How NITDA Will Support Tinubu’s Job Creation Drive

Concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) displacing jobs in human resource management have caused widespread anxiety. The potential of AI to effectively perform human tasks has raised alarm, leaving many wondering which jobs are safe from this transformation.

Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), stands out as someone who isn’t fearful of AI’s impact. With expertise spanning policy formulation, administration, growth management, talent development, solutions architecture, resource mobilization, and strategy implementation, he is unfazed.

In 2003, Inuwa earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University. His career began at Galaxy Backbone Limited, where he rose from network engineer to senior network engineer and Lead Solution Architect by 2009, responsible for designing internet backend solutions. Later, at the Central Bank of Nigeria, he developed the bank’s Technology Architecture Repository, enhancing IT decision-making.

Inuwa’s rise continued as he became the technical assistant to the director-general, contributing to NITDA’s strategic goals. Eventually, he was appointed director-general in 2019, confidently steering the agency, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tech4Covid Committee, which he initiated, responded with innovative strategies to mitigate the pandemic’s impact, including deploying digital technologies and setting up the NITDA virtual academy.

Under Inuwa’s leadership, NITDA has trained numerous Nigerians in digital skills and awarded scholarships for higher education. His ambitious talent development program aims to train one million software developers within 18 months. Additionally, the agency’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021-2024 focuses on transforming Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy.

Inuwa’s efforts have significantly boosted the ICT/digital economy sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, increasing from 12% in 2019 to 18.4% in Q3 2022. NITDA responds to national challenges, including President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to creating one million jobs in the digital space.

Inuwa cites a PwC report endorsing his initiative to train one million developers. He envisions positioning Nigeria as a global talent hub, tapping into the demand for developers globally. NITDA supports Nigerian youths with training and capacity building, exemplified by programs like the NITDA Coursera scholarship.

Inuwa shares plans to establish technology development and innovation clusters in each state, aligning with the Nigeria Startup Act. The agency nurtures startups through training, mentoring, and funding, contributing to job creation.

NITDA is enacting reforms to create more job opportunities, including the Nigerian Startup Act, Nigeria Data Strategy, National Blockchain Policy, and National Outsourcing Strategy.

The agency’s initiatives include the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), exploring AI’s role in enhancing farm produce. The goal is to provide startups a platform to test smart agriculture concepts.

Inuwa emphasizes NITDA’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for startups and businesses in Nigeria. The agency aims to replicate the success of places like Delaware in attracting and enabling businesses in the country.