Wednesday, July 02, 2008

NITDA ends work on ICT4D plan

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has announced the conclusion of work on the country’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development (ICT4D) plan.

Director-General, NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Officer Angaye, gave this indication last weekend at the final technical session by experts working on the document at NITDA’s headquarters in Abuja.

He expressed satisfaction that with the document and that the next stage would be to present it to the Minister of Science and Technology for onward delivery to Mr. President and the Federal Executive Council.

ITRealms recalls that the national ICT4D plan contains some actionable programmes, which cover various sectors for short, medium and long term implementations by identified stakeholders in conjunction with local and or international private organizations.

Equally, the ICT4D sets out time-sensitive action plans with realistic targets and benchmarks for sectoral applications of ICT for national development.

According to Angaye, it is targeted at using ICT to achieve the Seven-Point Agenda and vision 20-2020, to assist Nigeria in deploying ICT to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the New Partnership for Africa ’s Development (NEPAD) development initiatives and the World Summit on Information Society’s plan of action.

He explained that specific sectors with ICT plan actions, strategies for implementation and timeline include education, agriculture, health, eGovernment, infrastructure, human resource, research and development (R & D), legal and regulatory framework, national security and law enforcement, legislature and governance, IT popularization and deployment in communities as well as private sector development cluster which covers trade and commerce, banking, tourism, service sector, industrial sector development, local and foreign direct investment amongst others.

Angaye, also promised the committee that he would ensure that all necessary machineries are put in place to facilitate the immediate implementation of the plan.

Chairman of the national committee, Dr. Takang Armstrong also thanked the experts for their co-operation and input to the successful completion of this national assignment.

He reiterated the need to fully create awareness for the document and facilitate support for implementation by all MDAs, states and other stakeholders.

He also advised on making the document available for states to leverage on it and get the right impact.

The Coordinator of the ICT4D development activities, Director Planning Research and Statistics (NITDA), Dr. Moses Ubaru noted that the conclusion of the development of the Nigerian ICT4D Strategic Action Plan, coming at a time when the present administration was seeking ways of mainstreaming ICT4D in the vision 20-2020 is very timely and advised that NITDA should work very closely with the National Planning Commission to ensure that the final ICT4D document serves as the working document for ICT4D in Vision 20-2020.

ECA consultant, who supervised the work in the last four years, Prof. Clement Dzidonu, noted that the Nigeria ICT for Development plan, would move the Nigerian economy to the next level, describing it as the most comprehensive ICT4D document in the whole of Africa.

He advised on the publication of abridged versions on sector by sector basis in order to have plan ownership template for states and MDAs.

He further advised on the need to immediately set up the necessary guidelines to implement the plan. Resource persons in attendance included Prof Charles Akinyokun, Dr John Dada, Dr. Ado Dan-Isa, Jide Awe, Bankole Olubamise, Hakeem Ajijola, as well as NITDA directors.

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