" ITREALMS: Nigeria restrategises IT policy for implementation - Olatunji

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Nigeria restrategises IT policy for implementation - Olatunji


Please could you tell us what exactly is happening here at the Nigerian Pavilion?

Yes and thank you very much. You know that we in Nigeria have an Information Technology (IT) policy which my organization, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is implementing. And what we are trying to do is to work closely with all stakeholders in the area of ICT development in Nigeria.

On this WSIS, we have been in close collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and we have a national committee on WSIS.

What you are seeing here is what we are trying to showcase as part of what is happening in this area of ICT and that is what we are telling the whole world at WSIS.

What do you think of the entire WSIS process up till this stage?

Like I was discussing with somebody yesterday, I said that the WSIS process is really worth it, especially for the developing world, but we should not stop at this summit alone at the discussion level.

The main thing we can say we are taking away from the summit is implementation. If we are able to implement and catch up with the rest of the world, that is when we can yes, it has really been successful.

So, how ready would you say that Nigeria is as far as the implementation is concerned?

As you know, the issue of ICT involves all stakeholders, but the most important thing when we get back home is that NITDA being the main driver of IT policy implementation in Nigeria, would need to get all stakeholders together and to know who does what.

We would also allocate duties to every organization among the stakeholders, both those in the private sector and public sector as well.

I am sure that by the time we complete this phase, every body would now have a role to play and be involved, because it is not what the government alone cannot do and it is not what NITDA can do alone either. All of us have to join hands and do it together.

Do you think that the private sector is cooperating?

I think it depends on what you mean by that. For instance, if you really look at IT development in Nigeria before NITDA came onboard; the private sector has been there and very active too.

What we are to do in government is just to facilitate and to act as catalyst to whatever we want to do. May be in terms of policy issues, saying, these are policy issues we are supposed to put in place to ensure that these people putting their money into these things for IT development in Nigeria and they have been cooperative so far.

So, you are positive about implementation of whatever comes out of WSIS-05 in Nigeria?

I am very, very positive that we are going to gain a lot from this WSIS process in Nigeria as a country.

How many Nigerian companies are with you in this Pavilion?

Well, there is only one say company from Nigeria, because what we are trying to do is that for instance, in the area of IT, we have about five companies’ assembling IT equipment in Nigeria and they are not coming here per say to sell, but to say yes, this is doable and possible in Nigeria.

So this company is representing the other companies in Nigeria and if you are saying this Omatek, it is this and that in Nigeria; we have four other companies that are doing the same thing.

That is the main thing and not the number of people that you are bringing to the exhibition or WSIS, but simply to say that we have a stand and we are telling the world what we are doing down in Nigeria.

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