The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has said the recent creation of the agency’s new subsidiary: Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), which is a product of merger, will boost policy implementation.
It also said the newly created ONDI would enhance the enforcement of regulatory guidelines across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government
The ONDI was created recently from the merger of two subsidiaries of NITDA: Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) and the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC).
The Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who gave reasons for the merger, said NITDA, in its effort to implement the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and to streamline its operation to serve stakeholders more efficiently, merged two of its former Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) and the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC), to create a more robust and functional subsidiary that would further drive policy implementation across government agencies.
According to Abdullahi, ONC was established as a strategic vehicle to drive the implementation of the Nigerian Content Program and monitor compliance with the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, issued in December 2013 and updated in August 2019, while the OIIE was positioned to work with stakeholders to analyse and evaluate their current ecosystems.
He explained that the OIIE was established to build bridges between stakeholders to arrive at shared agendas and collectively design and implement strategic interventions (policies and programs), which are based on best practices to bolster the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
Both subsidiaries had a mandate to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Nigerian digital ecosystem, as well as to create the necessary people resources and capacity. ONC and OIIE collaborated with important stakeholders in the ecosystem to achieve this goal. Abdullahi however said the challenge was that many of the activities cross-pollinated, became redundant, and lacked the necessary cross-subsidiary collaboration, which he said, also led to duplication of work, re-invention of the wheel and poor use of resources. The challenges, he added, led to their merger for profitability.
According to him, “As a result, the management of NITDA in its effort to streamline its activities, promote efficiency and effective use of resources decided on the establishment of a single body capable of directing the activities of both subsidiaries as one.
“This is in furtherance of the Agency’s culture to be on a continuous path of improvement and new strategic vision which is to proactively facilitate the development of Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy. NITDA shall continue to evaluate its previous plan, in order to refocus the Agency along the lines of the government policies, current state of the IT industry, future trends, current aspirations of the citizenry and the general intendment of government.”