By Emmanuel Yinka Fagbenle
The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) has provided virtual libraries to over 20 higher institutions of learning across the country, the technology regulatory agency has revealed during a courtesy visit to its Abuja headquarters by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) led by its Director General, Professor Mohammed Ladan Tawfiq.
While NITDA’s major focus is to regulate and develop ICT for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), it has not shied away from supporting research and learning institutions by providing technology driven infrastructures that will further help such institutions to achieve their goals, said the Director General of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
NITDA sees these interventions as part of its corporate social responsibility, as well as a way to strategically engage and collaborate with these institutions, and would be willing to extend same to the NIALS, said Abdullahi in response to request for NITDA’s support by the NIALS.
The NITDA’s boss who was represented by Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS), Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, assured that the agency has a history and a sense of commitment to supporting research and learning centres.
“NITDA’s major focus is to regulate and develop ICT in ministries, departments and agencies, and your institute has so far met all requirements for the agency’s support and intervention,” he said, adding that with all round the clock power supply for higher institutions of learning, the agency has provided over 100 PCs to bolster learning and research in several academic centres.
He said the agency has provided virtual libraries to over 20 institutions in 2019 alone while assuring the team from NIALS that with the support of the DG, the NITDA will provide an IT Training Centre for NIALS to accommodate more IT knowledge-based students.
Professor Tawfiq noted that under his watch, the institute has begun online courses to train Lawyers and Judges in an ideal ICT environment hence it becomes expedient to seek for NITDA’s intervention, technical guidance and collaboration.
“We need NIDTA’s technical guidance to drive our purpose for the online courses we started in training judges and lawyers in an ideal online environment,” he said.
Prof Tawfiq revealed that the institute has in recent times been showcasing NITDA’s activities and guidelines through its platform, he however implored the agency to provide adequate ICT tools and facilities to enable them do more.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Director eGovernment Development and Regulation Department Dr Vincent Olatunji commended the NIALS’ boss for initiating step to collaborate with the NITDA even as he advised the institute to set up an ICT department which the technical group from NITDA can always work with in order to effectively support the NIALS including helping to ensure cyber-security within their system.
Head of Legal Unit at NITDA, Mr. Emmanuel Edet said the regulatory agency has worked in partnership with several institutions in the provision of legal research for lawyers and judges. He said the NITDA has also provided capacity building by way of giving out Masters degree scholarships for legal students to enable them effectively address the new and expansive field of law IT.
The agency was already partnering with University of Lagos, Bayero University and others in capacity buildings and scholarships, Edet added.
The two organisations agreed to constitute a working committee to further strengthen and fast track the institute’s request and build a robust inter-agency relationship to be inked in an MoU.