The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, has reassured stakeholders that the agency’s regulations are not intended to stifle innovation but rather to foster growth and development in the digital space.
Inuwa made the remark during a panel discussion at the Business Day CEO Forum 2023 on ‘Charting a Course to Growth and Development’ which took place at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos State.
The DG said that NITDA’s regulations are designed to promote innovation by creating a level playing field for all players in the digital ecosystem, adding that the agency is committed to working with stakeholders to ensure that the regulations are implemented in a way that does not stifle innovation.
He said that NITDA is aware of the environment, technologies, and innovations, and that the agency is intelligent in the way it regulates to not stifle innovation, but rather to create a market for businesses to grow.
- Advertisement -
Inuwa acknowledged that while regulation is necessary, it should not impede the progress of innovation and hinder the growth of startups and technology-driven businesses. He said that NITDA’s framework takes into account both rule-based and non-rule-based regulations, which allows for collaboration with industry stakeholders to develop the sector and formulate recommendations for compliance.
He opined that there is need for flexibility in regulations, acknowledging that policies may need to be withdrawn and substituted if they are not effective in supporting the ecosystem.
The DG said that NITDA has in place diverse regulations and policies like the Blockchain Policy, Artificial Intelligence Policy, and the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
He said that the NDPR has evolved into a full law and now a Commission was established and is in charge of data regulation, which was birthed by NITDA’s regulatory role.
While quoting the Korn Ferry report, the DG said that by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people, or roughly equivalent to the population of Mexico. This will result in 8.5 trillion USD in unrealised annual revenues.
He said that as Nigeria is moving towards a digitisation, talent-based economy, a company is as good as its next product and the next product is as good as the people who make it. He said that Nigeria needs to learn how to attract, retain, and harness talent. Talent is the human component and a huge market for the advancement of the country.
The DG added that Nigeria with her young population, can seize the opportunity and position herself to become the global talent factory because she has proven that in sports, music, and film industry.
Inuwa said that the same can be done in technology and data, particularly cybersecurity, because cybercrime is the biggest venture in the world today. Cybersecurity Ventures Magazine reported that cybercrime will cost the world about 8.1 trillion USD, which is bigger than all crimes combined.
He said that as you digitise, cybersecurity is pivotal, and you need to look into your cyber hygiene, build confidence and trust for your users.
The DG stated that NITDA is working towards establishing Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) which is aimed at helping to build trust and confidence for all its digital services, bringing about growth and development thus attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
The event was honoured with the presence of the Chairman of the African Development Bank (ADB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Jigawa State, Alh. Umar Namadi, CEO of MTN Group, Mr Ralph Mupika, Chairman, Shell Companies Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor, and many other dignitaries.