The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA has reiterated its commitment to driving Nigeria’s digital future, fostering innovation, and positioning the country as a global hub for tech talent and entrepreneurship.
The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa stated this during a fireside chat session, moderated by Alex Onukwue, a reporter with Semafor at the TechCabal’s Moonshot event which was held in Lagos State recently.
While sharing insights into his role and the agency’s transformative vision for Nigeria’s digital landscape, Inuwa analysed the different strategic approaches adopted by the Agency, noting that, with a vision for inclusive growth, NITDA is working towards realising Nigeria’s vast potential in the digital age.
“NITDA, established in 2001 was initially aimed to bridge the digital divide in Nigeria, where less than 500 Nigerians had access to computers but in the early 2000s, only 0.05% of Nigeria’s GDP was attributed to information technology. However, NITDA’s interventions have significantly transformed the landscape, with over 50% of the Nigerian population now having access to computers through their mobile phones,” Inuwa said.
The NITDA Boss explained how NITDA’s mandate shifted in 2019, focusing not only on digital adoption but on leveraging technology for economic growth and development as he highlighted the agency’s new strategy blueprint to encompass five strategic pillars: knowledge, policy, infrastructure, innovation, and trade.
“One key focus has been building trust and collaboration between the government and the tech ecosystem, promoting engagement, and co-development of policies and laws”.
“This is important because if the government and the ecosystem are working together with each having their unique strength when combined, can drive positive change,” the DG maintained.
When discussing the implementation of the Nigeria Digital Innovation Fund, the Director-General reechoed the importance of a smooth transition, stressing that despite some challenges, NITDA is working to reconvene the council and present the funding model to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship.