The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said that the time to harness the huge potentials of Nigerian youths in Information Technology is now. According to him, “this is a sure way to achieve the goal of diversifying the country’s economy”.
Inuwa made these remarks during a panel discussion at the seminar on Science and Technology organised by National Defence College, with the theme, “Promoting Science and Technology for Rapid National Development in Nigeria on Thursday”.
The DG said that, NITDA, as Government Agency in charge of developing and regulating IT in the country is working tirelessly to ensure that Nigerian youths unlock their potentials in the field, hence making resources available in achieving the targets of economic diversification.
“As a regulator, NITDA is working hand-in-hand with other relevant governments’ agencies to ensure that Nigerian youths discover their potentialities in IT sector. We have programmes underway and what we all need now is to harness these programmes, use available resources to diversify the economy to a digital economy, he said.
The DG further stated that the Agency has already set up seven pillars that are interwoven to assist the government in achieving its goals of sustaining the economy through digital interventions.
He said, “we have created regulations aimed at providing 3,000 jobs through this scheme, which is going to be a milestone to the agency.”
“Nigeria is at the top of other African countries in data consumption with over 111.6million active internet users, this is a huge coverage. The internet has changed everything, from the way we work to how we interact with people. Looking at these figures, we can use necessary measures to unlock the potentiality in our youths to Economic Recovery Growth Plan,” the DG said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral M. M. Kadiri, said that Africa can learn from experience of others like India and China to meet food, health, energy and transport needs by developing a sound technological and industrial base.
He however noted that, Africa needs to increase a capacity to learn from advanced countries and imbibe their best practices in the Science and Technology field.
He also advocated for using technology in a good way, to help in advancing Nigeria’s economic prospect.
Rear Admiral Kadiri also commended the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for making the application of Science and Technology, especially in the development sphere, a priority.
In a spate of cybercrime, the Commandant said that if technology is used correctly, it can be extremely helpful in furthering the prosperity of economies of any country. “The importance of Science and Technology is undeniable because it has solved problems of mankind in diverse ways”, he said.