By Chimezie Godfrey
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has continued to display its commitment to the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) by constantly collaborating with relevant stakeholders with the aim of harnessing resources together to digitally transform Nigeria.
Promotion of indigenous content, which is a key pillar in the Agency’s Strategic Road Map and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021-2024 has remained a primary focus of the Director General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa CCIE who has been relentlessly seeking collaborations within the Innovation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in ensuring that indigenous startups are provided with the adequate motivation in conceiving and conceptualizing their ideas into impacting innovations.
The DG who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi received a team from Independence Digital, a Russian organization that specializes in software development led by Mr Paul Maximeak to discuss possible areas of collaboration and partnership.
Inuwa while briefing the Russian visitors, stated that the NDEPS, a 10-year policy plan was launched in 2019 by the Federal Government of Nigeria to digitally transform the Nation.
He further said that it was necessary to come up with policies and regulatory instruments which will help develop the sector in many ways. “Since we are talking about software development, we need to come up with software related policies, standards and frameworks that will meet up with international standards”, he noted.
The DG opined that all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies need to be digitized and therefore sought for collaboration with the visitors in giving Nigeria a Digital Independence.
He emphatically stated that Indigenous Content Development and Promotion remains a primary focus of the Agency which has necessitated collaborations with Developers. “As Russia doesn’t use solutions developed outside Russia, we in Nigeria would love to collaborate with you so that you can help us achieve this”, he stated.
Inuwa gave assurances of the agency’s willingness to share other open documents such as the Cloud Computing Policy and the National Broadband Implementation Plan with the visitors while emphasizing that the NITDA SRAP will remain the primary focus.
He concluded that the idea of the regulations was not to stifle innovations and it was therefore necessary to co-create and work with developers who will understand the needs and create regulatory instruments as well as frameworks that will support the regulations.
Mr Paul Maximeak in his earlier remark appreciated NITDA for meeting them and assured the agency of their collaboration in areas of capacity building to improve the Nigerian Infrastructures already built.
He stated that their organization which is a certified partner of most major Russian software developers such as the Kaspersky Lab, eXpress, Infowatch, Security Code and others is excited about collaborating with NITDA on software development.
“We will provide solutions to your challenges and arrange for our engineers to meet with yours in building a supportive framework” he promised.