Bridging Digital Gap: NITDA establishes over 700 digital centres across Nigeria

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said it has established over 700 digital centres across the country with the aim of bridging the digital gap between Nigeria and other developed countries in the area of ICT.

Solacebase reports that NITDA established in April 2001 was tailored to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and coordinate general IT development in the country.

The agency Head, Corporate Communications, Hajia Hadiza Umar who was the guest speaker at a two-day training workshop organised for journalists and social media influencers from 19 northern states held in Kano, stated this.

She said the agency was mandated by the National Information Technology Development Act (2007) to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and system in Nigeria.

Hadiza Umar explained that NITDA intervention projects focus on key user segments to create awareness and ensure universal access in order to promote IT diffusion in Nigeria.

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According to her, “Initially, NITDA used to establish centres to communities, but later realised that most of them don’t put such into appropriate use, so we decided to start doing so only on request by the community so that they can take its full control and ownership.

“Our agency is into capacity building, managing government digital services, promoting indigenous content development and training.

“We are glad that things are beginning to change now as more people are beginning to fully harness these facilities.

“Our agency has so far trained over 20,000 youths with different digital skills, including journalists, women, farmers and people living with disabilities.

“In recent times, we have sponsored so many youths with outstanding IT ideas to international fora. IN fact, it is as the result of NITDA’s intervention that the Federal Government introduced ICT subjects into schools curriculums,” Hajiya Hadiza added.

In a remark at the session, Editor-in-Chief, Solacebase online newspaper, Abdullateef Abubakar Jos, emphasizes the need for NITDA to sustain its awareness creation especially in the northern part of the country so as to achieve its goals of enhancing digital literacy and growth.

Also speaking, the Editor-in-Chief of PRNigeria and Economic Confidential, Yushau A. Shuaib reminded participants of the workshop of the role they can play in curbing fake news as well as using social media to effectively tackle the negative narrative and stereotyping in the North.

“It is very sad that the North is still behind. This workshop is therefore timely as it will help build the participants’ capacity on digital technologies

“I am glad that NITDA is intervening in digital literacy and skills. The technology is the future, and this future is already here to stay,” he added.

Shuaib also promised that the PRNigeria centre would continue to organise similar training programmes towards achieving the desired objectives.

The workshop with the theme, “Setting the digital reporting agenda for a digital Nigeria” was organized by PRNigeria Centre for Strategic Communication and Arewa Agenda in collaboration with NITDA.

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