The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, through its IT project clearance mandate, had assessed and cleared 62 Information Technology related projects worth 1,168,145,213,150 between January and May this year.The Director-General of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa disclosed this at a virtual meeting organised by a subsidiary of the Agency, Office for Nigerian Content development ONC.
Inuwa who was represented by the Director IT Infrastructure Solutions, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, said this was an indication of the drive by this administration to digitalise government services, as most of this projects are service based.
Speaking on the theme of the meeting “Harnessing indigenous solutions for public sector innovation and digital development”, Inuwa said it was very apt at this critical period of our digital experience.
He explained that the assessment shows that about 64,878,725,488 naira were for software and software enabled projects noting that more can be achieved with a deeper collaboration between the public and private sector using technology as a driver for public services.
“Therefore, for successful development and delivery of government digital services, it is significantly important that innovative Nigerian companies are engaged very early in the project from the conceptualization and design stages”, Inuwa said.
The DG said that the effect of the pandemic on the economy, governance and public service delivery has spurred a greater urgency for the development of government digital services and digital economy for Nigeria.Inuwa while elaborating on the benefits of collaborations and partnerships between the public and private sector said it will deepen the opportunity for learning to create tailor-made solutions for societal problems.The National Coordinator of ONC, Kassim Sodangi stated that “our key objective is that, for solutions that are driven or adopted by the Federal Government, we want to encourage that beyond issuing out procurement notices and adverts, the MDAs will be able to sit down with indigenous content providers to discuss and come up with a plan or strategy to drive the development of the solution”.
Speaking on digital economy, Sodangi stated that indigenous content development and adaptation, which is the pillar of the Subsidiary is central to development of digital economy in Nigeria.
He said the Agency will explore and examine the Presidential Executive Order 003 and 005 for planning and execution of projects and promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and technology.
“These documents will form the fulcrum for discussing a laboratory of what can happen and what are the opportunities in the bylaw and policy that will drive the development of co-creation and co-planning of projects. Our pitch to you MDAs here present is that you will explore the frameworks policy and laws available so that we can together design programs, so that we can deliver this programs together as one entity” Sodangi said.
He reiterated that the aim of the meeting was to create and develop solutions that are indigenous to Nigeria that will solve specific and precise problems in our society.
Sodangi described the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy document as a vanguard document for harnessing digital economy in Nigeria.
“This strategy contains eight pillars: They are developmental regulation, digital literacy and skills, solid infrastructure service, infrastructure promotion of digital services, digital Society and emerging technologies and indigenous content development,” he said.