The Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FBCS has called on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) stakeholders and captains in the industry to use ICT to foster and sustain national development. The DG made this call while delivering the keynote address at the just concluded Beacon of Information and Communication Technology (BoICT) Awards held recently in Lagos.
Dr. Pantami who was represented by the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations Unit of NITDA, Hajiya Hadiza Umar MNIPR, said that the theme, ‘Leveraging ICT Value for Building Institutions’, aligns well with the growing movement to use ICT to foster sustainable development in institutions. This theme is echoed in both the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
Pantami further stated that “accountable, inclusive, effective and smart institutions are necessary to achieve the SDGs, whether the goal is quality education, zero hunger, improved healthcare, economic growth or innovation. All the goals are to be driven by institutions and ICT provides a ready tool to attain these goals.
He revealed that Nigerians, institutions and indeed the nation can experience a high level of sustainable development through the effective use of ICT.
According to him, “data is the new oil and organizations can now use data to create wealth.”
Citing example with an average smartphone, which can have as many as 10 sensors and with about 144 million active mobile lines in Nigeria, a sizable portion of which are smartphones, potentially giving us access to large volumes of data. With Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, such data can be translated into actionable insights that would lead to sustainable development in the country, he noted.
While urging captains of industries in the ICT sector to support ICT capacity building efforts both within their institutions and within the ICT Startup ecosystem, he stressed that the future of the ICT industry depends on it.
He added that “as a country, we expend vast sums to deploy ICT solutions both in the public and the private sectors but some of these projects are not sustainable because the main parts of the project are deployed and sustained by foreign partners. The Executive Orders #3 and #5 and the NITDA Local Content Guidelines aim to check this. It is important that the ICT industry supports the implementation of these Orders and Guidelines as they are the surest way of building our institutions and developing the ICT sector of our dear nation.”
The climax of the event witnessed honours of awards to deserving institutions, and individuals who were voted online by ICT stakeholders and the general public. NITDA emerged the Government Agency of the Year while it’s Director General/CEO Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami Ph.D., FBCS, FIIM is the Public Sector CEO of the Year.
The event had in attendance Founder/Chairman, Zinox Group, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh, and Chairman of the occasion; former NCC, EVC Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Chairman, Open Media Group; Femi Adeoti, Managing Director Inlaks; Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director Rack Centre; Ike Nnamani, President/ CEO of Medallion Communications Limited; Mr Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria(ATCON) among others