NITDA to create sustainable ICT plan

Nigeria’s NITDA will aim to put in place the necessary institutional framework needed to ensure sustainability of ICT development in Nigeria.

The Nigerian National ICT Development Agency (NITDA) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) ICT and Science and Technology Division (ISTD) have launched Nigeria’s final Scan-ICT report during a stakeholders’ validation workshop in Abuja. Scan-ICT is an initiative launched by ECA and the Government of Finland to make available quality data on ICT activities in Africa. A communiqué issued after the workshop said Nigeria remained the first country to carry out Scan ICT under the third phase of the projects.

According to Makane Faye, Officer-in-Charge of the ICT Policy and Development Section, who made a statement on behalf of the ISTD Director, the project is designed and implemented to build capacity in defining, collecting, and managing information.

“This will ultimately support ICT investments and consequently contribute to the transformation of Nigeria into an Information society,” he adds. In Nigeria, the Scan-ICT project was carried out in eight states and covered households and key sectors of education, agriculture, business, government and health.

Faye says the project is geared towards building a solid evidence and knowledge base for facilitating an informed review of policy and regulatory positions in the country. It also aims to develop key ICT baseline statistics that will enable future studies; help monitor and assess the implementation of ICT policies; and develop the capacity to conduct ICT research and raise awareness on ICT measurement tools and techniques.

The methodology adopted for the project was designed to fine-tune indicators to match the growing and changing needs in Nigeria. The major components that were examined include:

- Indicators and benchmarks that are essential for measuring progress made by States on the effective deployment of ICT tools; 
- Policy that ensures the outcomes of the Scan-ICT project can assist in monitoring individual communities or sectors and the State at large; 
- Human resources for which the nature of demand for ICT skills is systematically monitored; and 
- Applications that focus on entrepreneurs, communities; and those involved in provision and delivery of social services.

During the validation workshop in Abuja, the Director-General and CEO of NITDA, Professor Cleopas Angaye, thanked ECA for its continued support to the development of Nigerian e-strategies and the SCAN ICT project. He emphasised the need to institutionalise collection of ICT indicators, for which the base was now laid down.

On behalf of the Director of ISTD, Faye indicated that measuring the level of ICT usage and exploitation not only serves the process of national development but allows for global comparison between countries.

The methodology used in Nigeria is based on the model developed by ECA, called the C.U.T. model (Capacity, Usage and Transformation) representing the different stages of ICT development in a country. SCAN ICT Nigeria is supported by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of Finland.

For more on the project visit: http://www.scanict.org.ng and http://www.nitda.gov.ng/index.php/ict4d-nitda/ict4d-action-plan

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