NITDA urges industry experts to prepare for post COVID-19 era

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has urged Nigerian technology experts to get ready for new innovations and ideas after the world might have defeated the novel Coronavirus that is currently ravaging our economies.

Inuwa, who is also the Chief Information Technology Officer of Nigeria, made this call as a Panelist during the Africa Tech Leaders Webinar Series organised by Digital Jewels with the theme: ‘COVID-19 Pandemic: The Africa Leaders’ Outlook’, on Tuesday.

The DG said that, with all that has happened during Coronavirus scourge, African Countries can still key into technology and digitise its processes. According to him, this will boost the continent’s economy after the Pandemic.

He further noted that Nigeria, through policies and regulations, has already laid a foundation on which digital services can help revive economies that were ravaged by COVID-19 globally.

The DG announced that digital transformation has positively played a big role during this pandemic in accelerating the trends of digital technologies and how it will also help us to address the changes.

Inuwa revealed that NITDA, since the outbreak, has come up with different programmes to cushion the effect of COVID-19, especially in Nigeria.

He said, the scourge has completely shattered so many planned events and activities across the globe, but that should not be a yardstick for innovators not coming up with new ideas that will help in reviving Nigeria’s economy.

“For me, the promising silver lining in this pandemic is accelerating technology trends and shaping the future of the digital economy and digital transformation in general,” the DG said.

He added that “When President Muhammadu Buhari came into power in 2015, he promised to make drastic changes in Nigeria, particularly in the economic sector.

“The government then set up a committee on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which identified ICT as a key enabler.

“We took digital transformation as a journey, and it started some years back. President Muhammadu Buhari redesignated our Ministry from Communications to Communications and Digital Economy. This is a giant step in achieving our target in transforming Nigeria into a digital country”.

“The Federal Executive Council set up a policy that will be cascaded to MDAs and NITDA is issuing regulatory instruments that can help any MDAs to perform its work better.

“Also, we issued guidelines, standard and framework for government policymakers and other stakeholders to deliver their Technological services efficiently,” he maintained.

While answering a question on a recently concluded Nigeria COVID-19 Innovation Challenge, Inuwa said that the idea was to find a solution to the effect of Coronavirus using technology measures.

“We initiated the Nigeria COVID-19 Innovation Challenge that brought innovators together to ideate digital strategy and how to contain the spread of the virus and prepare us for the post-covid-19 era.

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