• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NITDA to deepen ICT usage in government, encourage skill acquisition

businessday-icon

Nigeria’s over all institution in charge of growing and supervising the use, implementation and development of Information Technology, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has signalled it is embarking on a renewed determination to ensure the adequate and increased application and use of IT tools and solutions in all government establishments across the country.

Aware of the paucity of uptake and deployment of IT in especially the public sector, and in realisation of the critical need to embrace electronic systems for governance and administration, NITDA’s Director-General, Peter Jack, said the crusade to carry IT into all nooks and crannies of the country, into all public and private establishments, with the schools being the incubation centres, is now more urgent than before.

Jack was speaking against the backdrop of renewed vigour by the Agency to ensure that IT tools and solutions used in the country meet standards set by NITDA for the purpose of ensuring rapid and widespread human capital development. And, as a body empowered by law to drive Information and Communications Technology (ICT) growth in Nigeria, NITDA said it is renewing its efforts at encouraging government ministries, departments and agencies to adopt technology for efficient services delivery. Jack said NITDA will push this driver further through training and re-training of government officials, which is part of its core mandate for ICT development in the country.

Giving this indication in Abuja, Jack said NITDA’s core strategy is to position IT as prime catalyst for turning Nigeria into a ubiquitous society. And to achieve this, those in government must begin to involve ICT in their day to day activities. In this regard, he said NITDA had in the recent times organised trainings for legislators as well as lecturers in the nation’s universities. These trainings are aside the regular training programmes and scholarships for youths and undergraduates which the agency undertakes periodically across the country. According to Jack, NITDA will continue to encourage ICT usage in government while it will not shy away from its responsibility of giving government the right recommendations for ICT acquisitions.

Under the NITDA ACT of 2007, the Agency is to create incentives to promote the use of information technology in all spheres of life in Nigeria including the development of guidelines for setting up of information technology systems and knowledge parks. And part of those incentives, Jack said, has been in form of ICT trainings and scholarship programmes for government officials and youths.

The agency is also saddled, among others, with the responsibility of “developing guidelines for electronic governance and monitor the use of electronic data interchange and other forms of electronic communication transactions as an alternative to paper-based methods in government, commerce, education, the private and public sectors, labour, and other fields, where the use of electronic communication may improve the exchange of data and information.”

NITDA also advises the government on ways of promoting the development of information technology in Nigeria including introducing appropriate information technology legislation to enhance national security and vibrancy of the industry.

Before now, NITDA had organised ICT training for members of the House of Representatives and followed by another for their Senate counterpart as a move to digitise the Nigerian law making arm of the country. The purpose of this, according to NITDA, is to ensure that the legislative arm of government is well equipped with necessary ICT tools to enhance their duties and also increase output.

The main aim of its ICT trainings for government officials in general, it said is to assist in transforming government processes, thereby enhancing the pace of national development.

 Ben Uzor