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Minister approves NITDA’s office for digital innovation

Felix Oloyede

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Minister approves NITDA’s office for digital innovation

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has approved the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) creation of the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI).

The Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, NITDA, Mrs Hadiza Umar who disclosed this in a statement said the ONDI is under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Umar added that the creation emerged after the successful merger of two of its subsidiaries, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship OIIE and the Office for Nigerian Content Development in IC, ONC.

“The public may be pleased to know that NITDA, in its effort to implement the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and to streamline its operation to serve stakeholders more efficiently, merged two (2) of its former Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) and the Office for Nigerian in (ONC), to1 create a more robust and functional subsidiary.”

She explained that the ONC was established as a strategic vehicle to drive the implementation of the Nigerian Content Program and monitor compliance with the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, issued in December 2013 and updated in August 2019.

“While the OIIE was positioned to work with stakeholders to analyse and evaluate their current ecosystems, build bridges between stakeholders to arrive at shared agendas and collectively design and implement strategic interventions (policies and programs) which are based on best practices to bolster the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria

“Both subsidiaries had a mandate to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Nigerian digital ecosystem, as well as to create the necessary people resources and capacity”

Umar noted that ONC and OIIE collaborated with important stakeholders in the ecosystem to achieve this goal.

However, “The problem was that many of these activities cross-pollinated became redundant, and lacked the necessary cross-subsidiary collaboration. Furthermore, it led to duplication of work, re-invention of the wheel and poor use of resources.”

According to the Agency, as a result, the Management of NITDA in its effort to streamline its activities, promote efficiency and effective use of resources decided on the establishment of a single body capable of directing the activities of both subsidiaries as one.

This is in furtherance of the Agency’s culture to be on a continuous path of improvement and a new strategic vision which is “To proactively facilitate the development of Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy”.

The Agency noted that “NITDA shall continue to evaluate its previous plan, in order to refocus the Agency along the lines of the government policies, the current state of the IT industry, future trends, current aspirations of the citizenry and the general intendment of government.

“It is in line with the above that ONDI is created to coordinate and support activities on policy implementation, enforcement of regulatory guidelines and interventions targeted at the development and growth of the Nigerian technology ecosystem for a greater impact on job creation and economic growth. You will agree that this is required to attain the desired vision of making Nigeria Africa’s number one destination for digital technology innovation.

“More so, ONDI will be positioned to execute programmes aimed at strengthening the Nigerian digital innovation ecosystem to create more Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs), as well as promote the development of indigenous content in the Nigerian digital sector. In addition, the office will ensure the promotion, growth, and protection of the Nigerian digital innovation ecosystem for a sustainable digital economy.

NITDA added that; “The public and our highly esteemed stakeholders may kindly wish to take note of the above information and redirect their requests as it concerns the defunct subsidiaries to the ONDI.“

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