Nigeria to become ICT hub in Africa

Aliyu Othman, Abuja

The National Information Technologygy Development Agency NITDA, has assured Nigerians that in five years time,the nation will become the ICT hub in Africa.

The Acting Director General of the agency Dr. Vincent Olatunji said in an interview with Voice of Nigeria that Nigeria is ready to use innovation technology to develop the country.

He disclosed that with energetic youth population desirous of using their God given talents and determined to make Nigeria great its possible to make Nigeria an ICT hub in Africa.

“Nigeria youths are energetic, enthusiastic, they can take risk and they can go all the way, that’s what technology needs and you need energy to drive your passion. The next five years I see Nigeria becoming the hub of ICT in Africa and in less than ten years we want to see the super bag and global brands coming out of Nigeria,” Dr Olatunji said.

The NITDA Chief said for technology to be developed innovation and skills acquisition must be given priority.

Cyber crime and mitigation
Dr. Olatunji said with the National Sat as a computer emergency response team with capacity to feed signals in real time to protect agencies against cyber crime attacks, Nigeria had the capacity to protect its ICT facilities.

He explained that Nigeria had adopted new measures to curtail the effects of cyber crime to ensure a crime free ICT for maximum utilization.

He called on ICT users in Nigeria to build capacities of their staff to mitigate against attacks as obtained during the 2015 elections when the Independent National Electoral Commission website was attacked.

“During the last general election INEC site was hacked but within few hours it was restored because of capacity in house and during the police recruitment because of the number of heat on the website it went down but it was restored,”he stated.

Dr. Olatunji assured Nigerians that things are getting better and government was getting people to mitigate the effects against cyber attacks and urged them to study carefully all information on the web to avoid falling victims of cyber attacks and criminality.

Collaboration and entrepreneurial skills
The NITDA Ag Director General said they will soon enter into collaboration with Federal Ministry of Education and other relevant agencies to introduce new courses on ICT that will make Nigerians acquire more skills relevant to their entrepreneurial needs.

He said the skills acquisition drive would also involve other government agencies that would ensure Nigeria achieve its objectives as the next ICT hub in Africa.

“We are already training people that are involved in network management in different ministries, departments and agencies and recently we invited people from Cyber giant in Malaysia to train and about 55 officials were involved,” he emphasised.

He called on the government to do more in building capacity to enabled the managers work and resolve problems before it course serious damage.

Home grown solutions
Dr. Olatunji said Nigeria achieved a lot through the introduction of Treasury Single Account  TSA which created billions of naira revenue to the nation as home grown solution that had not been celebrated.

“There is one thing going on in Nigeria we are note celebrating. Look at TSA is a local product, local solution that is saving the government billion of Naira now and if we don’t celebrate such thing like that nobody will celebrate it for us”

He stressed that ICT remains the most credible alternative to help Nigeria’s economic crisis and whatever NITDA will do to create awareness, encourage and help people through advocacy will be done to take Nigeria to the next level in the nearest future.

Confidence O.