February 4, 2023

Buhari renews appointment of NITDA DG

Orders Govt. officials to stop using private emails for official purposes

By Emanuel Elebeke

President Mohammadu Buhari has renewed the appointment of Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA for another tenure of four years.

The President said he renewed the appointment of Abdullahi as Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) owing to the agency’s remarkable successes.

Buhari spoke at the launch of the National Policy on the Nigerian Government Second-Level Domains and National Data Strategy held in State House, Abuja.

The President said, he observed NITDA’s outstanding execution in different areas of its mandate and was impressed.

“Based on the impressive performance of NITDA, I approved the re-appointment of Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the Director-General for the second term in office, from 2023 to 2027,” he noted.

Buhari highlighted his administration’s commitment to diversification of the economy through development of policies, design of programmes, and implementation of projects in the digital economy sector since 2019.

The President said the diversity has been successful considering the contribution of the ICT sector to Nigeria’s gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2022 which stood at 18.44%, compared to the contribution of the oil sector which was 6.33% in the same period.

“In December 2022, I approved for the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), to travel to the United States of America to engage SpaceX to complete the process of deployment of StarLink services in Nigeria.

“We are glad that StarLink services are already deployed. This has made Nigeria the first and only African country to have this link. With the deployment, we will have 100 percent broadband penetration. This is a major milestone in our digital economy journey.

“Since October 2019, we have developed a total of 21 new national policies and strategies and I will be unveiling two of these today, namely the National Policy on the Nigerian Government Second-Level Domains and the National Data Strategy.

“This number of policies is unprecedented and quite commendable. All the policies and strategies are national instruments to support Nigeria’s digital economy at the national and sub-national levels for significant development across all sectors.

“It is our responsibility to give our country a good name in cyberspace and the National Policy on Nigerian Government Second-Level Domains is a step in this direction. Digital identity has been actively promoted by our administration for a sustainable and secure digital economy,” he said. 

Buhari directed Pantami to ensure relevant institutions and stakeholders implement the policy and ordered government officials to stop using private emails for official purposes, while all FPIs must migrate their websites to the relevant government domains.

The Minister said the policies being launched were outcomes of compliance with the President’s mandate to formulate a blueprint that was approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC.

Pantami said the ministry relied on relevant provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended, and the NITDA Act 2007, adding that the benefits would consolidate the gains achieved so far in the digital ecosystem.

He reiterated the indispensability of data in national life, emphasizing data was critical and could be leveraged for the development of other sectors of the economy.