By Ijeoma Olorunfemi
Communications and Digital Economy Minister Dr Isa Pantami made the appeal at a press conference hosted by the agency to celebrate its achievements in Abuja.
The anniversary theme is ‘Growth and Resilience’, while activities to celebrate the anniversary will last until April 30.
Pantami recounted that the NITDA since its inception, especially from 2016 to date, has activated its IT project approval function, engaged in various capacity building and established the Data Protection Regulation of the Nigeria, among other achievements.
“NITDA has done well in the area of IT project approval, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is more focused on anti-corruption and this is one of the strategic areas that has fought corruption in federal public institutions.
“The approval of IT projects by NITDA has saved the FG over two billion naira and the agency has been consistent with this and exercised a high level of integrity in the authorization of IT projects.
“The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation, established in January 2019, which guarantees data protection and the first of its kind in Africa, is another area in which NITDA deserves praise.
“I encourage NITDA to redouble our efforts because the reward for hard work is more work.
“FG appreciated the efforts of NITDA in recently approving its terms of service and career structure,” Pantami said.
He recalled that in April 2012, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, former head of the report on certain government agencies, had recommended the abolition of NITDA and the transfer of its responsibilities to other government agencies.
According to the minister, we are no longer discussing it, but we are considering adding more responsibilities to the agency and this is a significant change.
He praised the efforts of the agency’s former chief executives (CEOs), adding that the current leaders are building on their heritage.
Pantami prayed that the ICT sector continues to advance for better national economic growth.
NITDA CEO Kasifu Inuwa said the agency had substantially updated the national IT policy goal to digitize the country.
Inuwa also said the agency is participating in the implementation of the national digital economy policy and strategy launched by President Buhari in 2019.
He said the idea was to help diversify the country’s economy and position Nigeria to take advantage of the $ 11.5 trillion global digital economy.
He said the agency has contributed to improving the IT sector, creating jobs, launching innovative activities in the IT ecosystem and aligning the country with emerging technologies.
“The agency’s achievements include a huge contribution of ICT to gross domestic product, from less than 0.5% in 2001 to more than 14% in 2020.
“From its inception to date, the agency has deployed more than 1,560 ICT centers across the country, with at least two centers in each of the 774 local government areas. ”
He also said that from 2017 to date, many regulations have been put in place to advance the IT industry, including NDPR, the rule making process regulation, among others.
Inuwa added that the agency, as part of the activities to celebrate its 20th anniversary, will unveil a new strategy to advance the IT ecosystem.
“The new strategic roadmap has seven pillars; it will focus more on creating an enabling environment for our country and also on helping Nigeria to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Today we’re celebrating what we’ve accomplished in 20 years, but next week we’ll unveil our new strategy to raise the bar a little higher to help us do more ahead of our Silver Jubilee anniversary. ”
Mr. Festus Dauda, the permanent secretary of the ministry, in his vote of thanks, called on the media to project good reports on the country.
According to Dauda, the negative news discourages investors and restricts development.
Highlights of the event included the unveiling of the NITDA logo on Pantami’s 20th anniversary. (NOPE)
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