Dr. Ali Pantami, Director-General, National Information Technology Developmental Agency (NITDA), has said that the agency is at the forefront of digital transformation through its road map.
Isa Ibrahim Pantami He made this known at the 9th edition of the eWorld conference 2018, Lagos in his presentation titled ‘NITDA’s Role in Digital Transformation’.
Pantami, who was represented by Mrs Chioma Okee-Aguguo, Head, South West Zonal Office, said that digital transformation would trigger rapid economy growth in the country.
He said that the transformation involved the integration of digital technologies into every sphere of the national economy.
According to him, it is for this reason that the agency’s road map is based on seven pillars, which are Information Technology Regulation, Capacity Building, Digital Job Creation, and Local Content Development and Promotion.
The remaining pillars include Government Digital Services, Cyber Security, and Digital Inclusion. He said that contrary to widely held beliefs, regulation provided a level playing ground required for the ICT industry to support the digital transformation drive of the country.
“As part of our activities in this area, we have strengthened our role in the clearance of all government funded ICT projects.
“We have embarked on this clearance process in order to harmonise the implementation of IT projects within MDAs, provide value-for-money for all projects funded by the government, avoid undue duplication, reduce the cost of implementing IT projects in Nigeria and ensure that the IT projects are sustainable,” he said.
The DG added that the agency had succeeded in saving the Federal Government billions of naira and had significantly improved the likelihood of success of the projects. He said that NITDA has also assisted state governments to develop IT Policies and Strategic Plans, as a way of building their capacity to regulate and develop the ICT sector in their areas of strength.
According to him, in addition to these, the agency is ensuring that all sovereign data as well as data regulated and hosted by the government through its MDAs, are repatriated and hosted in Nigeria. He stated that as part of the transformation process, the agency is involved in capacity building through scholarship offered at the PhD and Masters levels to improve expertise and provide quality personnel at workplaces.
“We live in an era of disruptive technologies and technologies such as Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Block Chain and Big Data Analytics, will define the future of the sector. “We have partnered with the industry to train a critical mass of Nigerians in these areas. “With digital transformation comes a transformation of the workplace. “’The skills and types of jobs of today are very likely to be antiquated tomorrow. “It is necessary for us to have the foresight to begin the transformation of the workplace,” he stated. Pantami said that this was one of the reasons the agency identified Digital Job Creation as one of the seven pillars and establishing Digital Job Creation Centres (DJCC) across the country.
According to him, these centres empower users to set up businesses that incorporate cutting edge digital technologies. “We want these centres to be triggers for the development of jobs that can thrive in this Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Jobs that evolve with the needs of the citizens and take advantage of cutting-edge technologies. “The media industry is a very dynamic one and we have provided some of the latest media and editing software at the DJCC.
“This will enable users of the Centre to create new streams of businesses for the benefit of our national economy,” the DG said. He identified rapid growth in the number of cybercriminals and the increased sophistication of cybercrimes as some of the negative effects of digital transformation. The director-general said that through NITDA’s pillar on cybersecurity, such threats were being tackled to safeguard Nigerians in cyberspace.
He also said that the digital inclusion pillar ensured the ability to include all strata of society in the country’s digital transformation efforts. According to him, NITDA has programmes that have captured persons living with disability, prison inmates, as well as women and girls, to mention a few. NITDA was established to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate general IT development in the country.