The Nigerian Government has launched a Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, (SRAP)to boost Nigeria’s Digital Economy.
The Strategic plan which was Developed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy for the period of 2021-2024 was inspired by the vision of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
The road map was also developed to reposition the Nigerian economy in order to take advantage of the many opportunities that digital technologies provide.
The document which was presented to the public virtually by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami is based on 7-pillars for the acceleration of the National Digital Economy that align with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government as well as the priorities assigned to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
According to NITDA, in developing SRAP 2021 – 2024, some policies of Government and public documents were consulted which are policies and documents of NDEPS, Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), Tech4COVID Committee Report, National Broadband Plan, Cybersecurity Policy, National eGovernment Master Plan, NITDA Act, amongst others.
Dr. Pantami expressed delight that NITDA took the bold step of mapping its 2021 to 2024 strategy to the Presidential mandate and Ministerial directive, taking cognisance of its mandate and aligning it squarely with the NDEPS.
Recall that the Minister stated that NITDA plays a critical role in NDEPS implementation as the apex IT regulator responsible for the development of Standards, guidelines and frameworks in IT for Nigeria.
According to him, NITDA’s mandate strategy must align with the NDEPS; digitisation drive adding that this will accelerate expectations of the economy, create jobs and opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming youths.
He revealed that the implementation of the NITDA strategy will not only ensure the development, usage, and sustainability of digital technologies but will also deepen Nigeria’s economy digitally, diversify the economy, promote innovation and lift millions out of poverty.
On his part ,the Director General of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa disclosed that the Agency was adjusting and realigning its internal structures in a manner that would support the new vision and help to attain it’s goals.
Inuwa noted that the restructuring has seen the redefinition of departmental functions and the refocusing of the operational mandate of some departments saying that some departments have been classified as public-facing and operational departments.
He said that the classification is to specifically tailor operations towards key aspects of SRAP while other departments strictly function as the agency’s service departments to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of internal operations.
“The fundamental values captured in the current roadmap which will define the culture in the Agency for the next four years and beyond are, putting people first, imbibing the attitude of innovation and applying professionalism in all we do. The challenge, which we are glad to assume, is to implement the initiatives and processes in a way that reflects these core values at all times. The solution lies in training and retraining of staff to ensure that the corporate culture is systemically imbibed”, he maintained.
The NITDA Boss emphasised that NITDA’s strategic plan is focused on the facilitation of a rapid transformation of the digital economy through elaborate stakeholder collaborations in the implementation of the NDEPS.
“All the seven pillars of the Roadmap and their objectives require extensive collaborations for their actualisation. Our understanding is that a highly skilled workforce motivated by a clear developmental vision and working with various stakeholders on properly aligned initiatives and processes, would be more likely to deliver on the mission and mandate of the Agency in line with the dictates of a digital economy”, the NITDA Boss added.
The seven strategic pillars identified by the Agency as the fulcrum for the Roadmap are:
1.Developmental Regulation: Development of a regulatory framework that unlocks opportunities in the digital economy across all sectors.
2.Digital Literacy and Skills: Development and adoption of digital literacy standards for Nigeria.
3.Digital Transformation: Transformation of government services and processes by leveraging digital technologies.
4 .Digital Innovation & Entrepreneurship:Creation of an ecosystem for Innovation Driven Enterprises and MSMEs to thrive.
5. Cybersecurity:To strengthen the cyberspace and reduce vulnerabilities exploitable by threat actors.
6. Emerging Technologies: Facilitation of the adoption and adaptation of emerging technologies in Nigeria.
7. Promotion of Indigenous Content:The creation of an enabling framework for the adoption of home-grown innovation for a digital economy.