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Wednesday 29th March, 2023


NITDA Adopts 75 Smart Farmers Into Its NAVSA Platform At UI

The programme was designed in two folds: to build the digital skill and literacy skills of the beneficiaries and to practically demonstrate to them how feasible it is to run a smart farm.

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Dr Ayodele Bakare (right) presenting a dummy cheque of #100, 000 seed fund and a tablet to one of the beneficiaries at the closing ceremony of NAVSA empowerment program at University of Ibadan.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the weekend concluded the five days intensive training which culminated in the adoption of another 75 smart farmers into the NAVSA platform at the University of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

This is part of the success stories emanating from the implementation of the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) and its prospect to attract the youths to embrace agriculture, leveraging digital technologies.

One of the goals of the programme is to build a sustainable digital platform that provides varieties of information for more than half of the agriculture ecosystem players in Nigeria in order to enable a highly-productive agribusiness economy.

The programme has since adopted almost 992 smart farmers and created thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.

At a brief closing ceremony and presentation of digital tools and seed funding to the beneficiaries, the NITDA Director General, Kashifu Inuwa, who was represented by the team lead and Assistant Director, Digital Economy Development Department, Dr. Ayodele Bakare, reiterated that the programme is designed to help the farmers raise their efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability of their farm businesses through the adoption of digital technologies.

Giving the overview of the programmes, he disclosed that the programme was designed in two folds: to build the digital skill and literacy skills of the beneficiaries and to practically demonstrate to them how feasible it is to run a smart farm.

He said that the programme was initiated by NITDA to demonstrate that IT is an enabler of all other sectors of the economy, and if properly deployed and adopted by farmers, it would aid food production and security in the country.

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He added that the essence of the training is for the beneficiaries to be able to manage their smart farms and become self-reliant and self-employed.

While advising the beneficiaries to practice what they have learnt throughout the period of the training and build on it, he assured them that NITDA would continue to provide the necessary support should the need arise.

“What we have done here is to wet your appetite and inspire you to optimize it beyond what NITDA has done for you. We expect you to maximize your business models by pulling resources together.

Dr. Bakare, however, called on the management to help the beneficiaries by monitoring and supervising the farms in order to ensure it is self-sustaining.

“We sincerely thank the Vice Chancellor, the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, and the entire staff for unfettered support to make this programme a reality and we believe that it will spur you to expand the scope far above what NITDA has donated,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Adebowale who was represented by Prof. Malachy Akporoga of the Soil Science Department said, “the replica of what NITDA has done for the beneficiaries is to light their candles which he believes they would also light other people’s candles with.”

“When you leave this school, go out there to replicate what NITDA has done for you. NITDA cannot train all of you but they have found you worthy of the programme and I believe you also help them to train more people when you start others will follow,” he added.

He informed that designing another approach to farming like NITDA has done would translate to food sufficiency as food is the most important need of man, adding that adoption of digital technologies in Agriculture has justified that hoe and cutlass are not the end in Agric business but a means to an end.

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He further enjoined the beneficiaries to start farming now because of the situation the world has found itself in, noting that anything planted now adds value to well-being. “Imagine the price of flour today because Ukraine is in a war situation. I call on you to go out there and become the Ukraine of Nigeria,” he admonished.

The Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Stella Odebowale, in her vote of thanks expressed her appreciation to the Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and the NITDA Director General, Kashifu Inuwa, for their foresight to inject digital technologies in farm practice saying that it would make agriculture attractive to the youths.

While assuring that all the facilities would be used for the purpose they are donated for, she said “We assure you that we would ensure the sustainability of this programme and monitor the devices given to our students to see that they were utilized for the purpose they were given.”

Earlier, an Agriculture Entrepreneur, Mr. Akin Alabi, who was also one of the resource persons, noted that the NAVSA programme would surely add value to agriculture businesses in Nigeria.

“NITDA has impacted the prerequisite knowledge of the beneficiaries to ensure the project does not fail and with this, we can take digital agriculture to the next level.”

The 75 beneficiaries, who were drawn from different departments of the Faculty of Agriculture and Computer Science, were full of praise for NITDA saying that the programme has broadened their horizon to think beyond seeing farming as a laborious enterprise.

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Deborah Onuchi, one of the beneficiaries, expressed delight that with the adoption of digital technologies, farming practice has become seamless and enterprising with various opportunities because of the value chain inherent in it.

She promised that with the knowledge NITDA has impacted her, she has seen agriculture as a business and not as a means to provide sustenance for oneself.

Meanwhile, during the NITDA team’s visit to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Adebowale, he commended NITDA for introducing the new trend in agricultural practices to the youths and maintained that if youths see that adopting smart technologies in agriculture makes it easier, they would surely adopt it.

“I appreciate the fact that the beneficiaries of this programme are youths who are technologically savvy, its acceptability is assured unlike introducing it to the old one who would not accept it because of old farming traditions. They are like dry fish that cannot be straightened,” he concluded.

Among the facilities, NITDA put in place for the successful implementation of the programme at the institution are the provision of connectivity to the beneficiaries, access to the NAVSA platform, facilitation, financial inclusion through the digital wallets on the NAVSA platform, provision of insurance and E-extension services.

Others include the provision of a smart demo farm, that is, smart irrigation and brooding system, a borehole University satellite farm in Ile-Ogbo, installation of a smart irrigation system by NITDA, a 500 litre water tank, one Horse Power surface water pump, and solar inverter installed for the utilisation of the smart irrigation farm system.


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NiRA, EFCC Sign MoU To Train Personnel On Cyber Security



L-r: President, NIRA, Muhammed Rudman, and the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, during the agreement signing ceremony in Abuja.

The Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to provide cyber security training for the personnel of the EFCC and other national security organisations.

NiRA is the registry for .ng Internet Domain Names, responsible for and maintaining the database of names registered in the .ng country code Top Level Domain.

The Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, speaking during the MoU signing ceremony at the EFCC Head Office, Jabi, Abuja, reiterated the resolve of the Commission to build the capacity of the personnel to effectively combat the emerging trends in cyber security.

The Nigerian Internet Registration Association, NIRA delegation to the ceremony, was led by its President, Muhammed Rudman.

Bawa said the MoU would further boost the understanding of his personnel on the modern trends in cyberspace and assist the Commission’s investigations.

“We are very proud to collaborate with you because we realize that part of our mandate is collaboration. We need relevant stakeholders whether in government or private sector to achieve our mandate,” he said.

The EFCC boss, while expressing delight over the collaboration, said that the EFCC had a well-equipped Academy to sustain the training.

A group photograph of NIRA and EFCC officials at the MoU signing ceremony

“I find this MoU very appealing. I accept your collaboration and we are ready to start as soon as possible.

“We have a well-equipped Academy to carry out this training and I advise that the training is not only onsite but also online so that many people can join, and even other agencies can benefit from this using the same platform,” he added.

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Earlier, the President of NIRA, Muhammed Rudman while providing some insight into the goals of NiRA, stated that the purpose of the MoU was to strengthen collaboration between his Association and the EFCC.

According to him, there was a huge gap between NIRA and law enforcement agencies, which needed to be bridged.

“We have law enforcement agencies locking up for Registrars when there are cyber security issues in terms of websites, based on the crimes perpetrated by end users.

“So, to protect our Registrars from having challenges with law enforcement, we identify EFCC as the right partner to provide capacity building to address these gaps in terms of cybersecurity awareness and general knowledge of ICT,” he said.

He added that when the MoU was fully implemented it would benefit not only the EFCC but other agencies as well.

“To be honest with you, we want to kick-start this project as soon as possible to give high-level capacity building on the internet and how it works, to address the needs of Law Enforcement Agencies, using EFCC as an umbrella body to bridge the cybersecurity gap,” Rudman said.

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NITDA, World Bank Train 200 Women On Content Creation



Photo Session with NITDA DG, Kasifu Inuwa; Executive Director of NATVIEW TECH, Nuradeen Maidoki alongside participants of the Digital Skills Training

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in collaboration with NATVIEW and World Bank has successfully rounded off a pilot digital skills development programme called “Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma”, designed to identify, prepare, and connect disadvantaged girls and young women with emerging skills in the knowledge economy.

The programme which is part of activities to celebrate International Women’s Day and given the dire need to position young women for global participation in the Gig economy is geared towards integrating gender-intentional learning outcomes focused on technical training, soft skills, and right-based learning for young women interested in the tech ecosystem.

At the closing ceremony of the four-day event, the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, noted that the training programme which is hinged on creating potential economic opportunities, increasing livelihoods, and access to better lives through the Gig economy is in line with the Agency’s mission to place Nigeria on the path to attaining 95% digital literacy by 2030, in alignment with the National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020–2030.

The DG who recognised the fact that women are underrepresented in the technology sector avowed that with programmes like the Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma programme, NITDA aims to bridge the gap by providing young women with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the digital economy.

“At NITDA, we are very excited about this partnership with the World Bank, which is in line with our initiative of one million software developers and skills by the end of 2023; Our core mandate is to develop and regulate the information technology sector in Nigeria because we believe that the future of our nation lies in the development of its human resources, and as such, we are committed to providing access to training and development opportunities for all Nigerians,” Inuwa stressed.

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Inuwa who seized the opportunity to thank the World Bank for driving the initiative and the implementation partner, Natview Technology, acknowledged the importance of partnerships in achieving the organisation’s goals, noting that Natview Technology has a proven track record of delivering quality digital skills development programmes, and expressed thanks for the execution of the pilot training programme.

“Ladies and gentlemen, as we round off this pilot today, let us remember that the digital economy holds vast opportunities for economic growth and development. However, to fully realize these opportunities, we must ensure that all Nigerians, regardless of gender, have access to the necessary skills and knowledge,” he said.

The NITDA Boss urged all the young women who participated in the training to take full advantage of the opportunity to make significant contributions to the digital economy and Nigeria’s development.

Inuwa reiterated NITDA’s commitment to ensuring that the entire citizenry is empowered with information technologies through the development of a critical mass of proficient and globally competitive IT manpower.

According to him, NITDA remains poised to actualise its mandate through strategic and inclusive stakeholder management, local and international partnership, and efficient utilisation of resources in the interest of Nigeria.

The Director-General who later presented certificates to the participants congratulated them and expressed the hope of seeing the positive impact of the programme on the lives of young women in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Natview Technology, Nuradeen Maidoki who earlier welcomed everyone to the closing ceremony described the Fasaha: Gina Mata, Gina Al-umma (“Building Women, Empowering Communities”) being implemented by Natview Technology as part of the firm’s contribution towards driving digital literacy and skills across Nigeria.

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While appreciating NITDA and the World Bank for delivering digital competency beyond Nigeria, Maidoki said through the initiative, Natview hopes to create a pipeline of highly skilled female technologists who can contribute to innovation and growth in Nigeria’s technology industry as the firm believes that by empowering young women with digital skills, it can create a more inclusive and diverse technology industry that reflects the richness and diversity of the society.

“During the 4-day launch, 200 young women were selected to participate in the digital content creation training. Beyond the digital content creation training, these young women also received skills training that will enable them to participate in the gig economy, which creates a platform for them to earn income from home,” Maidoki noted.

“The goal of the programme is to train and equip at least 800 girls and young women with digital skills and competencies to be globally competitive in the remote workplace. The pilot launch focuses on training 200 women around digital content creation and marketing while in the future, an additional 600 young women will be integrated from four Northern Nigeria states (Borno, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara) with high FCV cases,” Maidoki added.


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UK-Nigeria Tech Hub And Google Collaborate For Startups

-To Award $3 Million Cloud Credit To Women Founders

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A panel session at the programme marking the International Women’s Day by UK-Nigeria Tech Hub and Google, held in Lagos

The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, a pillar of the UK government’s broader Digital Access Program (DAP), has announced a collaboration with Google for Startups, Africa.

This collaboration will see the two entities award $3 million in Google Cloud credits to women founders in Nigeria.

This support will subsidise cloud technology-related costs for startups, allowing them to focus on innovation, customer acquisition, and growth.

The joint effort by UK-Nigeria Tech Hub and Google for Startups Africa will help promote digital inclusion and jointly support technology businesses run by women founders.

To commemorate International Women’s Day in March, the two organisations co-hosted an event in Lagos, on Friday, bringing together women founders, investors, and ecosystem stakeholders.

The event aims to help women founders understand the technology funding landscape and position themselves to secure funding for their startups.

Country Director, UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, Justina Oha said, “We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Google for Startups, which comes at a time when the world is celebrating International Women’s Day.

“This partnership is a testament to our commitment to supporting women founders and helping them reach their full potential. Partnerships like this are one of the great ways that stakeholders can come together to advance Nigeria’s tech ecosystem at an accelerated pace.”

Head of Startup Ecosystem Google Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi speaking on the collaboration, said: “We are excited to partner with the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub to empower women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. This collaboration is a unique opportunity to provide women founders with the support and resources they need to scale their businesses and contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.

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“At Google for Startups, we are committed to supporting startups and entrepreneurs around the world, and we believe that empowering women founders is key to building a more diverse and inclusive tech industry.”



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