA, JICA Partner on iHatch

Olushola Okunlade 

As more and more digitally creative Nigerians in the Country respond to the Federal Government’s charge on finding new indigenous solutions to some key problems, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in its drive to engender marketable innovations from engaging start-ups in different skills and knowledge-based training for them to compete favourably with their global counterparts, is partnering with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in kick-starting a programme tagged “iHatch”.

The Start-up Programme which focuses on youths, innovations, entrepreneurship and technology, is expected to accelerate the process of bringing innovative ideas to life, thereby generating the much-needed jobs for the teeming youths and catalyzing the Nigerian Digital Economy to the next level.

At the iHatch Start-up Incubation opening ceremony, jointly organized by the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), a subsidiary of NITDA, and JICA, the Director-General of the Agency, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, said, ”the partnership with JICA is expected to be among other things, aid learning to know what Japan is doing differently in transforming its digital economy, borrow some ideas as well as share experiences to domesticate the initiatives to suit the Nigerian digital economy needs.”

Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch
NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch
Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch

The DG congratulated the eight successful startups who were selected from about five thousand applicants that sought to participate in the programme. He, however, advised them to see the platform as a golden opportunity to hatch their ideas.

“Innovation is the process of taking your ideas from inception to impact… just having an idea means nothing; until you can get someone to pay you for that idea; so, this programme is designed to help you move that your idea from inception up to impact,” he admonished.

He noted that the target at the end of the project is to incubate, mould, and launch excellent ideas into products or services that will positively turn things around in the country, especially, in critical areas of the economy and help humanity in general. The NITDA boss expressed optimism that the partnership will be mutually beneficial to both countries.

Earlier, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, and other dignitaries from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were unanimous that the plan is to enhance the Nigerian Start-up ecosystem.

Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch
Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch
Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch

He emphasized that one of the features of the collaboration is not only to provide aid or financial support but to most importantly provide the required expertise as well as to transfer Japanese Corporate ethics to project success.

“iHatch will support Nigerian Tech entrepreneurs by redefining their business models through a series of mentoring, lectures and boot-camp, culminating in the establishment of sustainable and capable business models”

Some of the successful startups who were elated for being a part of the programme expressed confidence that their solution-driven ideas which got selected and enlisted among the approved eight would translate to bringing their ingenuity and creativity to bear.

They appreciated the Federal Government through NITDA and NCAIR for the chance to partake in nation-building and channel their respective talents into a productive course.

NITDA hopes that the programme will inspire Nigerian youths to brush up on their business ideas and seize the opportunity to empower themselves as well as contribute to creating a better future for Nigeria as the success would be added to the list of achievements in Nigeria-Japan relations.

Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch
Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch
Nigeria, Japan To Deepen Bilateral Relations As NITDA, JICA Partner On iHatch

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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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