Peter Jack, the new Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has promised to encourage and guide young technology entrepreneurs to streamline and make sound careers choices in the vibrant information and communication technology (ICT) sector.[blockquote right=”pull-right”]Jack took up leadership of the IT implementing agency of Federal Government this quarter when President Goodluck Jonathan approved his appointment as the Director General/CEO of NITDA for a first term of four years with effect from April 7, 2014. [/blockquote]
The boos of the nation’s IT implementing agency dropped the hint at the 2014 edition of the DigitalAfrica Conferences and Exhibitions which opened Tuesday in Lagos saying NITDA will provide access to new technology and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation nationwide.
New technology channels like mobile phones and the Internet continue to assist in a growing army of young Nigerians to develop mobile applications and other software addressing needs across diverse sectors of the Nigeria economy.
Jack wants young ICT developers and entrepreneurs to come up with innovative technology solutions to achieve success that will also boost socio-economic development of Nigeria.
”IT has served as a tool for industrial revolution in every aspect of human endeavour. It is the most powerful tool to drive the national transformation agenda and the Vision 20:2020.”
According to him, “itshould be noted that the development of IT and other technology is not an end but rather it should be seen as a means to an end.”
Jack noted that there is a wide disparity of level of ICT development in Africa region as revealed by the reports of the 2014 edition of Network Readiness Index of about 148 economies which showed that no African country is among the Top 10 ICT nations.
He therefore charged young entrepreneurs to pick up the challenge saying that, ”incentives for digitization will be very strong because it has been proven that digitization has a direct impact on economic growth.”
They will not have to do it alone as “government will embark on several strategies to encourage innovation among which is strong government participation in conferences of this nature.”
Jack told attendees at the forum that although Nigeria is currently experiencing revolution in the ICT sector, he also encouraged foreign delegates, stakeholders and investors at the conference to invest in the nation ICT sectors as it is currently contributing 6 to 8% to the country GDP.
He backed it up with the data from the Internet World statistics which also revealed that there is an estimated 48.8 million Internet users in Nigeria as at December 2013, ranking the country’s penetration as the highest in Africa.
”We need to join hands together to position Africa as a key player in global ICT industry”, the NITDA boss said calling for improved synergy among African nations.
”In achieving digital singularity in Africa we have a long way to go but the process begins with the repositioning and paradigm change for being consumers to becoming an innovator”, Jack added.
Jack took up leadership of the IT implementing agency of Federal Government this quarter when President Goodluck Jonathan approved his appointment as the Director General/CEO of NITDA for a first term of four years with effect from April 7, 2014.