By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi says NITDA is taking advantage of the spread of existing infrastructure across the country to accelerate digital inclusion.
He said the focus is on skills rather than degrees to progressively increase the contribution of digital technologies to the economy.
The DG said this at the inaugural virtual Digital PayExpo and conference 2020 to mark its 20th Anniversary with the theme: “Emerging Technologies and the National Digital Economy Plan”.
Digital PayExpo is a conference in the digital payments space in Africa where hundreds of C-Suite executives – bankers, investors, start-ups, policy-makers, and development professionals converge to discuss and explore innovative solutions to emerging themes in the financial inclusion space every year.
The DG said the conference came at the right time when the country needed it the most because technology is taking the lead in everything since the emergence of COVID 19 in the country.
“Technology is the way forward in communications and other activities like meetings, prescriptions by doctors, conferences and other related activities which has to aid the implementations of policies and strategies for the growth and development of our country.
“It is the next oil, simply because of its rise in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product which has paved way for the creations of jobs directly or indirectly and also an avenue for flow of revenue to the country. Everything is evolving around technology and with technology work and activities are done at ease and reduces the cost of implementation at the end of the day, he said.
According to him, the Agency since the implementation of its IT roadmap has prepared Nigeria and created ways for the adoption of the 4th industrial revolution which will serve as the yardstick for the digitalisation of the country’s mode of operation and the economy at large.
He added that the impact of technology has gradually yielded a positive result, through skills acquisition, job creation, promotion of government service, capacity building carried out by the Agency at the different geopolitical zones in the country which has deepened the penetration of IT in Nigeria.