Diving into the realm where technology and innovation converge, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has emerged as an unmatched force propelling Nigeria towards a digital future unlike any other. With an unswerving commitment to nurturing startups and enterprises, NITDA’s impact, as illuminated by Bashir Ibrahim Hassan, reflects the trailblazing spirit of its Director General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
While apprehension looms regarding the displacement of jobs due to artificial intelligence (AI), Inuwa Abdullahi remains steadfast, fortified by his multifaceted expertise in policy formulation, resource mobilization, and strategic execution. Graduating with distinction in Computer Science, Inuwa’s journey from a network engineer at Galaxy Backbone Limited to the helm of NITDA has been marked by relentless innovation.
Under his stewardship, NITDA has orchestrated a symphony of initiatives that resonate with visionary originality. Emboldened by the spirit of resilience, Inuwa deftly navigated the tumultuous waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. Collaborating with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, NITDA unveiled the Tech4Covid committee, orchestrating a medley of strategies to mitigate the pandemic’s impact. From the Tech4Covid Innovation Challenge to the pioneering NITDA Virtual Academy, the agency carved a path of digital resilience.
Inuwa’s legacy is etched in his transformative impact on human capital. Training nearly a million Nigerians across various domains and endowing 49 individuals with Masters and PhD scholarships, his latest endeavor aims to equip one million software developers in just 18 months. This symphony of skilling harmonizes with NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, sculpting Nigeria into a digital powerhouse across seven strategic pillars.
The ripple effects of NITDA’s endeavors have been far-reaching. Nigeria’s ICT/digital economy sector burgeoned from 12 percent of the GDP in 2019 to an astonishing 18.4 percent in Q3 of 2022, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. As President Bola Tinubu’s clarion call for one million digital jobs reverberates, Inuwa’s blueprint aligns seamlessly.
“Brain Exports: The Optimal Path to Growing the Nigerian Economy,” a pivotal report by PwC, validates NITDA’s strides. From music to art, Nigeria’s true resources transcend minerals, mirrored in its potential as a global talent factory. Inuwa’s brainchild, the NITDA Coursera scholarship, empowers thousands with high-demand skills, poised to thrive on the international stage.
Inuwa’s canvas extends to technological innovation ecosystems. NITDA envisions vibrant clusters across Nigeria’s states, nurtured by the Nigeria Startup Act. From propelling startups with mentorship to wielding the Startup Act’s investment seed fund, NITDA engineers job creation aligned with the administration’s one million digital job manifesto.
The symphony of reform crescendos: the Nigerian Start-up Act, the Nigeria Data Strategy, the National Blockchain Policy, and the National Outsourcing Strategy. Each note amplifies job prospects, harnessing data, embracing blockchain’s potential, and defying emigration norms.
NITDA’s vision transcends industries, as seen in the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA). Inuwa’s symphony envisions AI-powered agriculture, vertical farming, and tackling pests through technology. By aligning with the Abuja technology village, NITDA beckons startups to paint their agri-tech masterpieces.
In the orchestral arrangement that is Nigeria’s digital transformation, NITDA conducts the melody of innovation, Inuwa Abdullahi’s baton steering towards harmonious progress. As the world watches, Nigeria’s digital symphony under NITDA’s baton reverberates with a distinctive and indomitable resonance.