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The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has proposed strategic initiatives in strengthening the collaboration with the Research, Technology and Innovation division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to achieve a sustainable digital economy in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution.

The DG made this known yesterday when he led members of management team of NITDA to the NNPC Corporate Headquarters where he met with the Research Technology & Innovations team headed by the Chief Information Officer, Mrs Betty A. Ugona.

He said the aim of the visit was to review collaborative initiatives the two agencies are working on and to further deepen their relationship by harnessing thoughts and creative ideas. He said the purpose of the collaboration between two organizations is to identify their different mandates and seek solutions collectively to achieve these mandates.
Abdullahi stated that for any innovative tech company to thrive, it needs to be actively involved in the technological ecosystem and have a good relationship with the relevant stakeholders. The DG highlighted the stakeholders which are the Universities where human capital that seek raw ideas are groomed, the Corporate bodies like NITDA and NNPC who absorb these human capital from the universities and develop the ideas, the Entrepreneurs who process the ideas and evolve it, the Risk Capitals who basically fund the conceptualization of these ideas and lastly, the Government who come as intervention in terms of policies, infrastructure and enabling environment to actualize these ideas.
The DG said it was necessary to join all these stakeholders together in a connective web and platform to improve digital technology which was why the agency engaged the Mass Challenge, a global, zero equity startup accelerators in the United States of America that will collaborate and strengthen innovations from the technological ecosystem. The Director General mentioned that although the agency is collaborating with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, the Central Bank of Nigeria among many others who have grants for startup innovations, their engagement with the Mass Challenge is also an avenue to gain support through startup innovation funding.

The DG mentioned that collaboration with the Research Technology and Innovations unit of the NNPC will align them with all the advantageous strategic innovations the agency is working on and all other services the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will be offering. He emphasized that collaborating with them as a stakeholder in the innovation ecosystem will enable an alignment with the NCAIR’s Research and Development innovations which will help them diversify their revenue streams.
He reiterated that the collaboration between the two organizations coupled with the engagement with Mass Challenge will institutionalize a platform in which Nigerian technology experts all over the world can come together to share innovative ideas and consequently help build an enviable and globally recognized digital nation.

Mrs Betty Ugona thanked the NITDA Director General and the management team for the much appreciated working visit to the organization.

She said that the Research Technology and Innovations unit of the NNPC which was created June 16, 2020 is saddled with the mandate of championing research technology so as to touch lives of every citizen and also shift the organization’s perspective from Research and Development into a wider innovative perspective.

She stated that unit has been having challenges within the system and from stakeholders and they have been working on ideas to identify solutions. She however stated that she is highly optimistic that with the extensive strategic collaboration with NITDA, their mandates will be achieved efficiently.

Thursday, 11th February, 2021


The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi (CCIE), said that the Agency is implementing key policies to harness the Nigeria Digital Ecosystem.

He made this known at a webinar session organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Service Companies in India (NASSCOM).

The DG noted that the collaboration is an amazing opportunity in creating a viable ICT market and digital economy in both Nigeria and India. He spoke on the theme; “Nigeria-India Partnership towards a Structured ICT Market and Digital Economy”.

“We hugely invest in four areas to strengthening our tech innovation ecosystem; these are Human Capital Development, Infrastructure, Demand Creation and Funding for Startups”.

The NITDA DG further corroborated his claims by stating that Lagos alone has more than 400 startups valued at over $2 billion.

“At NITDA we focus on creating market for digital economy through implementing groundbreaking initiatives to create innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurial capacity in our country” said the DG.

This, according to the NITDA boss, is in line with the presidential mandate given to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

“My Honorable Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has been working effortlessly to lower internet cost and deepen our broadband penetration as well as to make sure all Nigerians have digital ID that is; the National Identification Number (NIN)’’

He further stated that Nigeria is leading in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the technology sector. He attributed this to the nation’s population and volume of usage.

“We have the largest young population, Internet users and mobile subscriptions, and we are second-highest tech-startup density on the continent.” added the DG.

He explained further that with Nigeria’s population both countries have promising potentials to create and capture value in the digital economy.

According to NITDA DG, Nigeria is towering the same line with the Indian tech sector on this positive trajectory. He identified three distinctive attributes that fostered the growth of ICT in India; firstly, lowering the cost of mobile data, secondly, implementing a national identification program to provide a digital identity for all, and thirdly, embracing digital payments. He added that the Nigerian government is vigorously implementing similar policies to structure its ICT Market and Digital Economy.

Mallam Abdullahi believes that Abuja is becoming an emerging tech hub and having a viable innovation ecosystem in Abuja is critical to digital economy market creation in the city and Nigeria at large. He is optimistic that this partnership will focus on the opportunity to learn from India to build the Nigerian market and create prosperity for its citizens.

The DG of NITDA charged the collaborating team to ensure the partnership is geared towards enhancing Nigeria’s digital economy. He was also confident that Nigeria has a competitive edge to compete with any country globally.

While commending the efforts of the ACCI and NASSCOM for the opportunity they are opening up to Nigerians, the DG said he believes that the partnership will help strengthen our digital ecosystem and create prosperity for our country.

The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr Dan Azumi Mohammed Ibrahim, in his goodwill message, expressed optimism that the collaboration would enable sustainable development, and reduces the level of illiteracy to its barest minimum in the country.

Engr. Olanrewaju Onigbogi, Head ICT Department M- P Infrastructure reiterated the NITDA DG’s submission that ICT has evolved in Nigeria. He also agreed that the use of ICT has helped organizations achieve growth, making them efficient, effective, innovative, and globally competitive.

The event also featured other participants who contributed to related topics. They, however, highlighted some limitations inhibiting the growth of ICT in Nigeria as, inadequate infrastructure (Electricity), inconsistent and unpredictable regulatory regime on ICT related business, inefficient use of data, data analysis, and business intelligence tools.


The Director General, National information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE has said that a nation can only prosper when it creates strong technological ecosystem, which is a common feature among innovative countries.

The DG stated this on Thursday, at the Agency’s Headquarters, when he received a delegation from the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) led by the president, Dr Ikechukwu Nnamani.

The DG observed that even though it was reported that Nigeria spends more on telecommunications services beyond what is spent on food and health, still more needs to be done to grow the sector.

He emphasised that Federal Government is providing enabling environment in terms of policy, guidelines and regulations by involving relevant stakeholders to achieve the three key focus areas that drive digital economy. The focus areas, he said, are; lower Internet and connectivity, digital identity and digital payment system.

He noted that these and other initiatives are being worked on by the Honourable Minister of communications and Digital economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).

The DG particularly noted that the Honourable Minister is working at top speed to address the challenges that may impact on the smooth operation of the broadband policy and the rights of way.

The NITDA boss also urged the leadership of the ATCON that as the umbrella body of the entire critical stakeholder in the telecommunication Industry, to ensure that Nigeria’s drive to a digital economy is achieved and achieved fast.

Speaking earlier, the President of ATCON, Ikechukwu Nnamani, hinted that the organisation promotes convergence of technology and services and its membership profile is made up of indigenous and multinational telecommunications and ICT companies operating in Nigeria.

He therefore sought for all possible collaborations with NITDA given its unique place not only as the agency in charge of regulating Information technology in Nigeria, but also the agency to drive and deepen information technology in the country.

ATCON is a professional non-profit umbrella organisation of telecommunication companies in Nigeria, formed by technocrats in the industry to facilitate and accelerate growth and development of the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

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