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Ogun Digital Summit: DG NITDA Harps On Innovation As Tool To Create Sustainable Future

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DG NITDA Harps On Innovation As Tool To Create Sustainable Future

Olushola Okunlade Writes

In a bid to achieve its ambitious target of 95% Digital Literacy by 2030, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, has urged participants at the “Ogun Digital Summit” to take their innovative ideas from conception to impact and commercialize their technologies in order to contribute towards the growth of the Nation’s digital economy.

Inuwa said this while giving a keynote address at the summit on the theme: “Digital Technology: Key to Sustainable Future”, which encouraged the youths to see Tech as the present and the future of today’s world.

“When you talk about innovation and technology, human talents constitute the major components to drive the two, as such, we need universities, institutions, and corporate organizations to be part of the system cos they play a key role in producing the needed talents that can solve identified problems the society”, he noted.

Inuwa enumerated efforts of the Federal Government in the areas of policy-making, creation of enabling environment, legislation, and digital literacy, among others, which he stressed are all geared towards ensuring young innovators and entrepreneurs in the country thrive in their chosen fields.

DG NITDA Harps On Innovation As Tool To Create Sustainable Future
Director-General of NITDA Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE.

“In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari redesignated the Ministry to cover Digital Economy, what that action entails is that the Federal Government is interested in the strength of your ingenuity and wants you to leverage on Information Technology (IT) for economic prosperity. The action also puts Nigeria on the digital map of the global economy”, he affirmed. 

Inuwa went further to remind the young minds that President Muhammadu Buhari also unveiled the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria which is a foundation policy for the digital economy and digital Innovation.

NITDA, on its part, the Director-General pointed out, drafted the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP), under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to help them succeed.

He analysed the seven pillars of the document where he mentioned that the essence of the Digital Literacy and Skills Pillar is to ensure that 95% of Nigerians are digitally inclined, and can understand and enjoy digital services.

Inuwa added that the bigger picture is to build the Nation’s digital services in the country and not to buy off-the-shelf services elsewhere, and challenged the youths to think globally while solving local problems.

DG NITDA Harps On Innovation As Tool To Create Sustainable Future

“The government cannot give everyone seed funds or grants at the same time, which is the reason why you need to think outside the box and have something an investor would be interested in, that way, you would have had the needed funds to grow your products and services without the encumbrances of the sometimes tiring government bureaucracies”, he advised.

The NITDA Boss expressed the hope that some of the participants who were majorly youths of the state will be among the 1 million developers the agency plans to train in 18 months.

“Globally, there is a shortage of talents, so, we are creating a mandate to develop a talent strategy because we have a competitive advantage as a country with our vast human and natural resources. Nigeria can seize the opportunity to fill that gap”, the DG added

The DG further noted that innovation will help in creating a sustainable future for Nigeria and Nigerians. 

“Digital technology provides the source of inspiration for you to be great innovators and solve any problem you can think of”, Inuwa said.

He also observed the world’s growing dependence on technologies to be able to do or avoid certain things, adding that the data created by the daily activities of humans which are being captured by digital devices can be used to innovate.

“Data is said to be the new oil, but for me, it is more than oil because data is infinite, the more you use it, the more you create it. So, this is an opportunity for you to tap into it and so we can achieve the sustainable future we seek”, Inuwa maintained.

Inuwa informed the participants that the Start-up Bill which is now a law and to be implemented by NITDA and other relevant agencies will address most, if not all the bottlenecks experienced in the ecosystem.

Acting on the agency’s mandate, the Director General made a commitment of providing a Digital Centre for St. Peters Anglican Primary School, 1 Isara, Remo North, Ogun State

The participants took turns to share their thoughts and challenges as well as proffered some solutions to the issues discussed during the panel sessions.

The third edition of the Ogun Digital Summit which brought together citizens of the state with the aim to connect and encourage inspiration to create new opportunities through innovation had as its theme: “DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY-KEY TO SUSTAINABLE FUTURE”.

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NDPB Investigates Phillips Consulting, UBA PLC For Alleged Violation Of NDPR

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NDPB Investigates Philips Consulting And UBA PLC For Alleged Violation Of NDPR

B.B. Bamigboye Esq. CDPRP, Legal, Enforcement & Regulations Lead, NDPB

Following complaints of violation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) against Phillips Consulting and United Bank for Africa PLC (UBA), the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau National Commissioner, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, has ordered a forensic investigation in line with Article 4 of the NDPR.

The complaint against Phillips Consulting is in connection with the activities of online lending platforms that willfully breach the privacy of citizens whilst the investigation of UBA PLC pertains to allegations of infringement on the governing principles of data protection.

It will be recalled that the NDPR mandates organizations to carry out due diligence before engaging in any data processing. This is to ensure that parties are accountable for any infringement on fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects.

The Bureau warns all data controllers and processors to eschew all forms of data processing that are detrimental to citizens as well as the economy and security of the country.

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Regulation & Innovation: NITDA DG Highlights Start-Up Bill As The Game Changer At GAT Summit 2022

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NITDA DG Highlights Start-Up Bill As The Game Changer At GAT Summit 2022

Olushola Okunlade Writes

As key players within the African Tech Ecosystem engage with government policy decision-makers and regulators on the prospects of regulating for the future in order to provide solutions for smart governance, the Director-General of the Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, who presented a keynote address and participated in panel discussions at the Government and Tech (GAT) Summit 2022 in Lagos said that the government needs to work hand-in-hand with the group to co-create regulations that will directly address their lingering concerns.

NITDA DG Highlights Start-Up Bill As The Game Changer At GAT Summit 2022
The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, delivering a keynote address at the GAT Summit in Lagos.

The DG who expressed the belief that the GAT Summit is coming at a time when players in the tech ecosystem are struggling with the realities of the present regulatory framework and contemplating their alternatives noted that NITDA’s participation underscores the importance of the agency attaches to the prevailing regulatory structure and future possibilities.

“The regulation we are going to create is not one that you can get from textbooks of legal or political views because the generation before us did not have to deal with the kind of situations we are dealing with today”, he maintained.

Inuwa told the audience that blaming the government for negligence is not the right approach towards getting the needed attention as the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration unlike any other has demonstrated the political will to tend to the growing demands of the industry.

The Director-General went further to recall the redesignation of the agency from the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy which he said was a move by President Buhari to engender exponential growth in the sector.

“We need to look at regulations from the eyes of the citizens; how will it change the way we live because technology has grown beyond what we knew it to be, as it now has enormous power to limit or improve on what we do? Moreso, we need to start applying political principles to technology and not only seeing it as a business tool”, Inuwa added.

Inuwa affirmed that the role of the government is to basically create an enabling environment through interventions in terms of laws, policies, and others so that Nigerians, and indeed entrepreneurs can have a safer digital space to thrive.

NITDA DG Highlights Start-Up Bill As The Game Changer At GAT Summit 2022
The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, flanked by Representatives of Regulators & Innovators at the GAT Summit in Lagos.

The NITDA Boss while making reference to the Start-up Bill which was passed by the National Assembly, was confident that the bill will help solve myriads of challenges highlighted during the panel discussions.

“Remember we talked about Tech Union, so, under the Start-up bill, there is a National Council for Technology and Innovation which is going to be chaired by Mr. President and all regulators are going to be members and the tech ecosystem will be represented there”, Inuwa stressed.

On the issue of accessing grants from the government, Inuwa explained that labelling and registering should be taken seriously by entrepreneurs as the government and investors need to identify and know their brands before giving out grants or investing in the business.

The DG said, “sometimes you need government’s intervention when there is a problem either from the law enforcement agents or other quarters, and for a quick intervention, the government needs to know you and your works; So, this once again underpins the importance of labeling and Incentivization”.

Recalling that earlier in the year, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami had led a delegation to Lagos and met with the tech ecosystem in the same hall where discussions centered on combating challenges and how to effect the necessary changes to elicit the needed trajectory, Inuwa emphasized that most of the recommendations reached at the end of the meeting were taken to the Federal Executive Council and approvals were given to achieve three things:

– Work with the FRSC to get more incentives for the tech ecosystem.

– Come up with a bimodal procurement process so that government can patronize entrepreneurs, and

– Protection of ID and patterns of entrepreneurs

Inuwa assured attendees of the event that the government is not sitting on it oars but working tirelessly to encourage and support entrepreneurs and young innovators to succeed.

“I believe, with this kind of conversation, nothing will stop Nigeria from becoming a force to reckon with, when you talk about innovation in the world. The government is a listening government and is ready to work with you”, he asserted.

He however challenged them to also always try to reciprocate the readiness to be available when needed as exemplified by the Federal Government’s presence at their invitations.

“A few weeks ago, we issued a Code of Practice but many people in the ecosystem didn’t read or contribute to the document. We say we want to co-create, not to do so from our offices but how can we co-create when you don’t contribute ideas and share your thoughts accordingly? We still hope you will do so, in order for us to have an encompassing document of regulations that will effectively serve everyone in the value chain.

Meanwhile other high representatives of key regulators and innovators in the technology space added their voices to the call for a more frictionless regulations that will work for the better good of Nigerians and Nigeria.

The maiden edition of the Government and Tech GAT Summit which was jointly organized by Technext and Ripples Nigeria afforded the physical and virtual audience the opportunity to brainstorm on several issues confronting the industry.

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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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