The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa has urged Ondo State Government to equip its people with digital skills and provide them with digital infrastructure to enable them establish innovation driven enterprises in the state and also participate in global digital economy.
Dr Kashifu Inuwa gave this admonition when he delivered a keynote address titled “Tech-Forward Ondo” at the Develop Ondo 2.1, a virtual summit organised by the state’s Ministry of Regional Integration and Diaspora Relations.
DG NITDA, who was represented by the Acting Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy Department, Dr. Aristotle Onumo advised the state to prepare its people for tomorrow’s jobs.
“To compete in the digital economy, the state government needs to prioritise education and build the digital skills of its workforce by creating efficient safety nets to support those transactions,” he said.
While acknowledging that Ondo State is blessed with abundant material resource especially human capital, both at home and in the diaspora, he said digital transformation can only become impactful in the state if the people are prepared and ready to participate in the global digital economy.
According to him, the continuous evolvement of technology in the state’s processes would make the state government adopt new technologies and leverage them to their advantage.
He added that, “For state government to effectively deliver on its promises of efficient services to the people, there is a need to be prepared to constantly adapt to the impact of technology in their operations.”
“You have to create the enabling environment for increased efficiency and innovation to empower the public and private sectors to function effectively and collaboratively for the delivery of transparent, efficient, and cost-saving services to the people. This will not be functional without the availability of critical public digital infrastructure to facilitate digital innovation.”
While listing the myriad of opportunities the state can tap into Inuwa advised the state to replicate “Yaba” in Akure a the technological hub for the state, deliberate on Public Private Partnership for digital talent development programme for talent export in some identifiable areas, adopt the National Digital Literacy Framework for the state’s education curriculum, organise innovation challenge among startups to solve local problem, engage the diasporas to mentor startup and build digital infrastructures in the state.
He however urged the state to consider partnering with NITDA to drive digital innovation and entrepreneurship to increase the number of innovation-driven enterprises and expand Nigeria’s pool of talented innovators.
“Ondo State provides a friendly base for nurturing these talented innovators whose ingenuity can be exported to impact the global digital economy and create wealth and job opportunities within the domestic economy. Through one of our subsidiaries, the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), NITDA will continue to execute programmes and initiatives geared to expand the tech innovation ecosystem across States of the federation.”
The Director General commended the state and the organiser of the programme for the initiative which he described as “momentous event to deliberate on ways to harness the abundant opportunities that digitilisation and technological innovation offer” he said.