By EMEKA AGINAM
The Federal Government at the weekend appointed Dr. Ashiru Sani Daura, a Director in Software Outsourcing as the Acting Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) , the clearing house for IT projects in the Nigerian public sector as prescribed by the Civil Service rule.
With this development, Dr. Daura replaces the outgoing DG. Prof. Cleopas who served for a maximum term of 8 years in office as prescribed by NITDA ACT 2007.
Already, Angaye has formally handed over to the new Acting NITDA DG last Friday in Abuja.
Accordingly, Dr. Daura is expected to actively promote, enthroned and position Software as the primary and core development strategy of the Federal Government in compliance with global trend.
For Nigeria to effectively drive and achieve the vision 20 2020 initiatives, the Federal Goverment is expected to urgently appoint a new DG and a new Borad of NITDA as inshrined in NITDA act 2007.
It would be recalled that NITDA Board was dissolved in 2011, a decision which has grossly set back the development of the Nigerian IT sector in catching up with the rest of the World.
As we await for the appointment of new DG, industry stakeholders believe that it should be a core IT professional with Software credentials.
The Agency is committed to the drive to bring government and its services closer to the people through IT.
The agency which is also entrusted with the implementation of the National IT policy, which should now seek to make Nigeria an IT capable country by building on the gains of the former DG to develop massive capacities, skill capabilities and create quantum employment by actively promoting software grants and incentives at all industry level.in no distant.
The formation of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is the fruition of a journey that began early in the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, when Chris Uwaje the then President of ITAN (1999-2003) presented the first proposal for the establishment of a National Policy on Information Technology to Chief Ebitimi Banigo the Minister of Science and Technology at that time.
Uwaje is currently the President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON).
However, with the president’s enthusiastic support for IT development, and under the guidance of the succeeding Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Turner T. Isoun, an Information Technology (IT) Policy drafting committee made up of Prof. Olalere Ajayi , Chairman, Chris Uwaje, Abdul-Hakeem Olajuwom, Prof. Sani , among others as members was formed and mandated with formulating and drafting a National IT Policy for Nigeria. Under the able direction of Professor G. Olalere Ajayi, the National IT Policy was prepared and subsequently approved by the Federal Executive Council in March 2001.
On May 24, 2001, the National IT Policy was launched to the public and NITDU (National IT Development Unit) was established as the substantive Government agency, under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, to implement the National IT Policy with Professor G.O Ajayi, appointed as the first Director General of the Agency.
Professor Cleopas O. Angaye was subsequently appointed and served as the second Director General of NITDA