The National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA), on Tuesday indicated its commitment to establish ‘ICT Innovation Hubs’ in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr Isa Aliyu Pantami, who gave this hint at the inauguration of one of the ‘ICT Innovation Hub’ in Katsina, explained that establishing the facility was necessary to encourage digital innovation competencies and reduce unemployment, especially among the youths.
He said: ‘’Our role is to ensure Information Technology enables every sector of our economy, creates jobs through ICT innovations, develop techno-entrepreneurship and eventually brings about the kind of digital transformation as in developed nations.
‘’Therefore, we must encourage and empower our talented youths to take advantage of the digital era having lost the opportunity of the industrial age. Africa, with 15 per cent of the world population, cannot afford to miss the opportunities of the digital age”, the NITDA boss added.
He pointed out further that ICT hub would also assist to enhance the operations of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country and by implication, properly position them as engine of economic growth of the country.
According to him, these realities informed the agency’s decision to establish ICT Innovation hub in each of the six geo-political zones of the country as pilot scheme.
Pantami also explained that the initiative was also a strategic move to support the Federal Government’s commitments to addressing unemployment by making ICT tools available for youths in order to stimulate digital innovation across all productive sectors of the economy.
On the establishment of one of the hubs in Katsina, the NITDA boss noted that the established the Katsina hub would serve the entire North West and was sited there because of the commitments the state had shown in ICT development and for the fact that Katsina is among the states with high number of productive youths.
He explained further that the centre would also serve tertiary institutions within the zone as well as other sectors, urging stakeholders to continue to support the agency in its efforts of evolving Africa’s and global digital transformation.
In his remarks, the state governor, Hon. Aminu Masari, disclosed that the agency, in collaboration with the state government, had trained 34 youths on basic certificate in ICT.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, the governor assured that the state government would continue to partner with similar agencies for technological advancement of the state.