By Ijeoma Olorunfemi
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on Tuesday called on technology experts and the public to be creative in providing solutions to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and also help boost the economy.
Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA, made the call in a statement issued in Abuja in commemoration of the UN’s World Creativity and Innovation Day celebrated on April 21.
Umar said that the day was significant to raise awareness on the importance of creativity, innovation in addressing challenges as contained in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda of 2030.
She added that it was also a day set aside to encourage the creative, innovative ecosystem and multidisciplinary thinkers at all levels to come up with solutions to drive economic, social and sustainable development.
“Innovation and creativity, especially in ICT, has become the strongest catalyst for sustainable economic growth and development across nations.
“It is not only necessary for developing new products, services but also especially at this trying time of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the survival of the national economy, through various aspects of human development.
“These focus areas of human development, according to the United Nations, are wealth, job creation, creativity, culture, economic growth, strategies, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The creativity and innovation ecosystem; the general public are encouraged to embrace creativity, innovation as essential tools for harnessing economic potential for expanding opportunities and solutions toward arresting the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
According to her, NITDA is making progressive efforts at creating opportunities for the adoption of creativity and innovation aimed at addressing the country’s socio-economic challenges in different sectors of the economy.
She said the agency established its subsidiary, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) saddled with the responsibility of overseeing, identifying innovations that drive the economy and as well support them.
“OIIE has been responsible for recommending solutions to issues critical to driving the national digital economy, including enabling, mentoring startups, entrepreneurs to successfully build their businesses in line with the country’s efforts of arresting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“NITDA in line with its mandate, has been working assiduously toward developing skilled and globally competitive workforce.
“We are reiterating our call on the youths, Creativity and Technology Innovation ecosystem, key practitioners in the ICT industry, the public, to be prepared to take their rightful places in the global creativity and technology innovation ecosystem,” Umar said.
Umar, however, was confident that the country had the capacity to harness the potential of Creativity and Technology Innovation in developing solutions to help in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. (NAN)