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GAT Summit: NITDA DG Stresses Need To Apply Political Principles to Technology

The Director-General of the Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, has stressed the need for the government to work hand-in-hand with citizens in co-creating regulations that will directly address their lingering concerns.

Inuwa who presented a keynote address and participated in panel discussions at the Government and Tech (GAT) Summit 2022, in Lagos, expressed the belief that the Summit is coming at a time when players in the tech ecosystem are struggling with the realities of the present regulatory framework and contemplating their alternatives.

As key players within the African Tech Ecosystem engage with government policy decision-makers and regulators on the prospects of regulating for the future in order to provide solutions for smart governance, Inuwa noted that NITDA’s participation underscores the importance the agency attaches to the prevailing regulatory structure and future possibilities.

The DG also told participants that blaming the government for negligence is not the right approach towards getting the needed attention, as the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration has demonstrated the political will to tend the growing demands of the industry.

He further maintained that the role of the government is to create an enabling environment through interventions in terms of laws and policies, so that Nigerians, and indeed entrepreneurs can have a safer digital space to thrive.

“We need to look at regulations from the eyes of the citizens; how will it change the way we live because technology has grown beyond what we knew it to be, as it now has enormous power to limit or improve on what we do. Moreso, we need to start applying political principles to technology and not only seeing as a business tool”, Inuwa added.

The NITDA Boss while making reference to the Start-up Bill which was passed by the National Assembly, was confident that the bill will help solve myriads of challenges highlighted during the panel discussions.

“Remember we talked about Tech Union, so, under the Start-up bill, there is a National Council for Technology and Innovation which is going to be chaired by Mr. President and all regulators are going to be members and the tech ecosystem will be represented there”, Inuwa stressed.

He therefore assured attendees that the government is not sitting in it oars but working tirelessly to encourage and support entrepreneurs and young innovators to succeed.

“I believe, with this kind of conversation, nothing will stop Nigeria from becoming a force to reckon with, when you talk about innovation in the world. The government is a listening government and is ready to work with you”, he asserted.

He however challenged them to also always try to reciprocate the readiness to be available when needed as exemplied by the Federal Government’s presence at their invitations.

“Few weeks ago, we issued a Code of Practice but many people in the ecosystem didn’t read or contribute to the document. We say we want to co-create, not to do so from our offices but how can we co-create when you don’t contribute ideas and share your thoughts accordingly? We still hope you will do so, in order for us to have an encompassing document of regulations that will effectively serve everyone in the value chain.

Meanwhile other high representatives of key regulators and innovators in the technology space added their voices to the call for a more frictionless regulations that will work for the better good of Nigerians and Nigeria.

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