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NITDA catalyst for lifting Nigeria to knowledge-based, IT-driven economy—DG

The Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isah Pantami in Lagos weekend, gave further insights on what the agency stands for.
In his speech at the 2018 eWorld Conference, he explained that “As the regulator of the Information Technology sector, NITDA is at the forefront of digital transformation in the country. This is in line with our vision to be the prime Agency and catalyst for transforming Nigeria into a knowledge-based and IT-driven economy. In addition to our regulatory mandate, we also have a mandate to develop the IT sector and we offer ICT advisory services to both the public and private sector”.
Continuing, Dr Pantami defined digital transformation as involving the integration of digital technologies into every sphere of the national economy, stressing that “NITDA has the capacity to help in the formulation and execution of government policy. It can also lead to more effective and efficient systems, resulting in improved service delivery to the citizens. Several countries have used digital transformation as a trigger for the development of their economies and we are doing the same in Nigeria”.
Recalling that he took over the leadership of the agency about two years ago, NITDA boss noted that he assumed duties “with a strong desire to ensure that we address key areas required to stimulate digital transformation in the country. After leading my team to carry out a critical study, we came up with a Roadmap and an Action plan to develop the ICT sector of the country and digitally transform our nation. This Roadmap has since been endorsed by the Management Team of NITDA and the Stakeholders of the ICT sector of the country”.
According to him, “Our Roadmap for digital transformation is based on the following seven pillars including IT Regulation; Capacity Building; Digital Job Creation; Local Content Development and Promotion; Government Digital Services; Cyber Security; and digital inclusion”.
Dr Pantami revealed that NITDA has strengthened its role in the clearance of all government funded ICT projects in order to among other things harmonize the implementation of IT projects within MDAs, provide value-for-money for all projects funded by the government, avoid undue duplication, reduce the cost of implementing IT projects in Nigeria, and ensure that the IT projects are sustainable.
He disclosed that “We have succeeded in saving the Federal Government billions of naira and have significantly improved the likelihood of success of these projects. In addition to our efforts in the area of IT clearance, we have also prepared a number of standards, guidelines and frameworks for IT users in both the public and the private sector. These include standards and guidelines for data protection and government websites, amongst others”.
“NITDA has also assisted a number of State governments to develop the IT Policies and Strategic Plans, as a way of building their capacity to regulate and develop their ICT sectors, in their areas of strength. In addition to these, we are ensuring that all sovereign data, and data regulated and hosted by the Government and MDAs are repatriated and hosted in Nigeria,” Dr Pantami averred.