By Emmanuel Fagbenle

Director-General, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi,  has said that the government ICT clearinghouse will leverage the capacity of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to reach out to Nigerians across the country to orientate the general population on benefits of digital economy.

The NITDA’s boss said the two agencies have agreed to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between them because of the dynamic nature of ICT in order to better share knowledge on the inherent challenges with benefits of emerging technologies.

“We identify NOA as the only agency that has a national spread and capacity to reach out to the remotest of our villages and that can do awareness and enlightenment for our people to see reasons for acquiring digital skills for the future of work,” said Abdullahi.

He said Nigeria’s youthful population has offered it a strong advantage to be a country to reckon with for global competitiveness in digital economy.

“Our population on social media raises concern about cyber security and this calls for awareness on how to safeguard our data and stay safe online to operate in the digital economy,” he added.

Abdullahi said the change in the name of the Ministry of Communications to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy was “to reflect the government’s commitment to exploring the digital economy’s potentials and refocusing to something ambitious that has great potentials in achieving the government’s priority of taking people out of poverty because digital economy offers opportunity to people to be employers of labour.”

Director-General of the NOA, Garba Abari, said a lot of issues has come up to advance the term of references of the MoU in order to reflect recent realities in the ICT industry

The MoU between NITDA and NOA was jointly signed by the then DG and now Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, in 2018.

“From the time we signed the MoU to date, a lot of issues have come up in ICT industry and this is typical of the world that is changing day by day. ICT is making operation become easy, less costly and more inclusive for people that have acquired digital skills,” said Abari.

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