In its continuous approach to create fair and inclusive societies that provide equal opportunities through various programmes, projects, and policies, the Federal Government through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), organised ICT Stakeholders’ Engagement programme in Ilorin, Kwara State, in order to give stakeholders an opportunity to express their views and opinions on matters related to the Agency’s implementation of its mandate.
The Participants, including ICT experts, Government Representatives, Academia, Startup ecosystems, ICT Associations, Technology Solution Providers, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and relevant stakeholders in the Digital Economy Sector shared ideas on how Kwara IT ecosystem should take advantage of the various opportunity and platforms being provided by NITDA to upskill, connect and build a robust network that will facilitate gainful collaboration among all stakeholders.
Kashifu Inuwa, Director General of NITDA, who was represented by Director, Zonal Offices Directorate, Mr Babajide Ajayi, said that the Stakeholders’ Engagement is a veritable platform to pool knowledge, experience, and expertise, and to co-create solutions, articulate strategies, and extend our services to all stakeholders, especially at the grassroots.
He said, “Throughout the twenty-one-year journey of the Agency, we have had to look continuously at our mandate, reset our vision, and invigorate our mission. We have moved from being a highly centralised organisation to a functionally decentralised Institution. Our aspiration is to be an Organisation closer to the stakeholders.”We are also increasingly becoming a process-driven, data-dependent, and results-oriented Organisation. Our strategies and choices are pursued while always ensuring financial prudence – even in the most turbulent times and ensuring that we meet the objectives of a national IT Governance, foremost of which is delivering value to our stakeholders.
“These are in tandem with our core values of People First, Innovativeness, and Professionalism. Indeed, that is why we are here today. Our stakeholders come first, and we must strive to deliver value to you. That would not be possible without listening to you and speaking with you to get clarity on your perspectives, aspirations, and needs, he added.
Speaking on the Agency’s people-oriented programmes, Inuwa said, “under the supervision of Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and stakeholders, we have implemented programmes such as National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), National Adopted School for Smart Education (NASSE), Digital Literacy Capacity Training for Persons Living with Disabilities, support for ICT Innovation Hubs, building of Community IT Centres, development State IT policies, and a host of other activities.”
He said as the needs of the Digital Economy Ecosystem grow; the Agency has striven to respond appropriately. This has been demonstrated in the strategic actions the Agency has taken in the implementation of critical areas of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
“We are aware that we still have a lot to do. Therefore, we are committed to making further progress over the coming year, and we look forward to the continued support of all our stakeholders,” he concluded.
On his part, the Commissioner for Business Innovation and Technology, Ibrahim Ajake, stated that the role of Digital Platform in entrepreneurship evolution cannot be overemphasised.
He added that digitalisation changes the economics of doing business across border, bringing down the cost of international interaction and transaction.
According to him, updated digital entrepreneurship knowledge and dynamics is one of the major ways Nigerian entrepreneurs can upscale their potentials in the global market.“Digital evolution creates markets and user communities with global scale, providing business with huge base of potential customers and effective ways to reach them.”
“I am confident that the stakeholder’s engagement meeting will be of immense value to the ICT inclined public and keep abreast with necessary opportunity to enhance market access in order to tap into the foreign exchange earnings,” he noted.
He therefore urged participants to interact with experienced resource personnel and contemporaries to be equipped with various knowledge needed for optimal output.“My sincere gratitude goes to NITDA and all the stakeholders for organising this event, and I assure you that all deliberations and contributions at this programme will serve as strength to us in the Ministry.