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WELCOME ADDRESS DELIVERED BY PROF CLEOPAS O. ANGAYE, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, NATIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NITDA) AT THE NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON THE DRAFT NIGERIA ICT4D PLAN HELD ON THURSDAY, 17TH JANUARY, 2008 AT THE EVENTS CENTRE, ALAUSA, IKEJA, LAGOS

It is with great privilege and honour that I stand in your midst this morning to welcome you to this workshop on the draft ICT4D Plan for Nigeria. The professionals drawn from the private and public sector, NGOs, educational institutions, and the media amongst others. It was inaugurated about four years age by the former Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Turner T.Isoun. You will therefore agree with me that what we are doing today is long overdue and that enormous intellectual work has gone into it.

Through group meetings, interviews and correspondences, the various sub-committees and their corresponding resource persons received contributions from stakeholders and other members of the public to help in getting to where we are today.

The idea behind the Nigeria ICT4D Plan is to set out a time-sensitive action plan with realistic targets and benchmarks for sectoral applications of ICT for National Development. It includes actions and programmes that cover various sectors of our National Economy for short, medium and long term implementation by relevant stakeholders.

We are all aware that ICTs have been identified as major tools in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and other global development agenda.

Accordingly, one of the major targets of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) is the development of e-strategies at national level for individual countries. What we are doing to is therefore part of the implementation of the WSIS Plan of Action. It will also play a major role in achieving NEPAD's regional agenda as well as Nigeria NEEDS.
Furthermore, it is important to note the direct relevant and usefulness of the Nigeria ICT4D Plan in achieving the present administration's Seven Point Agenda (now "vision 20-20-20") and in positioning Nigeria amongst the 20 leading economies in the world by years 2020. The final document which will be the outcome of this workshop will therefore be presented to the federal Executive Council for approval for implementation by all stakeholders.

The Sectors that are covered in the Nigeria ICT4D include:


i. e-Government

ii. ICT Infrastructure

iii. Health

iv. Agriculture

v. Education
vi. Human Resource Development

vii. Research and Development

viii. Security and Law Enforcement

ix. Legal and Regulatory Framework

x. Private sector Participation

xi. IT Popularisation and Awareness.

The outcome of this workshop which would be the final document of the Nigeria ICT4D Plan is therefore expected to provide the guidelines for project execution in all the sectors identified above. It would also form the policy document on which NITDA shall seek collaboration with stakeholders from within and outside the country for specific It related projects that would enhance sustainable national development.

Such collaboration and projects involve a wide range of activities that would enhance the development of the IT sector in Nigeria. Specific attention would be focused on:

effective policy direction for the IT industry in Nigeria;
development of appropriate IT infrastructure;
development of appropriate guidelines and standards;
ICT curricula for our educational sector;
capacity building for globally competitive workforce;
enhanced healthcare delivery;
effective law enforcement and judicial system
development of agricultural sector to enhance food security, and create the necessary enabling environment for the full integration of IT in our national development.

To achieve the above target and produce an all inclusive and generally acceptable Plan of Action, all stakeholders in the various sectors identified by the National IT Policy are called together today to examine the draft document and make input especially in the areas that are relevant to them.
I therefore wish to solicit for your kind cooperation in achieving our vision of making Nigeria a knowledge based economy driven by It.


At this juncture, on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will like to express my sincere gratitude to the United Nations' Economic commission for Africa (UNECA) for sponsoring this project. They have contributed immensely in terms of funding and human resources through the sponsorship of the consultant over-seeing the production of the document. I am glad to note that Mr. Makane Faye was in Abuja during the inauguration of the committee about four years ago and he has created time to be here again today. This has greatly demonstrated the interest of ECA in creating the all important information society we all hope for. To Prof. Dzidonu, I wish to thank you for your time and intellectual input to bring this document to the level we are today. The resource person, group heads and all stakeholders who have contributed in different ways, I thank you all.

I welcome all of you to this workshop and wish you a successful deliberation on this path of making Nigeria relevant and a key player in the newly emerging technologically driven world.

Thank You and God bless.

PROF. CLEOPAS O. ANGAYE

 

Director-General/CEO, NITDA
January 17, 2008

 

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