NITDA Partners Mastercard To Promote Cybersecurity, Data Protection

TECHDIGEST – The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is exploring partnership with Mastercard and the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) to host a training workshop on cybersecurity and data protection.

The NITDA is one of the key implementers of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. It is currently pursuing an ambitious target of achieving 95% national digital literacy by 2030.

“To ignite digital innovation activities in the country, relevant partnerships would be necessary as the federal government is not relenting in its efforts of creating an enabling environment to attract local and foreign investors which would in turn trigger the exponential growth of the sector and the Nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP),” said NITDA’s Director General Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi while receiving a Mastercard team in Abuja led by Country Manager and Area Head for Mastercard, West Africa, Ebihijie Momoh and Director of Public Policy for Mastercard, Sub-Saharan Africa, George Owuor.

According to Abdullahi, one of NITDA’s landmarks initiatives is its Virtual Academy – a massive open platform for online courses where Nigerians can go and learn at their own pace and also get digital certificates.

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He said the agency desires to explore cooperation with Mastercard and other multinational corporations to train about one million indigenous ICT professionals in order to fast track the creation of some digital services Nigerians currently need.

“We know globally there is shortage of talents and Africa is the next frontier because we have the youngest population… so everybody’s looking at Africa to provide the talent,” said Abdullahi, who expressed worries over the low number of programmers to drive the tech ecosystem and make it globally competitive.

“I believe we cannot succeed in isolation. That’s why we won’t work in silos. We need to work together so that we can see the impact and harness the full potential,” he added.

Momoh assured that Mastercard will help to build data protection and cybersecurity capabilities in the country even as Owuor affirmed the corporation’s readiness to support NITDA in achieving its mandate, particularly as it relates to its digital literacy agenda based on the Seven Pillars of the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP). Owuor said the forthcoming workshop will be beneficial to not just NDPB, but the digital value tech chain.