DG of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi with Tech Stakeholders
DG of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi with Tech Stakeholders

Three Years : NITDA And Kashifu’s Drive For Smart Agency

By Ahmadu Dansardauna

TECHDIGEST – There is no doubt that many aspects of development by individuals and nations have been fired and propelled by vision which is regarded as an indispensable ingredient and catalyst in the dynamics of human existence. Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi ,Director General of NITDA  is one of the top public officials driving Nigeria’s Digital transformation with  perfection.

Despite his international status as a Nigerian Public servant who has put the country on global map through his visionary and drastic reforms, he was and is still community champion in his Hadejia Community and Jigawa State as a whole.

Abdullahi s has an enduring disposition to the welfare of the needy in the society .This has informed his philanthropic works and contributions over the years and personal sacrifices for the education of the poor and underprivileged in the society as well as  an army of unemployed graduates job opportunities across private and public sectors .No person with need ever leaves his presence without receiving some form of relief .Many Nigerians have  flourishing career or profitable  business and schooling as a result of the Chief Digital Officer of the federation –Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

Three  years ago , President Muhammadu Buhari appointed several  head of parastatals and agencies among which is immediate past Technical Assistant to DG NITDA ,Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the Director General and CEO of NITDA .

Inuwa was found competent and worthy to drive the Next Level agenda of the PMB administration in the digital sector and was welcomed by stakeholders in the ICT sector as a round peg in a round hole.

When Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi took over as the chief executive of NITDA in August 2019,   he outlined the policy thrust of  his administration and set radical reforms in tone with PMB administration next level  agenda on digital transformation.

He promised to completely transform the agency into a smart organization. According to him, “My vision for NITDA is to completely transform the agency into a smart and make it one of the best in the country through team work and open door policy”.

Born on February 21, 1980, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. Mr. Abdullahi is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years’ experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture, across both private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the USA, University of Cambridge in the UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

Abdullahi has worked for nine years (2004 – 2013) at Galaxy Backbone and held several positions such as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead, Technical Solution Design.

In 2014, Mr Abdullahi joined Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives 360 view of the Bank’s IT Infrastructure and facilitated ease of decision making on new IT investment. He was part of the team that executed software license rationalization that has increased cost savings for the Bank in license annual subscriptions.

As the first Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s Public Sector, he is also a Certified Project Manager and Solution Architect. He also has many professional certifications in Networking, Telecommunications, Service Management and Solution Design.

Mr Abdullahi was a key resource in the development of IT standards for the apex bank, which has reduced mean time to deploy/integrate new system by over 20%. One of his major achievements as a Technology architect was the production of seven solution architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless society in Nigeria.

He joined NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the Director General/CEO. Being the IT regulatory body in Nigeria mandated to implement National ICT policy, he managed execution of strategy which has increased ICT contribution to Nigerian GDP by over 13% in Q2 2018. He also coordinated a Local Content initiative that has increased ICT local production by over 200% in 2017.Mr Abdullahi is a member of both Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and the British Computer Society (BCS).

Since taking over from his predecessor,  Professor Ali Isa Ibrahim (Pantami) as DG NITDA ,Mallam Kashifu Inuwa unveiled  NITDA’s “ Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2014)”, pillars identified by the Agency as the fulcrum for the Roadmap are: 1) Developmental Regulation; 2) Digital Literacy and Skills; 3) Digital Transformation; 4) Digital Innovation & Entrepreneurship; 5) Cybersecurity; 6) Emerging Technologies and; 7) Promotion of Indigenous Content.

SRAP has been broken down into strategic initiatives that speak to its goal. The resultant initiatives were further fragmented into activities and an implementation plan which was in turn developed for these initiatives. Also, a result monitoring framework was developed for identified key performance indicators of each of the initiatives. This is indeed water shed in his quest to make digital economy the largest in the continent through the integrated and deliberate implementation of the strategic plan.

The IT regulatory agency set out strategies to digitize government functions and processes and it successfully created over 150 user accounts to enable Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) submit their IT projects through the agency’s IT projects clearance portal, licensed of 94 Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCOs), and of Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture/Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (NGEa-Ne-GIF). Since the coming of the dynamic DG,  NITDA has developed several regulatory frameworks for information technology development, which most of them have been published both on soft copy and hard copy by the Agency.

Affable and polished, DG Inuwa is perhaps the most charismatic of the young CEOs in the country .He operates with an effective style which creates the impression that he is a man who craves for excellence with an acute sense of duty.

He is not intoxicated by his superlative intellectual digital prowess .He has remained a model to the upcoming generation .He is a source of inspiration to many.

When the history of NITDA will be written, the name of the current Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Kashifu   Inuwa Abdullahi will be written in gold. “See the conquering hero comes with sounds of flutes and beats of the drum” .These famous lines of Thomas Morrel rightly apply to Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi –workaholic Director General of NITDA , as he mark 3 years in office with unprecedented result sheet to brandish.

Dansardauna can be reach on [email protected].

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