The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) and National Orientation Agency, (NOA) have agreed to advance the frontiers of the clauses in the previous Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) that exists between the two agencies.
This according to the Director-General of the two Agencies, the emerging nature of Information Communication Technology, (ICT) and the government’s resolve to diversify the economy to knowledge base has become imperative.
The NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, who was at the NOA office on a working visit stated that; “the reason for the visit is to leverage on the capacity of the NOA to reach out to every nook and cranny of the country with the hope of re-orientating the critical mass of our population on the potentials of digital economy.”
“We identify NOA as the only Agency that has a national spread and capacity to reach out to the remotest of our villages and that can do awareness and enlightenment for our people to see reasons for acquiring digital skills for future of work,” the NITDA DG said.
He said, “Our youthful population has put us in a very competitive advantage to be a country to reckon with for global competitiveness in the digital economy.” He, however, added that “our population on social media raises concern about cybersecurity and this call for awareness on how to safeguard our data and stay safe online to operate in the Digital Economy.
Abdullahi noted that the change in the name of the Ministry of Communications to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is to reflect on government’s commitment to explore digital economy’s potentials and refocusing to something ambitious that has great potentials in achieving the government’s priority of taking people out of poverty because digital economy offers opportunity to people to be employers of labour.
In his remark, the NOA Director-General, Dr. Garba Abari who recalled that the MoU between NITDA and NOA which was jointly signed by the then DG and now Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, and himself was dated back to 2018. He added that a lot of issues have come up to advance the terms of reference of the MoU in order to reflect recent realities in ICT industry.
“From the time we signed the MoU to date, a lot of issues have come up in the ICT industry and this is typical of the world that is changing day by day. ICT is making operation become easy, less costly and more inclusive for people that have to acquire digital skills.
“We have a population that can be an asset and at the same time liability to us, depend on how we engage them. With the emerging technology, we need to take the message to our people to acquire the digital skills to promote digital economy. To this extent, we are revisiting our MoU with the view to advance the scope.
“I think the partnership is right and apt. We need to protect our people online. We are concern with the issue of online safety, data protection and cybersecurity. We have carried out sensitization program in 1000 schools across the country and we hope to duplicate the number with the support of NITDA.” he assured.
Dr Abari however solicited for NITDA’s support to enhance the capacity of NOA’s staff and provision of tools for them in order to cascade the sensitization and enlightenment down to the people.