The Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, has advised the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to spread its projects, training and programmes across the 36 states of the federation.

The Minister advised the Agency against shortchanging any part of the country either in the citing of projects or appointments saying that the intervention projects and programmes of the Agency must be felt across the country.

Speaking during his inaugural visit to the Agency in Abuja, Shittu advised NITDA to give timelines for some of its plans, especially, those that relate to job creation and capacity building to enable it to track and evaluate programmes and policies, accordingly.

The minister stated that the government is committed to driving the economy through ICT. “We have a leadership that we can trust in delivering its campaign promises on economic diversification and in the Acting Director General too, we have a leadership which government can trust and support in its vision to drive the government agenda”.

The minister assured NITDA that the government would soon set up the NITDA board.  I have discussed with the president on the inauguration of NITDA board which would soon be inaugurated. I believe they are coming on board would aid the Agency in achieving its mandate.

Earlier, the Acting Director General of NITDA, Vincent Olatunji, stated that the Agency had trained over 10,000 youths in various areas of ICT in an effort to sustain indigenous human capacity development in the country.

“Once we excel through this Local Content Promotion, we would stop the importation of some of the key equipments and products we could produce here. We have made online studies a reality in the country through the installation of e-library where 10,000 people could read through the web simultaneously in our institutions,” he added.

Dr Olatunji noted that the Agency is working with states to set up Smart Cities in line with the National IT Policy and has also commenced ICT scholarship scheme targeted at training Nigerians in core areas of ICT.

“We have also awarded scholarships to various states in ICT. We are already discussing with foreign universities in this direction whereby they could do exchange programmes,” he added.

Going forward, the NITDA Acting DG informed the Minister that with the proposed launch of the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), the Agency would earn more revenue for the government.