National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and a World Bank Subsidiary, Growth and Employment in States (GEMS) have met to explore areas of collaborations and to come up with a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of ICT skills among Nigerians.
The draft MoU will include the rights and obligations of the parties for the purpose of implementing GEMS Program that will cover areas such as Software testing, Professional Certification Programs, Software Apps, e-Commerce mobile Apps, Business Process Outsourcing among others.
Dr. Vincent Olatunji, acting director general of the Agency informed the World Bank team in a meeting held in NITDA headquarters, Abuja, that the present Administration has the political will to drive the successful implementation of the program to fruition.
Dr. Olatunji assured that the “Political will of this administration is working for us in the ICT sector in the country because the government is looking for means of diversifying the economy and ICT sector has been identified as one of the area that we can tap into.
“There is assurance from the government on this. The minister with supervision from the office of the Vice president is committed to ensure that ICT drives the country’s economy.”
He said that now the government is more focused to reposition ICT as the next cash cow of the country which informed her decision to establish of 12 innovation hubs across the six geo political zones.
The Ag. DG informed the World Bank delegates that the innovation hubs were established specifically to come up with ICT solutions that are peculiar to the challenges and needs of each zone.
He highlighted that “the innovation hubs would serve as ICT ecosystem where ideas would be incubated and nurtured to the point of commercialization, adding that the hub were established around the cluster of tertiary institutions and private sector to give leeway in bridging the needs gap that exists between the industry and academics.
According to a statement issued by Mrs. Hadiza Umar, head, Corporate Affairs at NITDA, the lead delegate of the World Bank team, Mr. Andrew Gartside stressed on the need to sustain these programs.
Gartside said that, “due to the dynamic nature of ICT especially the Software sub sector both parties will ensure the sustainability of these programs.
He stated that the duo would come up with a good sustainability model that would be adopted in the MoU adding that framework would also be designed to ensure that the project leads to job and wealth creation.
Gartside was of the belief that the program would add value to what NITDA is currently doing in the area of human capacity development.