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Nigeria to witness surge in digital transformation—NITDA

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The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) has expressed optimism that in the coming years, there would be a drastic surge in Nigeria’s digital transformation projects in the public sector.

The Agency said this would be occasioned by the “sudden digital shift the world is currently expressing” which would make the digital transformation global spending to 1.78 trillion USD before the end of the year 2022.

The NITDA’s Director General, Kashifu Inuwa disclosed this in Abuja during a Breakfast Session tagged “Journey to the Cloud,” the event organised by MainOne in partnership with NITDA is aimed at sharing industry trends and experience towards accelerating digital transformation in the public sector.

Inuwa, who was represented by the Acting Director, Digital Economy Department, Engr Salisu Kaka quoted research conducted by the International Data Corporation that predicts digital transformation investment would total 6.8 trillion USD between 2022 to 2023, adding that the world’s GDP is set to be digitalized by 2022 and 70% of organizations globally will have to accelerate their use of digital technologies, transforming existing business processes and models to drive customer engagement, employee productivity, and business resiliency.

He attributed the digital transformation’s growth to several contributing factors that are awakening the consciousness of the world and reemphasizing the importance of digital technologies.

According to the DG, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic was one of the reasons for the growth. He added that, “the pandemic necessitated the need to create a new workspace, work culture, and new competencies and capabilities; this has considerably increased the digital transformation tempo around the globe in 2020.”

He observed that, as part of its Digital Transformation efforts in the last five years, NITDA has embarked on a series of initiatives to drive government-wide adoption of e-Government, digitization of Government processes, and improvement in the maturity of the country’s digital capabilities to match the realities of the global digital economy.

He noted that “the efforts are regulatory and developmental in nature and are ultimately geared towards building a strong foundation for digital economy development and a proudly Digital Nigeria of our dreams adding that having a continuous interaction with the private sector which are the large supplier and the public sector the large consumers would enhance meeting the expectation of the sector”.

While acknowledging that the establishment of the Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups in the Federal Public Institutions was necessitated by the approval and the launch of the Nigeria e-Government Master Plan by the Federal Executive Council and the launching of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, Inuwa maintained that the two documents have provided “clear directions for the government’s digital transformation of the economy and the society for a digital Nigeria.”

He said, “We at NITDA believe that realizing the objectives of these two documents required building appropriate human capabilities, partnerships, co-creating, and knowledge-sharing environments. This belief puts the competence and capability of professional public servants at the forefront of NITDA’s effort on the digital transformation agenda and drives the Agency to continually seek partnerships that can further enrich our digital transformation Journey for a digital Nigeria.”

Inuwa, however noted that digital transformation has rendered countries and organizations more agile in responding to unknown changing phenomena making them more resilient adding that adoption of emerging technologies such as cloud services, Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes imperative.

Describing NITDA as the apex IT regulatory Agency and the leading driver of the digital economy, the NITDA boss assured that the Agency would continue to prepare the FPIs for digital transformation journey.

He said, “We are preparing the Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups (DTTWGs) to lead the journey in their organizations. The DTTWG was formed and inaugurated in about 100 FPIs by the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on Thursday 27th August 2020. Composition of the membership cut across personnel from Technical, Procurement, Admin, and the Directorate cadres. All members inaugurated so far were enlightened on their basic roles and responsibilities.”

“Today, we have achieved another milestone by creating a platform to facilitate the coming together of the DTTWG chairmen and one of our key players in the technology industry is to share experience and discuss critical issues that could accelerate or be clogged in the wheel of our digital transformation agenda,” Inuwa disclosed.

The DG, who was optimistic that the platform created by the breakfast session would encourage constructive stakeholders’ input and the buy-in for driving local data domiciliation and cloud-first policies maintained that continuous co-creation engagement with the DT-TWGs chairmen and key technology industry players and service providers will enable the sharing of experience, successes and challenges,

In her welcome remarks, MainOne Chief Executive Officer, Dr Funke Opeke who was represented by the company’s Head, Enterprise and Regional Business, Olubunmi Ogun disclosed the company has developed a reputation for providing highly reliable services.

She said the company today has provided Microsoft services for client which involves creation of applications to aid ease operations adding that the acquisition of the company by Equinix would ensure more values are derived from the services of the company.

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