Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The acting Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, has pledged the agency’s commitment to assist Plateau State to develop fresh information and communication technology (ICT) architecture that will drive the its information technology (IT) policy.
“The IT policy framework that will be specifically configured for the state, is expected to drive development across all the local governments and higher institutions of learning, in the state,” Olatunji said.
The acting DG, who made the disclosure when he hosted the Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Prof. Sonni Gwamle Tyoden, in his office, in Abuja recently, also said the policy framework would be ready before September this year.
Olatunji, who assured the state that the ICT policy framework would be developed within three months, said: “NITDA will implore Plateau State to set up an IT development agency and should be headed by a technocrat to drive the process of implementing all the necessary policy framework.”
While calling on other state governments to key into NITDA’s IT policy framework, he said the agency was set up by federal government to assist the country in the area of ICT for rapid economic development.
The NITDA boss said: “One major area that is important to government is the IT policy, which is the guideline and standard for IT operation.”
“I am happy that Plateau is one of the states that we have chosen this year, and what we shall be doing going forward, is to look at the policy area in various states and assist them in developing appropriate strategies that can reposition them developmentally, using ICT as the main driver,” Olatunji added.
NITDA, he said, appointed some resource hands to work with the state on how to use ICT to develop the state and I believe this will be the foundation for us to move forward.
“The next level is having an institutional framework, which is the foundation on which NITDA is predicated to drive national IT framework and we are lucky that barely a month after the policy was launched, NITDA was established and that is how we have been able to partner different stakeholders within and outside Nigeria,” Olatunji said.
Responding, Tyoden said the visit was to seek NITDA’s assistance and partnership in ICT infrastructure and capacity development across schools in state, as well as in governance.
He said: “We feel that NITDA can help us add value to our institutions both in terms of helping us within the extent of capacity building and also addressing issue of having relevant ICT infrastructure in the state.”
He admitted that the state’s revenue was becoming declining because of the falling oil prices and that there was need to solicit NITDA’s hands of friendship to boost the state.
“We are also in the process of setting up our ICT agency and at a point you agreed that NITDA will help us in drawing up an ICT policy for the state. We are ready to cooperate to see that this is driven to a conclusive end and in other areas of interest which we are aware that NITDA has been at the forefront. We are also aware that NITDA has extended its hands of friendship to some institutions in Plateau State like the University of Jos, and we are interested in NITDA helping us to build our libraries using the digital resources and e-library that will help in teaching in our institutions and other areas of network infrastructure,” Tyoden said.