Kashifu Inuwa’s two extraordinary years as CEO NITDA
Two years passed, and it was like yesterday, President Muhammadu, GCFR, approved the appointment of Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, a computer expert from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA), as director general national development of information technology. (NITDA), following the elevation of the then Director General, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, to the post of Minister of Communications, which was his ministry later re-designated as Minister of Communications and the Digital Economy.
With his appointment, it is heartwarming that an increasing number of well-educated, world-class technocrats are coming into the public domain to help change the narrative in public service.
Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the current Managing Director of (NITDA, completed leadership and management courses at Harvard University (US) and IMD Business School, Switzerland prior to his appointment as CEO , NITDA on August 20, 2019. He is one of the growing number of leaders appointed by the current administration that many Nigerians are proud of.
Over these two years, Abdullahi has proven to the world that he knows the global ICT terrain deeply and is keenly aware of the challenges, limitations and constraints that hold Nigeria – a nation of around 200 million people together. people lagging behind in the changing world of the digital economy. Against all odds that awaits Nigeria’s IT sector, Kashifu has a tireless vision and passion to bring the nation into the community of nations operating on the digital economy.
Difficult, it is a Herculean task given that six months after his appointment, the whole world has found itself fighting an invisible enemy – COVID-19, but that does not prevent him from thinking outside the box to find the solutions sustainable to the economic challenge posed by the deadly virus.
Abdullahi has already reached a stage where he plays a central role in Nigeria’s quest to become Africa’s largest digital economy. Since the rise of NITDA, there has been a steady and impressive implementation of the strategic roadmap for the development of Nigeria’s IT sector envisioned by Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Ibrahim (Kashifu’s predecessor at NITDA who is now Minister of Communication and Digital Economy), as well as the implementation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s fundamental vision of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) through information technology .
For Nigeria to effectively operate a digital economy, NITDA has developed a Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SPOR 2021-2014), the pillars identified by the Agency as the backbone of the roadmap are: 1) development regulation; 2) Literacy and digital skills; 3) Digital transformation; 4) Digital innovation and entrepreneurship; 5) Cybersecurity; 6) Emerging technologies and; 7) Promotion of indigenous content.
The PASR has been divided into strategic initiatives that correspond to its objective. The resulting initiatives were further fragmented into activities and an implementation plan which in turn was developed for these initiatives. In addition, a results monitoring framework has been developed for the key performance indicators identified for each of the initiatives.
The Agency has defined strategies to digitize government functions and processes and has successfully created more than 150 user accounts to enable ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to submit their IT projects through the Authorization Portal of Agency IT projects, licensed by 94 Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCO) and Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture / Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (NGEa-Ne-GIF).
Under Kashifu’s leadership, NITDA has developed several regulatory frameworks for the development of information technology, most of which have been published both in print and in print by the Agency.
The standards, guidelines and frameworks developed by NITDA include: Government of Nigeria Enterprise Architecture (NGEA); Regulatory framework of public-private partnership for ICT and e-government projects; Government Digital Service Framework (GDSFrame); National Blockchain Adoption Strategy Paper; Nigeria’s Digital Agriculture Strategy (NDAS-2020-2030); Guide to the management of operational processes for federal public institutions (PFI); Management system guidelines for federal public institutions (PFI); Government Digital Transformation Performance Assessment Toolkit (GDT-PAT); and the e-government and digital transformation master plan for Jigawa, Nasarawa and Ogun states, to name a few.
To drive these initiatives, the Agency has set up technical working groups on ICT in MDAs to enable adoption of Ne-GIF, NGEA and other related initiatives to drive ICT, e-government and made mandatory ICT capacity building for MDA staff. It organized the capacity building and certification of 442 members of the Technical Working Group on Digital Transformation (DT-TWG) from different Federal Public Institutions (IFP).
In addition, during these two years, Kashifu continues from where his predecessor left off by developing potential Nigerian farmers through the federal government’s initiative of the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), to change the face. the agricultural sector in the country.
National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture is an ecosystem-driven digital platform designed for the transformation of the agriculture sector in Nigeria. It is designed to help farmers and other actors in the agricultural ecosystem navigate their journey along the agricultural value chain. This route crosses agricultural production through to management, processing, harvesting, storage, marketing and consumption. 565 farmers were trained and provided with digital devices and funding of 100,000 naira, which also created direct and indirect jobs in the country.
NITDA also launched the National Adopted School for Smart Education (NASSE) to promote literacy and digital skills among students with 500 students and 30 teachers from Karshi Middle School who benefited from the program. pilot. The Agency oversaw the training of a total of 1,858 artisans in the 6 geopolitical zones on digital literacy and phone repairs.
The Agency also provided training to 200 women on ICT and entrepreneurship, each with laptops (e-learning software and graphics preinstalled), internet dongles and backpacks, 1,200 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs were created; he further graduated 300 Nigerians in software, mobile app and website development and entrepreneurship. People with disabilities were also not left out, as NITDA trained 30 and 52 people respectively in Kano and Enugu, and provided them with laptops as work tools.
In addition to making an effort in IT development as well as improving the IT capacity of citizens, hundreds of IT hubs, IT parks and community ICT centers have been deployed, furnished or equipped with world-class facilities across states. from the country.
Regarding cybersecurity, NITDA conducted five (5) incident analyzes affecting the national ICT infrastructure, managed 34 MDA website hacks, 15 resolved ENDSARS hack attempts, 10 website downgrades of MDAs processed and dark web monitoring 15 incidents managed.
The Agency, under the supervision of its line ministry, launched the NITDA Academy for Research and Training (NART) with more than 67 active courses, 58,227 more active students and 55,539 more training sessions active.
To ensure that Nigeria’s talented fool is not left behind, the Agency’s National Establishment Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), NITDA, is aiming, through NCAIR, to to stimulate and support research, development and adoption of emerging technologies in Nigeria.
The Center creates the required environment for the youth of Nigeria; encourage innovation and indigenization of technologies to help combat the continued dependence on foreign products and services which negatively impacts the country’s economy. It serves as a bridge between government, industry and academia providing a research environment for creativity, the integration of ideas, a collaborative environment, the development of ICT policies, processes and strategies. .
Thanks to Kashifu’s commitment, Nigeria made history by receiving the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), at the Root Certification Authority (RCA) Award Ceremony for the Certificate Authority Country Signature Authority (CSCA) and Country Verification Certification Authority (CVCA) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
With the strategy already in place, the Agency has succeeded in programming, developing and mapping a digital process to cushion the effect of the coronavirus since it is a global epidemic; Nigeria COVID19 Innovation Challenge, an online innovation challenge that was set up to address the challenges our society was and still is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Developers, entrepreneurs and other creative minds have joined to experiment and create software solutions to help cope with this crisis, overwhelming applicants received in Nigeria.
However, given the vast technological expertise possessed by the CEO, Nigerians still wonder why Kashifu Inuwa has such intellectual prowess that makes him an extraordinary chief executive in his tenure over the past two years. years as Managing Director of NITDA.
*** Umar wrote from NITDA headquarters in Abuja.