By, Yewande Foluke Bassey

Digital Transformation, one of the seven strategic pillars of the National Information Technology Development Agency’s Strategic RoadMap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024) as a pivotal aspect to transformational initiatives, has been identified as the baseline for alliance between The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

According to the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, digital transformation is engaged using two different fundamentals: digitization and digitalization. While defining the two he said; “Digitization is the mechanism employed by digital technology to enhance effective processing of product and service delivery, while digitalization is the adaptation of system, processes, using digital technology as a source of inspiration to change operational structure and procedure.”

Abdullahi made this remark during a courtesy visit by Captain Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and his technical team to NITDA’s corporate headquarters in Abuja.

The NITDA boss expatiated on the need to conform to the best global practices, saying; “technology is an enabler, therefore there is need to use technology to increase productivity.”

The DG observed that NITDA’s interface with NCAA is aimed at driving both the internal and external processes of the latter as the apex regulatory body for data regulations and development in Nigeria. He said NITDA has been engaging NCAA in the areas of IT project clearance as well as providing advisory services to the Agency in recent past.

Mallam Abdullahi added that, in line with keeping up with global trends, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami (while he was the DG of NITDA) enabled the issuance of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) Policy in Nigeria in January 2019. This provided opportunity for the protection of the right to privacy, creating the right environment for digital transactions, job creation and improving information management practices in Nigeria. He further stated that the IT sector is data driven and to achieve this, capacity building is very essential.

’’At NITDA our believe is that we cannot succeed in isolation, that’s why we have rebranded and changed our core values, mission and vision, our core values are People first, (we exist to serve people) Professionalism (whatever we do is according to best practices) and Innovation, (we don’t believe in conventional methods, we try to bring something new to our sector),’’ Abdullahi explained.

He postulates the need for effective human capital. ’’We need our people to understand our objectives to enable the smooth transmission of ideas and application of information technology,’’ he added.

The new drive for the agency, according to Mallam Abdullahi, is to engage all MDAs of government to ensure that they have necessary policy, processes, and infrastructure in place to ensure timely service delivery at reduced cost.

’’We are setting up training sessions, first with CEO/MDs of MDAs to enlighten them on digital transformation processes. Thereafter, staff from different departments and units (Procurement, Planning, Administration, Human Resource etc.) would be drafted into the Digital Transformation Technical Working Group (DTTWG),’’ the NITDA boss added excitedly.

This group, he said, would work on developing policies that aligns basically with their individual agencies/sector. He also proffers that each MDAs should have their individual Data Protection Officers (DPOs) who would report directly to the Director General.

The DG, NITDA finally assured the NCAA DG that alliance can be formed on the platform of DTTWG to develop appropriate tool kit and enabling policy that would focus on NCAA vision and mission.

In his opening remarks Captain Musa Nuhu disclosed that the motive of the courtesy visit is to strengthen their existing relationship and create synergy as all government agencies are parts of a whole. “It makes life and work easier and efficient,’’ he said.

He applauded all past NITDA’s intervention to his organization and look forward to more collaboration on all possible areas that the two government bodies could foster alliance.