ICT, Global Driver Of Economy-DG NITDA
By Olabisi Olaleye
Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Dr Isa Pantami disclosed recently that the information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the global driver of all aspects of the economy.
Pantami, who was speaking during the Agency’s startup programme in Akwa Ibom state said “we are aware of the harsh conditions in securing white collar jobs in the country, so it has become apparent for the government to focus more in building technology entrepreneurs. A developed indigenous ICT ecosystem will help the country to diversify its economy from oil. As I have always said, data is the new oil. With the two local content related Presidential orders, we need to focus on locally produced innovations for our local market. NITDA intends to encourage and support ICT entrepreneurship and promote it as an attractive career option for the the youths”.
The startup project is an initiative of the Agency, executed by its subsidiary office, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entreprenuership (OIIE).
The DG also revealed that in order to encourage and boost the ICT ecosystem in Akwa-Ibom, NITDA would be setting up a ‘Digital Job Centre’ at the Government Secondary School, Afaha Eket, Eket LGA, Akwa – Ibom State.
He added that the Agency was mandated to develop, implement and regulate the IT industry in the country and that in discharging its functions, “NITDA is determined to ensure that all Nigerians, especially the youths are carried along in its empowerment agenda.
“Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was established by the Agency to drive programs and policies that support ICT development, develop, establish and support ICT innovation hubs, Information Technology parks and community enterprise hubs across Nigeria while, collaborating with the private and public sectors at both federal and state levels on programs that support entrepreneurship and commercialization”.
Earlier in his welcome address, Governor Gabriel Emmanuel Udom who was ably represented by the commissioner of Science and Technology,Professor Nse Essien expressed delight over the choice of the state as the beneficiary of a developmental event of its magnitude. “The choice of Akwa Ibom state by NITDA for such an important project is an attestation that NITDA, and indeed the present administration, exists to serve all Nigerians regardless of geographical locations or any challenges. Information Technology is the guarantee to a secure future and we are proud to be a part of this epoch making event .We are immensely grateful to the DG for spreading the dragnet to all he nooks and crannies of Nigeria”. While pledging the state’s support to the Agency, he urged the youths to take full advantage of the opportunity and leverage on the platform provided by Information Technology to empower themselves in order to be fully prepared for the future.