E-Nigeria Conference :11 years of being a brand
YBTC NEWS—The National information technology and development agency (NITDA) in its stride to build, strengthen and reform the information technology sector in Nigeria, organizes the annual eNigeria conference as a platform for stakeholders to brainstorm on relevant burning issues in the sector with the aim of proffering ingenious ideas and solutions.
For 11 years now, the annual eNigeria conference, exhibition and awards have hosted a number of intellectuals and keyplayers in Information Communication and technology sector while also bringing to fore local innovators through its exhibition and awarding excellence in the sector.
This year, eNigeria conference 2018 has the theme -“Promoting a digital economy in an era of disruptive technologies through effective regulations.”
According to NITDA’s boss, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, this theme was adopted as a response to the complex mix of digital opportunities, challenges and burdens, driven by the increasing influence of emerging technologies on commerce society with a major goal of accelerating the development and accessibility to digital products and services to millions of Nigerians. Thereby, ultimately creating Africa’s largest single digital market by 2020.
Declaring the Conference open, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), on Monday 5th of October, 2018 described the theme as “apt, building on last year’s theme that centered on fostering the digital economy through local development and effective regulation”.
The President also commended efforts by the regulatory agency, NITDA in uplifting the Nigerian ICT innovation and entrepreneurship vision that focused on the development of digital infrastructure, education reform, skills development and research and development as well as supporting the ecosystem.
He further encouraged the agency to use it’s regulatory instruments in ensuring full socialisation and implementation of this document, while also attributing the success of the Social Investment Programme (SIP) under his administration tagged as the largest and most ambitious social safety net programme in our recent history in the application of ICT.
The SIP, encompasses the N-power, Government enterprise and empowerment program (GEEP), the Home Grown school feeding programme (HGSFP) and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) all leverage on ICT which have so far benefited over 9million Nigerians.
President Muhammadu Buhari also added that, ” the role of science, technology and innovation towards actualization of the Economic Recovery and Growth plan (ERGP), cannot be overemphasized”.
Delivering his welcome address, the Director-general of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami said, the agency in the last two years have reinforced efforts in regulating and developing the ICT sector.
“As part of these efforts, I led a team that developed a 2017-2020 strategic roadmap for the agency as well as an action plan for the attainment of the goals listed in the roadmap”.
These roadmap based on the seven Principal pillars (IT regulation, capacity building, digital inclusion, digital service promotion, cyber security, local content development and promotion) have the potential to determine the structure upon which a successful ICT sector can be built with the aim of repositioning NITDA in line with executive orders ‘003’ and ‘005’.
The honourable Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, reiterated the Federal government’s commitment to grow the contributions of the non-oil sector which has been identified as being a strategic sector that will foster the course of development. He said, ” the impact of ICTs can be felt in virtually every area of human endeavour and countries are taking advantage of disruptive technologies to transform their economies. It is therefore expedient for us to position ourselves to be keyplayers in the emerging digital economy”.
He further stated that, due to the recognition of the critical role of the broadband may play in the deployment of disruptive and in ensuring that all strata of the society enjoy the benefits, he was happy to inform the public of the 23 percent broadband penetration success which he hopes will increase as time goes on while he drew the attention of investors to the Nigerian ICT sector in a bid to promote synergy and sustainable development in the sector.
In the course of his presentation, the Keynote Speaker, Mr Nuhu Ribadu described the event as a testimony to the growth and development of the Nigerian information technology sector as well as its contributions to the economic security of Nigeria which he said, is gradually becoming a brand.
The former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s boss stated that, corruption is a major role for our under development as he went further to identify disruptive technologies like Blockchain, Internet of things, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud computing, 3D printing, Big Data Analytics as IT tools that can be used to battle this menace in the public sector.
The conference which consisted of 10 plenary sessions, featured paper presentations, discussions by panelists as well as question and answer sessions.
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Some Recommendations drawn at the conclusion of the conference includes – That adequate training and inclusion of digital technology in school’s curriculum should be encouraged for service delivery while legislative backing necessary for the growth of digital solutions should also be provided; That NITDA, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, was enjoined to promote the development of a National Blockchain Technology Strategy, drafting relevant laws and regulations including regulations on the use of Blockchain Technology (BT)applications; That more start-ups for the development of appropriate BT applications should be encouraged; That government should strengthen social investment schemes to promote financial inclusion and provide source of data for policy formulation and planning; That government was encouraged to relax the conditions for attaining the pioneer status so that start-ups can have extended tax holidays; That Start-ups should be given consideration during the procurement process of MDAs and should improve access to available funding for ICT start-ups; Support for start-ups should not be limited to NITDA; there should be collaboration with other relevant institutions.
At the end of the three-day, an Exhibition and Awards night was held and notable amongst awards presented includes- the presentation of “long service award” to deserving staff of the agency; Award for most Proficient Scholar ; Digital Economy Promotion awards given to the Central Bank of Nigeria; Best MDA compliance to IT clearance regulation( Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation with a host of others.
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