By Chimezie Godfrey
As one of the key implementers of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria, coupled with an ambitious target of achieving 95% of digital literacy by 2030, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is forging more partnerships and initiating different developmental programmes and projects geared towards achieving the stated target.
To this end, the Agency will collaborate with Mastercard to host a training workshop with representatives from the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) and NITDA on Cyber Security and Data Protection.
Receiving the Mastercard delegation in his office, the Director General of the Agency, Kashifu Inuwa said: “To ignite digital innovation activities in the country, relevant partnerships would be necessary as the Federal Government is not relenting in its efforts of creating an enabling environment to attract local and foreign investors which would in turn trigger the exponential growth of the sector and the Nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
”The NITDA Boss, while highlighting the Agency’s Virtual Academy – a massive open platform for online courses where Nigerians can go and learn at their own pace and also get digital certificates – informed the Mastercard delegates that in addition to exploring possible cooperation in the stated area, the Agency would like to engage with multinational corporations towards training about one million indigenous ICT professionals in order to fast track the creation of some digital services Nigerians currently need.
“We know globally there is shortage of talents and Africa is the next frontier because we have the youngest population… so everybody’s looking at Africa to provide the talent.
“Kashifu, who expressed worry over the low number of key professionals in the field of programming, which has impacted negatively on the Nigerian market, said that there is a need to grow the ecosystem and compete with other countries that are outsourcing professionals to most of the big tech companies.
“I believe we cannot succeed in isolation. That’s why we won’t work in silos.
“We need to work together so that we can see the impact and harness the full potential.”
Ebihijie Momoh, Country Manager and Area Head for Mastercard, West Africa who was accompanied by George Owuor, Director of Public Policy for Mastercard, Sub-Saharan Africa, spoke with the DG about a planned data protection and cybersecurity workshop to be held in May in collaboration with NITDA.
Momoh said this engagement would help to build data protection and cybersecurity capabilities in the country.
On his part, Owuor affirmed the corporation’s readiness to support NITDA in achieving its mandate, particularly as it relates to the Agency’s Digital Literacy (Capacity Building) in the Seven Pillars of the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP- 2021-2024).
According to Owuor, the forthcoming workshop will be beneficial to not just NDPB, but the spectrum of the digital value chain.