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Buhari Should Take Control Of IT Sector – NITDA

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to take control of Nigeria’s Information Technology sector.

This, according to the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mr. Peter Jack, is because the IT sector can comfortably serve as a replacement to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

Jack spoke on the sidelines of an event organised by the Nigeria Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies in Abuja.

Asked to comment on the policy direction that should be considered by the new government, he said, “What we need is to recognise bandwidth as a core infrastructure that is necessary for development. What we really want also is that the new President, we really wish that he could take ownership of the IT sector.

“This is because the IT sector offers a credible replacement for oil and gas, and it is also a catalyst for productivity growth across all sectors. So that is the reason we are appealing that the new government takes direct supervision of the IT sector.”

Jack stated that it was also important for agencies of government to work together with respect to creating job opportunities through outsourcing.

He said, “From previous experience, we know that agencies normally find it difficult to work together, especially in engaging the private sector where appropriate. But we believe that a multi-stakeholder partnership strategy will not only reduce waste but will encourage performance in government.

“The NAITEOC is a NITDA initiative. However, we are not going to work alone on this space. We are going to work with the various regulators who have something to do with outsourcing. So that when we produce standards or guidelines, everyone universally accepts them. If we work alone, naturally there will be resistance.”

Asked to comment on the number of direct and indirect jobs that could be generated from outsourcing, Jack said, “If you imagine that we have about 17 million MSMEs, that’s the potential limit of jobs that it can create. However, there will be multiplier effects across board. So from outsourcing and multiplier relationship, we are looking at creating up to 20 million jobs.”

Also speaking on the subject, the Chairman, NAITEOC, Mr. David Onu, stated that a report by the firm had shown that with adequate policy direction, Nigeria could create about a million jobs from outsourcing within a year.

He said, “Now for every outsourcing job created, we have three jobs behind it. This could be in the transport, food or agricultural sectors. So this industry has tremendous potential to address the ills of unemployment. At the same time, it provides capacity building for our teeming youths.”

Source - Punch

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