Pantami, Kashifu, others flag off Digital Nigeria Conference in Abuja




…As Senator task stakeholders on awareness creation for Start Up Act

…We’ve capacity to fill up global talent gap says DG NITDA, Kashifu

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi, indegenious and international tech stakeholders have flagged off Digital Nigeria Day Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.

This is as Nigerian Senate called on stakeholders to put in more efforts towards awareness creation for the recently assented Startup Act so that youths will be aware of the advantages and opportunities that the Act offers.

Nigerian Newssphere gathered that the Conference and Exhibition is slated last for 25th-27th October, 2023.

In his remarks the opening ceremony of Digital Nigeria Conference and Exhibition 2022, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on Tuesday in Abuja, Prof Pantami reiterated the unprecedented achievements of his Ministry.

According to him, the digital economy has greatly supported the traditional economy, adding that the contribution of the digital economy to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Nigeria and in its role in making the economy resilient to adverse events like the COVID-19 pandemic are two good examples of the impact of the digital economy on the traditional economy.

Meanwhile, the Senate committee chairman, on ICT and Cybersecurity, Senator Oseni Yakubu said awareness is key to the success of Nigeria Start Up Act 2022.

He said, “The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy should create more awareness of the Startup Act for Nigerian youths to know the benefits and opportunities that abound with it.

“We are going to collaborate with the minister of Communication and Digital Economy to create this awareness and I’ve been doin my little bit to create awareness of the potentials of the bills. I trust Nigerian Youths the are very intelligent and talented and I am sure they will key into it .And also contribute their qouta to the GDP and placing Nigeria in the ICT world map.”

Speaking on the government’s partnership with Microsoft to train five million Nigerians  the Senator said: “The five million young people that we are talking about are going to be trained (by Microsoft). The jobs are already there, awaiting the youth to key in.

“When Mr. President signed the bill into law. The government decided that a total of five billion Naira will be used as starting grant . It means that there are other funds we are expecting in the sector from other sources so that we can have something to fall back to. This Microsoft training is key because the chain effect will be enormous and very impactful on the Nigerian economy.

“The question is are we aware ?Are we ready to tap into this opportunities?, he asked.

On his part, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed regretted that despite the numerous benefits of the ICT, it has enabled the spread of fake news and hate speech which are used to cause ethnic, religious wars and biases and to destabilize the nation.

He said, “While technology is a good thing, it has also caused a lot of problem for my ministry in terms if misinformation, in terms of disinformation and in terms of hate speech.

In his Keynote presentation, the Gambian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ousman Bah, emphasised on the benefits of Blockchain and the need for African Central Banks to be proactive in their regulatory responsibilities.

“We can see enormous benefits of blockchain, especially for improving financial inclusion and nurturing the growth of micro and small businesses./There are also significant challenges to overcome if we are to realise these benefits. Issues of trust, consumer protection, and systemic network risks that can slow the pace of progress require clear and robust regulations.

“Central Bank regulations in the continent have not been proactive enough to take advantage of technological advances

Earlier, the Director General NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, said Nigeria is working on how to become a global supplier of tech talents.

“We have several initiatives to position Nigeria to become the global talent suppler. Nigeria has the capacity to fill up the global talent gap. We are exploring how to use technology to create and capture values.

“Digital transformation is not about the technology, it is all about designing people technology to deliver things the way you want it and how you want it”, he disclosed.

Managing Director/CEO Galaxy Backbone(GBB), Prof Muhammed Abubakar, speaking on behalf of all Chief Executives under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, noted that GBB is responsible for putting in place digital infrastructures for government and private institutions.

Highpoint of the event was the unveiling of a book titled, ‘Isa Ali Pantami: Advacing Nigeria’s Drive Towards a Digital Economy’, as repository of knowledge in Nigeria tech industry.