NITDA and Kashifu’s Will for a Smart Agency

There is no doubt that many aspects of the development of individuals and nations have been triggered and propelled by a vision which is considered an indispensable ingredient and catalyst in the dynamics of human existence. Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Managing Director of NITDA, is one of the senior public officials who is driving Nigeria’s digital transformation with perfection.

Despite his international status as a Nigerian civil servant who put the country on the world map through his visionary and drastic reforms, he was and still is the community champion of his Hadejia community and Jigawa State as a whole. Abdullahi has an enduring disposition to the welfare of the needy in society.

This has informed his philanthropic works and contributions over the years and his personal sacrifices for the education of the poor and underprivileged in society, as well as an army of unemployed graduates, job opportunities in the private and audience. No person in need ever leaves his presence without receiving some form of relief. Many Nigerians have thriving careers or profitable businesses and studies thanks to the federation’s digital director, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

Three years ago, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed several heads of parastatals and agencies, including former DG NITDA Technical Assistant, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, as NITDA’s Managing Director and CEO. He was deemed competent and worthy to drive the Buhari administration’s Next Level agenda in the digital sector and was welcomed by ICT sector stakeholders like a round peg in a round hole.

When Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi took office as NITDA’s Director General in August 2019, he outlined the policy direction of his administration and set the tone for sweeping reforms with the Buhari administration’s top-level agenda on digital transformation. He promised to turn the agency into a smart organization. According to him, “My vision for NITDA is to completely transform the agency into a smart one and make it one of the best in the country through teamwork and an open door policy.”
Born on February 21, 1980, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi graduated in Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi. He is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years of experience in IT operations, business transformation and solutions architecture, in both the private and public sectors.

He has taken leadership and management courses at Harvard University in the United States, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and IMD Business School in Switzerland.
Abdullahi worked for nine years (2004 – 2013) at Galaxy Backbone and held several positions such as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Principal Network and Manager, IP Operations Team and Principal Solution Architect and Manager, Network Design technical solutions.

In 2014, Abdullahi joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he devoted his time to developing a Technology Architecture Repository that gives a 360 degree view of the IT infrastructure of the Bank and facilitates decision-making on new IT investments. He was part of the team that executed the rationalization of software licenses, which enabled the Bank to realize savings on annual license subscriptions.

As the first Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in the Nigerian public sector, he is also a Certified Project Manager and Solutions Architect. He also has numerous professional certifications in networking, telecommunications, service management and solution design.

Abdullahi was a key resource in the development of IT standards for the apex bank, which reduced the average deployment/integration time of the new system by more than 20%. One of his major accomplishments as a technology architect was the production of 7 solution architectures for critical IT initiatives that contributed to the realization of a cashless society in Nigeria.

He joined NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the Managing Director/CEO. As the IT regulator in Nigeria mandated to implement the National ICT Policy, he managed the execution of the strategy which increased the contribution of ICT to Nigerian GDP by over 13% in the second quarter of 2018. He also coordinated a local content initiative which increased local ICT production by over 200% in 2017. Abdullahi is a Fellow of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and the British Computer Society (BCS).

Since succeeding his predecessor, Professor Ali Isa Ibrahim (Pantami) as DG NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa unveiled NITDA’s “Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2014)” of NITDA, the pillars identified by the Agency as the pivot of the roadmap are: 1) Regulation of development; 2) Literacy and digital skills; 3) digital transformation; 4) Digital innovation and entrepreneurship; 5) Cybersecurity; 6) Emerging technologies and; 7) Promoting Indigenous content.

PASR has been divided into strategic initiatives that correspond to its objective. The resulting initiatives were then broken down into activities and an implementation plan which was then developed for these initiatives. In addition, a results monitoring framework has been developed for the key performance indicators identified for each of the initiatives. It is indeed a turning point in its quest to make the continent’s largest digital economy through the integrated and deliberate implementation of the strategic plan.

The IT regulatory agency has laid out strategies to digitize government functions and processes and has successfully created over 150 user accounts to enable Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to submit their IT projects through the IT portal. approval of agency IT projects, licensed by 94 data protection compliance organizations. (DPCO) and Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture/Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (NGEA-Ne-GIF). Since the arrival of the dynamic DG, NITDA has developed several regulatory frameworks for the development of information technology, issued both electronically and in hard copy by the Agency.

Affable and polite, DG Inuwa is perhaps the most charismatic young CEO in the country. He operates with an efficient style that gives the impression that he is a man who strives for excellence with a strong sense of duty.

He is not intoxicated by his exceptional intellectual numerical prowess. He remained a model for the rising generation. He is an inspiration to many.

When the history of NITDA is written, the name of the current CEO, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi will be written in gold. “See the conquering hero comes with sounds of flutes and drumbeats”.

Dansardauna writes via [email protected]

Kimberly B. Nguyen