Leadership is about responsibility. Those who instill hope into our minds and hearts are true heroes and deserve encomium. Consequently, leadership is also a burden. This burden had been bestowed upon Mr. Kashifu Inuwa by the Pacemaker of IT and Digital Economy in Nigeria, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami and indeed he is a round peg in the round hole of NITDA.
A year had ticked and results cleared as daylight had attested to the competence of Kashifu; a trait which we presume Pantami saw prior to his recommendation.
Apparently, AgricTech has benefited immensely from the Federal Government through the efforts of NITDA. NITDA has made it possible for the creation of National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA); an initiative designed to equip 145 farmers with digital and smart technology to bolster the yield of their farms.
To swiftly adjust to learning in this pandemic, the educational sector has been painstakingly taken care of. It is not news that all schools are closed. However, capable Kashifu launched the NITDA Academy to promote learning behind closed doors with the motive to massively train Nigerian youths who are adapting to the unprecedented situation.
Ostensibly, to dot the i’s in the SMEs world, Kashifu invented Virtual Startup Clinics to serve as channels between youths and successful entrepreneurs, investors and business consultants for mentoring and support purposes in the IT space.
In order to corroborate Pantami’s panning out of a Digital Nigeria, Kashifu kickstarted the Nigerian Digital Economy Post-Pandemic, a plan developed by NITDA’s Tech4Covid-19 Committee to support about 100,000 ICT professionals and create 30,000 more jobs through time. And, in all honesty, this project is in the works.
In furtherance, Kashifu created COVID-19 Innovation Challenge; an initiative to identify challenges that tech entrepreneurs are facing during the pandemic. Eventually, five start-ups out of the myriads of startups made it to the final stage and 3 start-ups were selected for consistent support from the agency.
To complement the efforts of the Pantami-led tenure towards the actualisation of a Digital Nigeria, NITDA set up 80 Digital Capacity Training Centres across all geopolitical zones in the country, 3 IT hubs, 4 Innovation and Incubation Parks, 6 IT Community Centres and 3 IT Capacity-building Centres in higher institutions of learning, all within the cycle of 365 days. Furthermore, NITDA held and continue to hold numerous Capacity-building Programmes for around 650 artisans across four of the six geo-political zones in the country.
One year into the journey of building upon Pantami’s exemplary leadership at NITDA, Kashifu has no doubt done beyond our great expectations. He has made not only the Pacesetter proud but also the whole nation at large. Let’s keep going, it’s our hope and prayer that he keeps up the good work geared towards the attainment of a Digitized Nigeria.
Garko, a poet and essayist, writes from Gombe