NITDA, NOA to review MoU to accommodate Digital Economy

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) have agreed to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that exists between the two agencies.

According to a statement, the directors-general of the two agencies said the review become imperative because of the emerging nature of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Kashifu Abdullahi, NITDA Director-General, said the IT agency wants to leverage on the capacity of the NOA to reach out to every nook and cranny of Nigeria “with the hope of re-orientating the mass critical of our population of the potentials of the digital economy.

“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,” the NITDA DG said.

According to the statement, Mr Abdullahi said Nigeria’s youthful population has put it in a very competitive 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 call for awareness on how to safeguard our data and stay safe online to operate in digital economy,” he added.

Mr 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 labours.”

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On his part, the NOA Director-General, 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, Isa Pantami, in 2018.

“From the time we signed the MoU to date, a lot of issues has 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 acquire digital skill,” Mr Abari said

“We have a population that can be an asset and at the same time liability to us, depend on how we engage them. With the emerging technology, we need to take the message to our people to acquire digital skill to promote digital economy. To this extent, we are revisiting our MoU with the view to advance the scope.

“I think the partnership is right and apt. We need to protect our people online. We are concern with the issue of online safety, data protection and cyber security. We have carried out sensitization program in 1000 schools across the country and we hope to duplicate the number with the support of NITDA.” he assured.

He solicited NITDA’s support to enhance the capacity of NOA’s staff and provide tools for them in order to take the sensitisation and enlightenment down to the people.

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