By Chimezie Godfrey
The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) in its aspiration to be closer to its stakeholders, has organized a one-day Stakeholders Engagement Program to cascade its programs, projects, and policies to the grassroots people.
Speaking virtually during the first edition of the program, the NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa, who was represented by the Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr. Usman Abdullahi, disclosed that the Agency holds its stakeholders in high esteem and would ensure they derive value from all NITDA’s interventions.
The program, which would hold in eight different states across the country commences with the Gombe State’ edition on Tuesday January 25, 2022, at the Banquet Hall, Gombe International Hotel, Gombe, Gombe State with the theme ” Creating Opportunities, Breaking Boundaries: Towards Digitalisation and Entrepreneurial Evolution.”
The other States where the program would be taken place are includes; Bauchi, Kano. Kaduna Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, and Bayelsa.
According to the NITDA boss, “Stakeholders’ Engagement Program is aimed at delivering values to our stakeholders and this is in tandem with our core values of people first, innovative and professionalism.”
“Part of why the Agency is organizing the event is its strive to deliver value to its stakeholders.
“That would not be possible without listening to you and speaking with you to get clarity on your perspective, aspirations, and needs,” he disclosed.
Inuwa noted that the meeting would serve as a veritable platform to pool knowledge, experiences, and expertise and to create solutions, articulate strategies, and extend the Agency’s services to all its stakeholders.
He emphasized that the engagement would constantly rethink its ideas, system, and processes.
He maintained that the objectives of the program are; to offer stakeholders the opportunity to express their views and opinions on matters related to the Agency’s implementation of its mandate, establish a sustainable collaboration and consistent channel for feedback and exchange of ideas, and also share with the stakeholders the Agency’s vision, the regulatory instrument for national development and the Agency’s journey so far.
He assured the participants that the Agency is not oblivious of the fact that more still needs to be done and pledged the commitment of the Agency to make further progress with the stakeholders in the coming years.
The Gombe State Commissioner of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Aisha Umar Maigari in her goodwill remarks commended NITDA for the roles it is playing in ensuring that policies are also domesticated in states which she described as a better way to ensure uniformity in developing the ICT sector in the country.
She stated that the Stakeholders’ Engagement Program is coming at the right time when the state needs more collaboration from NITDA.
She said NITDA has helped them develop a very ambitious state ICT policy and the state has since commenced implementation of some of the initiatives in the document after it has carried out need assessment analysis.
She said the present administration has ensured that civil servants in the state are using dot ng for government businesses adding that the state is building the capacity of the staff also in the area of basic computer operation for its staff and promoting digital literacy in the state especially among the underserved and unserved indigene of the state.
She added that COVID-19 has also made them train over 60 persons in the area of digital and online marketing.
She added that most of the government processes have been digitized especially in the area of internally generated revenue to the government.
Participants at the event shared their observations on how they think NITDA could deepen its influence among the stakeholders, especially the rural populace.
Mallam Zakari Suleiman of the Computer Professional Council of Nigeria, CPN, was of the view that NITDA should constitute a monitoring team that would be inspecting all its interventions with a view of ascertaining there proper usage.
He said the Agency should ensure that the end-users are trained on how to properly take care of those interventions.