By Chimezie Godfrey
The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa has reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to Digital Literacy which he says will in the long run bridge the global talent gap in the information Communications Technology (ICT) sector and place the country among technology driven Nations
Inuwa said this as a panelist at the just concluded Nigeria-Spanish Business and Trade Forum, in Madrid, Spain.
“Nigeria has talented youths and is blessed with one of the youngest populations in the world; By 2050 we will be the third most populous nations in the world; So, we are concerned about Digital Literacy because the world is moving towards digital and knowledge-based economy and there is a global talent gap in ICT”
The NITDA Boss who noted that ICT is the third largest sectors in Nigeria told the forum that so far, the Implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy NDEPS for a Digital Nigeria which was unveiled and lunched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 28, 2019, has been phenomenally successful with monumental impact on the Nation’s economy.
“The policy launch placed Nigeria on the Global Digital Economy Map and opened the doors for investors to come and invest in key sectors of the economy. Indeed, in the history of Nigeria, we have never had an administration which is ICT friendly like the Buhari administration”.
The Director-General also went further to explain the strategic pillars under the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) which he said three among the pillars are the key focus of NITDA:
“Building Infrastructure, Talents (digital skills and literacy), and Suitable Environment for investments to thrive remain parts of NITDA’s targets”.
Meanwhile, the DG informed the gathering that efforts to bring the Nigeria Startup Bill to a logical conclusion are currently being intensified.
He expressed optimism that upon getting the legal backing, the Bill will incentivise Nigerians and create a new market in order to encourage more investments and boost the sector’s contribution to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
While commending the Federal Government for the change in the Ministry’s mandate and nomenclature from Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in Oct, 2019, Inuwa stressed that although Telecommunications is the biggest sectors in Africa, Nigeria is the leading market.
He encouraged investors to take advantage of the country’s huge population/demography, resourceful young minds as well as it’s soaring digital economy and invest without fears.
“Africa is a virgin land, we don’t have legacy infrastructure; So, you can easily invest and grow in many sectors”, the DG stressed.
Inuwa was hopeful that achieving the ambiguous target of a 95% digital literacy by 2030 would go a long way in creating new markets for not just Nigerians but investors, both at home and abroad.