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NOA, NITDA partner on deepening digital literacy in Nigeria

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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In a bid to tackle the rising cases of cybercrimes and improve security in the Nigerian cyber space, the National Orientation Agency, NOA, and the National Information Technology development Agency, NITDA, are working to deepen digital literacy among Nigerians.

Director-General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari disclosed this while receiving his NITDA counterpart, Kashifu Inuwa in his office.

 According to Mr Abari, improved digital literacy would ensure better protection of Nigerian communities.

The director-general added that for Nigeria to attain economic sustainability in the modern world, agriculture and other sectors of the economy have to be modernized and technologically driven.

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He said as a citizens’ engagement agency, NOA sees NITDA as a natural ally in harnessing the potentials of Nigeria’s vast youth population, “so that they serve as a resource for national development rather than a liability”.

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Mr Abari also stated that NOA in 2020 plans to establish 1000 Integrity and Digital Literacy Clubs, otherwise called Webrangers in schools across Nigeria, noting that NITDA’s inputs into the project was essential to the success and future expansion of the initiative.

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The D-G, therefore, pledged the commitment of NOA in revisiting and strengthening the partnership between the two agencies.

Speaking earlier, the NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa observed that Information Communication Technology, ICT, has for the past two years overtaken oil and gas in terms of contribution to Gross Domestic Product, GDP, with over 32 million Nigerians active on social media.

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He said this huge number of active citizens on the net needs to be properly educated on how to protect their personal data to avoid falling victim to cybercriminals.

Mr Inuwa said NITDA is focusing on building Nigeria’s digital economy; hence the need to develop the digital skills of Nigerians to prepare them for decent work and the future of work which he says is digital.

He said partnering with NOA could help re-orientate Nigerians to reposition them for relevance in the workspace in the years ahead and to move the nation’s economy forward.

According to Mr Inuwa, NITDA, is committed to firming up the seven pillars of ICT development in Nigeria, including Regulation, Capacity Building, Local Content, Government Digital Services, Digital Job Creation, Digital Inclusion and Cyber Security.

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