The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has disclosed that over 14,000 active students have been enrolled in the NITDA Academy.
The Academy launched by the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami in May 2020, engages trainees on a variety of courses focusing on emerging technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence amongst others.
At a virtual conference organised by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) looking at the Socio-Economic and Political Impact of COVID19 on the Telecom and ICT sector in Nigeria, the Director General, NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, said his agency conceptualised, executed and launched the NITDA Virtual Learning platform to engage young citizens to learn new technologies that will help create and shape the post-COVID era.
Inuwa expressed optimism that the pandemic which has forced people to change behaviour and to adopt new habits will be soon become a thing of a past.
“Coronavirus has forced us to change our behaviour and adapt to new habits. New trends have emerged, we do everything remotely; working, learning, meeting, workshops, zoom party, e-wedding, and so on”, Inuwa said.
According to the NITDA DG, the COVID-19 Innovation Challenge put together by the agency is designed to help trainees think outside the box and come up with ideas that could help stop the spread of the coronavirus; as well as cushion its effect on the economy.
“The Challenge had over 2000 applicant and 5 start-ups were selected for pitching at the Open Demo and Prize Giving Day; three of them emerged winners and went home their prizes”.
“We are working with the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 and Nigerian Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) to identify some of the ideas they think are relevant for them , so they can be used as a testing ground to help these start-ups develop their ideas into products”, Inuwa stated .
The NITDA Boss explained that his agency strives to identify youths with innovative ideas, take them to innovation hubs, incubate and accelerate their ideas into products or services through the NITDA Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support Scheme.
“Part of the recommendation of the Tech for COVID19 covers what we do, and we are working with relevant stakeholders to identify hubs as well as start-ups that can enjoy this initiative“.
Commenting on using new technologies in farming, Inuwa maintained that the that the Nigerian Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), encourages farmers to focus more on digital platforms and smart farming.
“To ensure significant improvement in crop yield, quality of farm produce, efficiency and productivity, increased profit margin, harvest focus, sales of farm produce and eco-friendly agricultural practice, we are working with 150 farmers to start the pilot project, because the agriculture value chain contributed the highest percentage to our GDP and ICT as an enabler can help boost its projection,” the NITDA boss projected.
Source: Voice of Nigeria