Kashifu’s Giant Stride in Digital Transformation of IT Sector, by Rukayyat Sadauki
The Information Technology sector has experienced a paradigm shift in its operations and activities which has led to the digitization of Government processes, cutting down cost of governance and corruption with the zeal to attain a digital economy.
The Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE has made the IT sector redoubled its contributions which is inline with President Administration to diversify the economy from oil base to non oil base due to the dwindling fall in crude oil price. This made him set policies and strategies that will generate revenue and at the other hand create jobs for the citizens to boost Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
NITDA as the Nation’s apex IT regulator, works to create frameworks for planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria. According to Tech Economy. NITDA has become Federal Government’s digital economy vision bearer.
Prior to the redesignation of the Federal Ministry of Communications, to Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, NITDA has strived to accomplish a lot in achieving the mandate through the implementation of a roadmap for the development of the Nigeria’s IT sector which consists of 7 pillars that are in alignment with the 8 pillars of the Digital Economy Policy & Strategy and the Nigeria IT Policy.
Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa’s appointment as the Director General of NITDA did not come to many as surprise, as he was among the most disciplined, committed & talented students of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, when he served as the Technical Assistant to the erstwhile Director General, and also stepping into the shoe of his Principal as his successor as DG NITDA was another way of how Almighty Allah reward Kashifu’s resilience commitment & honesty.
Upon assumption of office, the introvert intelligent Computer Scientist, set the ball rolling, as he wasted no time towards strategising for the successful implementation of the newly minted National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy for a Digital Nigeria as well as keying into fulfilling the President Muhammadu Buharis promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.
Mallam Kashifu started his career with Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) and served in different capacities from 2004-2013. His positions held are as follows: Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead Technical Solution Design.
His zeal & quest to greatness, paved way for him to become the First Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s Public sector. He further acquired several other professional certifications including Project Management, and Solution Design.
The 41-year-old Kashifu Abdullahi, as the Director General/CEO NİTDA took over the mantle of leadership of the Agency from its erstwhile DG/CEO Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami who was appointed as Minister of Communication & Digital Economy by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kashifu Inuwa had his primary education in his hometown Hadejia , and later went to Science Secondary School Kafin Hausa after finishing from an Arabic Junior Secondary School all in Jigawa State.
His intellectual capacity earned him recognition, where he became very popular not only amongst his mates, but the school in general, as he remained the best Mathematics student. Kashifu dedicated his time couching his fellow colleagues the rudiments of Mathematics & other subjects.
After completing his secondary education, Kashifu secured admission at the famous Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, popularly known as (ATBU), where he studied Computer Science & graduated in 2003.
In 2014, Kashifu Abdullahi joined the services of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Technology Architect were he devoted his time developing a Technology Architecture Repository that gives 360 views of the Apex Bank’s IT Infrastructure and facilitated the ease of decision making on new IT investment. He was also part of the team that executed software licence rationalization that has increased cost savings for the Bank in annual license subscriptions.
NITDA under the leadership of Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has introduced Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Support Scheme solely designed to provide opportunities for building the capacity of both hub owners and start -ups to ensure massive creation of technology entrepreneurs and jobs within the Industry.
Another milestone achievement recorded by Mallam Abdullahi’s less than two years stint is the Launching of NITDA Academy for Research and Training as well as unveiling of the Virtual Training program by the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) piloted in Jigawa state, with 130 beneficiaries, its targeted at providing Nigerian farmers with means of showcasing their produce in the digital world market.
As part of the Agency’s contributions towards realising Mr Presidents promise was initiating and successful execution of several empowerment programs where more than 30,000 Nigerians benefited from. These includes amongst many others: Start-Up Clinic, Start-Up Friday, Future Hack, Capacity Building for Artisans, Girls, Women, Persons Living with Disabilities, and kids Code camp etc.
Kashifu’s leadership has seven focal areas that focuses on; IT Regulation, Capacity Building, Digital Inclusion, Digital Job Creation, Government Digital Service Promotion, Local Content Development, and Cybersecurity.
Under his watch, NITDA conceptualised the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) and Smart Agriculture App for precision farming, Set up the National Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Conducted Stakeholders’ engagement on the Service Level Agreement (SLA) framework that will guide MDAS in drafting SLA agreements with service providers, Issued 172 Certificates for Indigenous IT Companies, Contractors Digital Economy Strategy, Developed the National Digital Economy Strategy, Constituted and inaugurated Steering Committee.
The Agency also developed the National e-Government Master-plan, established Digital Transformation Technical Working Group (DT-TWG) across the first 100 MDAS, trained 450 women on ICT and Entrepreneurship, Conducted Training for 30 MDAS on Digital Identity for Development, Conducted Training of 20 Staff on e-Government awareness, regulations and enterprise architecture,Trained 145 leading Farmers on Smart Agricultural Practices and modern system of farming,Trained 40 Media Executives on Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and another 45 on ICT Reportage in the digital era.
The Agency conducted training for 200 Centre Managers on Train-the-Trainer Programme for NITDA Intervention Centers,Trained 150 Virtual Library Stakeholders,Trained 150 NYSC and SIWES students on CISCO certification, developed National Infrastructure Back Bone (NIBB), establishment of the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) for the development of IT in Nigeria, Developed and Published 35 Standards Guidelines and frameworks in various aspects of Information Technology and creation of Nigeria internet registration Association (NIRA) to create, manage and maintain the database of names registered in the .ng country code top level domain name space in the public interest of Nigeria and global internet communities.
Rukayyat Sadauki is a journalist