Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, NITDA
Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, NITDA

COVID-19: Why PTF Wants To Consolidate Partnership With NITDA

TECH DIGEST – As Nigeria’s Government strives to stem the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 have expressed willingness to forge on the partnership that exists between them.

This came to the fore when the National Head of Secretariat and Chairman, Technical Steering Committee, Dr Muktar Muhammed paid a working visit to the NITDA’s Director General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, at the Agency’s corporate headquarter, Abuja.

Mallam Abdullahi stated that the request on the harmonization of platforms made by the PTF would be look into.

He said, “You talked about harmonization of the platform. That’s something we can do. The technical team can look at it and decide on the best possible way to go. All this is possible and we are ready to work with you to achieve your mandate.”

The DG noted that COVID-19 has brought the health sector to the frontline on how to use technology to enhance delivery and come up with new ways of doing things. This is an opportunity for us to work together, and with relevant agencies to come up strategies needed to help the health sector.

“This is not something that can happen in silo. We are regulators but we you know more about the sector. We can work under your umbrella to achieve this.

“Technology has become source of information and strategic partner in “whatever we do because we now use it to come up with strategy,” he added.

The DG maintained that technology is now changing the game as there are three things that inspire in the digital world.

“You can know everything you want to know because the data is there and you just have to look for it. Secondly unlimited connectivity: there is nothing you can’t connect to and get information from. You can connect to human beings and devices. Convergence between digital and biological technology are all shaping the digital world,” the DG said.

Earlier in his remarks, Dr Muhammed stated that coming to NITDA has become expedient to consolidate the relationship that exists between NITDA and all agencies that are involved in the management of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

He added that technology is helping some countries to fight the war on COVID-19 as it is being used to prevent, detect and manage the pandemic. And this has made us underscore the importance of this relationship.

Dr Muhammed disclosed that matching order has been given to the Steering Committee (of PTF) to harmonize the information on its database and there is need for the committee to approach NITDA for guidance on how to go about it.

He however, thanked the Agency for supports it has has giving, adding that the internet, dashboard and other hardware donated by the Agency assisted them to navigate the frontline.

In a short presentation about the Nigeria Data Protection Regulations, the Agency advised that it is important for the PTF on COVID-19 observed the provisions in the Regulation so as to protect the citizens’ data. The committee was advised to get a Data Protection Officer and accredited Data Protection Compliance organisation in order to send a strong signal to people on how protected their data are.