The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has made commitment to support and collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations working within the scope of the Agency’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024), and that includes Aid for Rural Education and Access Initiative, (AREAI).
Mallam Abdullahi Kashifu, the Director General of NITDA, made this commitment to the Chief Executive Director of AREAI, Prince Gideon Olarewaju, and some members of the organisation during a courtesy visit to NITDA headquarters in Abuja, Thursday.
Kashifu disclosed that NITDA recently unveiled its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, saying; “The SRAP is designed as a template or map to assist the agency achieve the targeted plans through the execution of the strategic pillars,” he explained.
While elaborating further, the NITDA boss said; “SRAP is anchored on 7 strategic pillars, namely, Developmental Regulations, Digital Literacy and Skills, Digital Transformation, Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Cyber Security, Emerging Technologies, and the seventh pillar is the promotion of Indigenous Content.”
He further explained that; “with the mandate and expertise from the Aid for Rural Education and Access Initiative, there is an opportunity for Nigerian youth to position itself as a leader in terms of ICT and digital economy and digital literacy with skills and innovation.”
The DG explained that NITDA is particularly passionate about four mentioned areas of collaborate, these are: Digital literacy and skills, where we have a target of 95% digital literacy in Nigeria by 2030. He said during the lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic, NITDA came up with virtual academy with an enrolment of over sixty thousand online students and beneficiaries.
The Agency is now working to upgrade it to a standard mass open online courses platform like Coursera and Edx. He said NITDA is hoping that other related institutions will key into this and start providing skills and certificate courses for our citizenry and even beyond the shores of our country.
On Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Abdullahi said NITDA is already coming up with something new that will impact knowledge to the rural communities. Thirdly, he said, is the Local Content development of which the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics is one of the centers set up as an intervention center to develop local content and upgrade the skills of our citizen.
He encouraged the AREAI to take advantage of this facility to identify talents and develop ideas in their areas of interest that will impact on the girl child education’s digital literacy and skills. He said it is a platform that the Agency has adopted to change the Nigerian trajectory through training and skill empowerment.
Mallam Kashifu is quite optimistic that the two agencies partnership will uplift the actualisation of their similar mandates such as indigenous investors and innovation programs among others. He later advised on the constitution of forum for discussions between NITDA and AREAI to come up with working tools to develop the idea into practicable reality.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Director of Aid for Rural Education and Access Initiative commended the NITDA for the opportunity to showcase their talent most especially in Digi-learn which is one of the smartest ways of impacting knowledge to the rural communities. He hopes that the collaboration with NITDA will be a huge advantage to AREAI in harnessing potentials and expertise in bringing more innovation to the Rural communities in digital ways.