May 27, 2024

NITDA to enhance digital literacy, promote access to technology for development

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Akpan Umoh, Uyo

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has vowed to enhance digital literacy and promote equitable access to technology for development in the country.

The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Abdullahi, said this during a one-day stakeholders’ engagement and ICT ecosystem programme in Uyo, on Tuesday.

Our correspondent reports that the theme of the event is, “Creating Opportunities, Breaking Boundaries: Towards Digitalisation and Entrepreneurial Evolution.”

Abdullahi, who was represented by the Director, Zonal Offices Directorate, NITDA, Mr Babajide Ajayi, said that the rise of technology has brought a revolutionised change on how businesses, economy and even government operate.

The director said that to bridge the digital divide in the country, the agency has began to draft the National Digital Equality Strategy for Women (NDESW).

He added that the effort will guarantee women participation and ensure equitable access and opportunities in the digital environment.

Abdullahi said that the drafting of the National Digital Skills Strategy (NDSS) on the other hand, remains a strategic roadmap that will promote digital literacy and talent development in Nigeria.

“Digitalisation is when digital technology becomes a part of every aspect of society. It is not just a fancy word but it is what causes big changes in industries.

“It changes the way we do business, take care of our health, educate ourselves, and even govern.

“Digitalisation changes things for the better, eliminates obstacles, and creates new chances that we couldn’t even think of before. Our responsibility is to take hold of these possibilities and use them to transform society.

“To encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, NITDA established the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI) and the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).

“These Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) have supported startups, including technology incubation, acceleration programmes, and training for students.

“The innovation ecosystem in Nigeria has attracted significant investments and produced multiple successful startups, including unicorns.

“Bridging the digital divide, enhancing digital literacy, and ensuring equitable access to technology are vital components of our journey. Only then can we proudly declare that we are on the path of complete transformation,” Abdullahi said.

Abdullahi said that NITDA was currently drafting the National Digital Equality Strategy for Women (NDESW), which seeks to ensure equitable access and opportunities in the digital environment, empowering women to fully participate in the digital economy.

He said that the National Digital Skills Strategy (NDSS) is a strategic roadmap that would aid digital literacy and talent development in the country.

The director general called for collaboration among government, the private sector, academia, and others in the society to ensure a robust transformation in the country’s digital landscape.

Abdullahi said that the event was an avenue for sensitisation, familiarisation and enhancement of the working relationship between the Agency and the key IT Stakeholders at the state levels.

In his remarks, the Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr Imo Moffat, said that the country must embrace digitalisation by equipping its workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to explore the ever-changing landscape.

Moffat, who was represented by the Director of ICT, Mr Lawson David, said that the country should also develop a robust cyber framework.

According him, citizens must be educated on best practices, and seek collaboration with international partners to combat cyber threats against its digital assets and infrastructures.

Moffat added that the country should also develop a robust cyber framework, educate its citizens on best practices, and seek collaboration with international partners to combat cyber threats against its digital assets and infrastructures.

Participants at the stakeholder engagement expressed their profound gratitude to NITDA and the Akwa Ibom Government for hosting the event.

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