Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has today commissioned the new Digital Centre domiciled at the Headquarters of the National Information technology Development Agency, (NITDA) and also unveiled the new logo, mission, vision and core values for the Agency.

The commissioning of the Digital Centre, which houses the integrated Computer Emergence Response and Readiness Centre, Digital Media Studio and Digital Conference Room was the third phase in the series of commissioning of Digital Economy projects for a Digital Nigeria.

The Minister, in his address as the special guest of honour commended the management of the Agency for carrying on with the legacies and projects he initiated while he held sway as the Director General of the Agency which were aimed at transforming the Agency to a smart organisation.

Dr Pantami noted that all the projects are in line with the three cardinal objectives of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to grow the economy, improve the security of lives and properties of Nigerians and also curb corruption in governance.

He said, “We have earlier had Computer Emergence and Readiness and Response Team and as you all know, when you deploy facilities to promote cyber security, you need to upgrade the facilities from time to time. This is an upgrade of the facilities of Computer Emergence Response and Readiness Team which is in alignment with the three priorities of our boss, President Muhammadu Buhari.

Dr Pantami said with the current security challenge the nation is facing, the upgrading of the Computer Emergence Response and Readiness team would be able to frontally stem the tide. “Today there are many challenges with regards to security based on what is happening online, with these new facilities, we would be the watchdog of the Federal Government to monitor potentials cyber-crime attacks in our country, come up with policies and strategies to see how we can prevent our country from attacks,” he added.

While assuring that through the digital service promotion, the ministry and parastatals under it would be able to attain all the critical objectives of the administration, the minister explained that the Digital Media studio would positively impact the critical mass of the people by promoting digital literacy.

On the change of NITDA logo, Dr Pantami stated that the change became imperative because the evolving nature of Information Technology noting that since the Information Technology policy has changed to reflect the new trend in the sector, there is need to change the logo to reflect the digital policy of the government.

“The policy of government has changed completely. Before, the policy which we have been working on from 2001 to 2019 was National Information Technology policy which has become obsolete. The world now has gone digital and is no more Information Technology policy but Digital Economy policy. We have been mandated to develop National Digital Economy Policy for Digital Nigeria by Mr. President and this is what brought about the new logo. The new logo identifies with Digital Economy Policy.

Earlier, the NITDA Director General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi in his welcome address informed that all the projects are in consistent with President Buhari campaign promises to improve security, diversify the economy and strengthen the fight against corruption.

Mallam Abdullahi recalled that the remodeling of the NITDA headquarters was the initiative of the Minister while he was the DG of NITDA. “Recall sir when I visited you here in October 2016, you said to me, Kashifu, this office looks like a local government secretariat I will remodel it and transform it into a better working place.”

He maintained that the rebranding of the Agency is to ensure it reflects the Digital Economy Agenda of the government. While commending the Minister for his vision for the nation, the DG observed that several unsuccessful attempt were made to review the IT policy to reflect the new trend but within the three month of the minister in office, he has come up with National Digital economy for Digital Nigeria.

“This new Policy has expanded NITDA’s mandate and made it compulsory to rebrand in line with the new policy. The new brand is a paradigm shift from IT-centric to digital centric NITDA which includes a new logo, new vision, new mission and new core values,” he said.

He assured that the brand would be a game changer in the culture, mindset and public perception of the Agency adding that for the Agency to implement the National Digital Economy policy, it would need to be “digital and smart.”

The commissioning was graced by the Chairman, NITDA Governing Board, Dr Abubakar Saidu, Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission, Prof Umar Garba Dambatta, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Prof Muhammed Bello Abubakar, Managing Director, Nigerian Communication Satellite limited, Dr Abimbola Alele, Head Universal Service Provision Fund, Mallam Ayuba Shuaibu and other top government functionaries.

Posted by Anthony Emeka Nwosu

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