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Tech community to receive full support for innovation to hack covid-19 out of Nigeria – DG NITDA

DG NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi
DG NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, has
promised that the Agency is willing to
offer full support to the tech community in
Nigeria to enable them innovate on ways of
crafting an exit and recovery strategy from
this COVID-19 pandemic and to make sure
we come out stronger as a nation.
Mallam Inuwa made this known during his
speech via Skype at the opening ceremony
of a Hackathon event put together by ‘100
women in ICT’ with the theme: ‘Hack the
Crisis in Nigeria’.
“Hack the crisis project is aimed at
launching a prototype solutions, ideas and
innovations into products and initiatives
that will not only create awareness in
multiple languages about COVID-19 but
will also help prevent and/or flatten the
curve of COVID-19 in Nigeria through
digital innovation,” the DG said.
He urged participants to come up with
innovative ideas that can help the nation
contain and mitigate this pandemic as
well as look at how we can use these ideas
to survive and thrive in the post pandemic
world. “We need to hack the crisis and we
need to do it ourselves. We need to make a
tailor made solutions that can work in our
country”, he stated.
The DG hinted that the Agency is looking
at organizing a National Innovation
Challenge, where it can identify some
innovative ideas, incubate them and ensure
they are implemented in some sectors,
especially the health sector and the digital
economy in general. He further said that he
personally encouraged and supported the
Hackathon because the theme is apt, and
the problem statement is relevant to what is
happening in the world today.
Mallam Kashifu said he look forward to
a promising result from this Hackathon to
help mitigate the effect of this pandemic.
“NITDA is looking at incubating some of the
innovation to create value and prosperity
as we exit from the crisis which is in line
with the President Muhammadu Buhari,
GCFR, resolve to diversify our economy
and lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
It is also in consistent with the agency’s
supervising ministry, the Federal Ministry
of Communication and Digital Economy’s
‘national digital economy strategy’ which
focused on digital job creation and the
use of emerging technologies to create
value, wealth and prosperity for our young
generation.
“Today we are confronted by a crisis like no
other. Corona virus, also known as COVID-19
has disrupted our social and economic order
within a short time. The virus is causing
health crisis while the lockdown needed to
fight the virus is causing economic crises.
What was normal just few weeks ago, such
as going to work, religious congregation and
socializing with family and friends, is now a
huge risk” the DG noted.
He added that the virus dictates and is still
in control. It dictates when to shutdown,
lockdown and relaxes. He argued that we
will likely continue this way until there is
breakthrough in vaccine but until then,
life will not return to normal because
humans have natural aversion for exposing
themselves to diseases.

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