Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, has on Monday commissioned the newly renovated headquarters of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), located in Gimbiya Street, Garki, Abuja.
The new facility will house and integrated computer emergency response and readiness center, a digital studio for virtual learning, a digital conference center for remote collaboration, amongst many other digital facilities.
During his speech, Dr Pantami expressed his delight and pride to see the transformation of the agency which he said was kickstarted when he was the Director General and was continued by his successor, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi.
He said: “It gives me great pleasure to be here in NITDA once again. The last time I left this premises was on 20th August, 2019, before I was appointed as the Minister of Communications. I left this compound around 6:21pm and I was accompanied by my then Technical Assistant who is now the Director General. Today I am glad that I am here and we are all here to reap the benefits of hardwork.
“I am glad that what we are seeing here is what we are reaping from our collective hardwork. When I was DG, I was trying to make sure that the whole agency was transformed. We started rebuilding and renovating, we awarded the projects and everything but when the projects started, that’s when I was appointed Minister so I left. Today I am very glad that the DG has completed the projects and I must say that it is highly commendable.”
Pantami went on to commend the DG and said that President Muhammadu Buhari sends his commendations. He further urged him to work hard to outperform his present achievements.
The Minister went on to speak about how the projects being commissioned will boost the country’s insecurity fight. He said: “If you look at the integrate computer emergency response and readiness center, you can see that it is in alignment with the priorities of President Muhammadu Buhari, that is to promote security. Today there are many challenges with regards to insecurity and with this project, we can be the watchdog of the government particularly with regards to cyber security.”
Also, the DG of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, in his speech appreciated the Minister’s leadership saying: Honourable Minister Sir: “I will never forget the first time I visited you in this office, in October 2016, the first week you resumed work as the DG NITDA after your appointment by President, Muhammadu Buhari on 26th September 2016. You said to me, Kashif, this office looks like local government secretariat I will remodel it and transform it into a better working place.
“You started the transformation immediately with the remodeling of reception, conference room, and DG’s office. In 2018, you approved the design of this picturesque structure. And in 2019, you awarded the contract for the new block we call block C and the remodeling of the entire building just before your elevation to HM of the federation. Luckily for us, you were assigned to supervise our ministry. Your appointment as our supervisory minister gives us courage and energy to accelerate the execution and completion of the project within a year.”
“In 2001, NITDA was established to implement the National IT Policy, almost 20 years ago. We all know that IT has been obsolete and evolved into digital. There were several unsuccessful attempts to review the IT policy before. But coming to the office within three months, the HM had come up with a new policy, the National Digital Economy policy for Digital Nigeria.
“The policy expanded NITDA’s mandate and made it compulsory to rebrand in line with the new policy. The new brand is a paradigm shift from IT-centric to digital-centric NITDA, which includes a new logo, new vision, new mission, and new core values. The brand intent is to be a game-changer in our culture, mindset, and public perception of the Agency. For us to implement National Digital Economy Policy, we need to be digital and smart Agency,” the DG said.
The commissioning also saw the launch of a new logo for the agency which the DG said marks their effort to rebrand NITDA.