Aminat Isah, Abuja
Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has said to ensure post Covid-19 recovery is seamless in Nigeria, the best approach is to first adopt thinking digital, for the purpose of adaptation to the new world order.
Abdullahi expressed this view today while speaking as guest speaker of a webinar with the theme “Dealing with Corona Virus: Digital First Perspective” organised by Nile University of Nigeria in conjunction with NITDA in Abuja.
According to the DG, “The outbreak of the pandemic has created a new world order wherein things are being done differently. Our behaviour is going to change as many things would have changed.
“We need to look at what work for us and create strategies that will make us embrace it and adapt it after COVID-19. We need to think Digital First in order to provide us with something to fall back on if there is second wave of this pandemic.”
Explaining further, the DG said the only economy that works in COVID-19 era is digital economy and the present administration has prepared Nigeria for the impact the virus would have on the physical economy with different governmental initiatives.
“The only economy that works is digital economy, physical economy has shut down. In November last year, the president unveiled the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria and also in March this year, the president launched Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training which aimed at building the capability of Nigerians towards achieving Digital Economy,” he added.
He argued that digital technologies offer rays of hope as there are increase in the usage of different applications that support digital technology according to the World Economic Forum WEF, adding that; “everybody is trying to connect remotely and virtually by embracing digital technologies especially zoom and Microsoft Teams platforms.
“In Nigeria, we are using digital technology to keep businesses up and running. Technologies are being deployed by restaurants and banks; you can imagine being in this crisis without digital technology, we are going to be in total lockdown.”
Recounting what NITDA has achieved during the period of lockdown, Mallam Abdullahi said the Agency has commenced Virtual Learning through NITDA academy, an online platform that can be used to learn various skills for every interested Nigerians.
The Agency also organised Start Up Clinics, inaugurated Tech4Covid Advisory Committee and launched Nigeria COVID-19 Innovation Challenge, among others.
He maintained that in every situation, there is a silver lining to be explored by people, and COVID-19 has provided such silver lining to include; the creation of disinfection devices, remote work, ghost kitchen and service business services.
He further advised the participants to become entrepreneurs in order to explore the silver lining provided by the COVID-19 crisis.
“We need to have entrepreneurial mindset. We need to inspire others too and have passion for whatever we are doing because what we do is going to change the new world order.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Osman Nuri Aras explained that the Institution is adopting digital platforms to carry on with learning and other academic activities.
He said, “All school activities will go ahead as planned. We are trying to do our best to see that the situation we are today won’t disrupt our educational activities and we are assuring parents and students that we will continue to provide educational services during this period.”
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