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NITDA targets increase in ICT contributions to GDP from seven areas

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Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami. PHOTO: TWITTER PANTAMI

Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami. PHOTO: TWITTER PANTAMI

With the optimism that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector can actually become the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) sees the industry contributing 15 per cent from the current 9.8 per cent.

To achieve this, while the need for collaboration will be strengthened, NITDA would be exploring seven key areas for development.

These include regulation; capacity building;‎ local content development & promotion; digital job creation; government digital service promotion; cyber security; and revenue generation.

The Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, at two different fora in Lagos, last week, stated this and reiterated the fact that the ICT sector can actually be leveraged to transform the Nigerian economy.

First, at the West Africa Convergence Conference (WACC), organised by Knowhow Media, Pantami said it was important to get local content policy right in the sector, stressing that there was need to give priority to what “we have at home.”

According to him, there is urgent need to strengthen ‘Nigerianess.’

At the second fora, where NITDA got a ‘Special Recognition Award’ from the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) at the 2016 National Information Technology Merit Awards (NITMA), Pantami reiterated that the agency will focus on its core regulatory mandate.

He said since assumption of office, he has been working strategically with the management and the entire staff towards transforming NITDA from an administrative outlook to IT-Driven agency, and from an unnecessary contract awarding to a knowledge-based agency.

“The process of developing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in a society as diverse and complex as ours is quite daunting.  However, the potential benefits of developing such a critical sector of our economy far outweigh whatever challenges such a process may entail.  A well-developed IT sector will significantly improve our economy. It will reduce capital flight, create jobs, generate revenue and help to position Nigeria as an IT hub for the region.

“As we join hands to develop the sector, I wish to request your support in the following seven key areas: regulation; capacity building;‎ local content development & promotion; digital job creation; government digital service promotion; cyber security; and revenue generation.”

He added that ‎considering the wide scope of NITDA’s mandate and the need to channel limited resources appropriately; they have identified these seven areas as areas of priority.

“We will give a renewed emphasis to regulation and will ensure that we develop standards and guidelines for different aspects of the IT sector.



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