The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) met with stakeholders from the Lagos State Software and Innovation ecosystem to discuss how to strengthen the country’s digital economy by increasing ICT contributions to GDP and promoting indigenous content by patronizing indigenous IT products and services.
At the Bon Hotel in Lagos, the event aimed to provide solutions to difficulties facing the ecosystem.
NITDA Director-General Kahisfu Inuwa, who was represented by Engr. Salisu Kaka, the Agency’s Digital Economy Department Acting Director, expressed his delight at the turnout and thanked all the innovators who came despite their hectic schedules.
In his introductory remarks, the DG noted that achieving a collectively desired result required a symbiotic relationship between the government and the ecosystem’s stakeholders. “Whatever the government wants to accomplish, the private sector should assist and support it,” he said.
The engagement, according to Inuwa, was aimed at communicating with stakeholders in order to identify the ecosystem’s challenges and propose solutions.
In order to solve the identified difficulties, he stressed the importance of establishing a partnership framework between the Agency and the ecosystem.
The NITDA DG advised stakeholders in the Software and Innovation ecosystem to harness and use the tremendous quantity of human and natural resources collected by the country for maximum production.
He cautioned all participants to be open to constructive criticism, to confront what needs to be addressed, and to offer suggestions for how to overcome the obstacles they encounter.
“We’ve come to listen to you, and I’m confident that today will go down in history as a day when we co-create and re-identify our paths to closing identified gaps and building a bright future,” he said.
While informing ecosystem stakeholders about the realignment of the previous specifically purpose vehicles (SPVs), Yakubu Musa, Acting Coordinator of the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), presented the ONDI’s strategic objectives and activities.
“The ONDI has been mandated to engage with the ecosystem to plan and implement strategic programs and activities that will promote and foster ecosystem growth through interventions and resolving some of the ecosystem’s concerns,” he explained.
Musa stated in his remarks that “strategic human capital development,” “funding and support for the ecosystem,” “research and insights,” “monitoring and compliance,” “partnerships,” and “implementation of guidelines” are the focus areas in which the Agency is willing to collaborate with stakeholders in order to create a formidable and enviable ecosystem.
While giving a recap of contributions made by all heads of industries, groups, and associations present, Mr. ChinenyeMba-Uzoukwu, the President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), thanked the Agency for the informative event but demanded more effective communication and transparency.