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EDUCATION AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT OF PETER OLU JACK - DIRECTOR GENERAL (NITDA)

Peter Olu Jack is the newly appointed Director General (DG) of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), an organ of the Federal Government, mandated to regulate and develop information technology in Nigeria. Jack is a Development Consultant in the areas of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (MSPs), Entrepreneurship, and Information Technology for National Transformation, Job Creation and Poverty Alleviation.

The new DG attended the International Information Technology Policy Programme, College of Engineering, Seoul National University, South Korea. He holds a BSc. in Chemical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife; has a Masters in Chemical Engineering; and MBA, both from the University of Lagos. Jack was a director/Technical Assistant to the Director General NITDA, a position he held for seven years, until January 2007.

The NITDA boss was in 2003, the designer and implementer of the Niger Delta Youth Computer Training Program for Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Jack represented the DG/CEO on several key national committees including the National Committee on Outsourcing, and the Public Service Reform Committee; thereby leading the team that wrote Strategic Plan for Economic Sectors of Nigeria, sponsored by the United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa (UNECA).

He was also a member of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) consulting team, which drafted the Nigeria Country’s Strategy Plan (2007-2011), representing the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). He established the National Cisco Networking Academy Program in Nigeria. Jack is a Government Research Fellow of the United Nations University at Macau, China; and at the Columbia University Centre FOR International Conflict Resolution. He is  currently rounding up a PhD programme at Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.

Jack, the prolific writer has written and  presented papers in several areas of information technology and development at various fora, within and outside Nigeria. He is enthusiastic about new developments in Information Technology, Nanotechnology, Bio-Technology, Banking, Entrepreneurship, Education and Oil and Gas Technology.

DR PETER JACK’S NITDA QUEUE INTO THE NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION AGENDA!

Obviously assured and happy that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) gets a new helmsman, who would easily adapt to the transformation agenda of his government, and move the agency faster, Peter Jack got the President’s approval to be its new Director General, on April 9, 2014, Wednesday.

However, the news of Jack’s appointment was made public by Special Assistant (Media) to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Sam Nwaobasi, adding that the appointment was for a first term of four  years, with effect from April 7, 2014. NITDA was last headed by Prof Cleopas Angaye, who retired in July 2013, after completing a maximum two terms of eight years. Mr. Ashiru Daura, a former director of Software Outsourcing, acted as the Director General of the agency, until Jack’s appointment.

NITDA Programmes: Over 271 Nigeria’s Institutions have benefitted

Since inception of the project by NITDA, 271 institutions have benefitted across the  nation and more are still being planned for, this fiscal year. Each of the Institutions or  centres have e-learning package, which

empowers users to train themselves on a variety of subjects from secondary school level upwards, is also included in each of the centres. The deployment of IT Infrastructure in institutions is another of NITDA’s several intervention schemes of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, with the provision of a platform whereby students access IT facilities.

Assertions by Dr. Peter Jack

• There are over 48 million internet users in Nigeria eNigeria 2014: ICT Sector Creates 12m Jobs from 12 million jobs from 2012 to date.

• NITDA, with the support of World Bank and Department for International Development (DFID) also plan to create 460,000 more jobs across eight critical sectors in the Nigerian economy, having identified ICT sector as topmost priority.

• ICT Sector has made a direct contribution of 10.56 percent to GDP during the same period.

Created the theme of e-Nigeria 2014 is:

• “Creating Market Opportunities for Indigenous ICT Products and Services.”

• “In view of the above achievement, the focus of eNigeria 2014 on technology startups and young innovators is considered very timely particularly at this time that World Bank and UK Department for International Development, DFID are supporting Nigeria to create jobs.

• Nigeria is a great nation that has enough capabilities to step forward and make global rules and employ Nigerians to build global companies and enact “techno-nationalism” at home.

• NITDA had developed a national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategic Plan with a timeline of 2010- 2015. According to him, the implementation of the plan is ongoing in sectors, such as education, agriculture, health, governance and the judiciary.

Expressions of Optimism on NITDA by Some others

Prof. Turner Isoun, former minister of Science and Technology, in his key remarks, at the 2014 e-Government event, emphasized the need for expansion of broadband drive and charged NITDA to leverage the latest broadband initiative, AK Broadband technology to fast-track service delivery to every locality across the country.

Other key dignitaries at conference were: Jelani Aliyu, MFR, Lead Concept Designer, Chevrolet Volt Electric Car (Keynote Speaker), Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Minister of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)

Some other Groundbreaking Creations

“The others are the Tinapa Knowledge City, with a full-fledged IT Park and Software Development Centre and we also plan to site a Reverse Engineering Centre in the facility.“The Lekki Smart City Initiative, Lagos Innovation City and the Lekki Software Development Academy, which is planned to house a software incubator and accelerator, are among the initiatives.` `There is the iDEA Hub, which is our pilot programme in software incubation and innovation and Software Development and Testing Centre,” he said. The Abuja Technology Village, which already houses the “inspire technology incubation hub”.

Technology-Start-Sasware, was the only Nigeria technology investment company present at Gitex Technology Week held in Dubai recently has pledged its support for technology start-ups in Nigeria. A federal government delegation was led to the international exhibition led by Olaopa included; Dr. Akin Omotosho, Nigeria Consul- General to Dubai Emirate; Dr. Tosin Ajayi, Chairman of Board, Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); and Peter Jack, Director General NITDA.

(Mrs) Omobola Johnson, formal Minister of Communications Technology and Dr. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Barrister Chris ‘E. Onyemenam, director general, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). have described the ICT Centenary Award, organized by NITDA as a positive development in recognition of individuals and corporate entities.

Prioritizing ICT Development in Nigeria

With a great zest, internet communication technology (ICT) and a serviceable internet governance are deeply firmly rooted in the  Nigerian model, in a bid to be on the same footing with those countries of the world that are far ahead of the country in ICT and other areas of development. However, this a matching direction, to the lofty ideals about which the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), had been established in the country- To create a solid framework for the planning, research,

development, standardization, application, co-ordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of the ICT related practices and activities in Nigeria.

Vigorously, NITDA’s is not missing its’ calculated steps towards practical ICT regulatory standards, guidelines and policies formulation and implementation. And as the clearing house for all ICT projects and the component for the general infrastructure development in the country, e-government implementation, Internet governance and general IT development in Nigeria, NITDA will always not also falter, like some of the government’s intervention agencies.

“We must proactively invest in IT in order to consolidate on the gains of past investment in the sector”; Dr. Peter Jack, NITDA director general has asserted, having been cognizance with the agency’s team spirit and a tendency to deliver the goods, where it especially matters so much to the Nigerian public.

NITDA OPERATIONS

In line with its directive, the agency particularly oversees the development and deployment of information technology in the country through Human Capital Development, Provision of IT Infrastructures and Creation of the enabling environment for the development of IT in the country. This is to enable Nigeria to become a key player in the global knowledge of the economy and other sectors.

Being the ever changing face of IT and its various properties of application, lots of NITDA initiatives are still hovering, just as some others have been completed. NITDA, also matching the ICT trends, usually hosts annual and intermittent conferences, seminars, workshops and other awareness activities, in order to inform and re-inform Nigerians, for the appreciation and inculcation about the usage of the everchanging technologies. One of the goals of NITDA is to solidly develop IT global competitive manpower. Of course, NITDA diverse activities have been embarked upon to fulfill this goals.

Presently, NITDA also runs a course on Cisco Certified Network Associate at its headquarters, where over 400 youth (mostly NYSC members serving in Abuja) have passed out. The academy’s training facility consists of 2 classrooms and a laboratory. All the classes in the training centre are permanently linked to the Internet. Twenty local schools from universities and NGOs in the country have so far been commissioned by NITDA.

NITDA Nihilent e-Governance Awards

While in collaboration with the agency, Nihilent is presenting “NITDA-Nihilent e-Governance Awards”, this year. During the event of the e-Nigeria Conference, more recognition and promotion, e-Governance and ICT initiatives will be ensured. Nihilent Nigeria, is a subsidiary of Nihilent, an India based global consulting and solutions integration-company, which has a strong e-Governance capability, with proven expertise in the design and development of e-Governance policies, strategies and programmes for national and local governments. Nihilent will work with NITDA in designing a comprehensive evaluation framework for the awards.

NITDA, ATN LAUNCH FIRST “IT TRIANGULAR BUSINESS MODEL KIOSK”

The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) in partnership with African Times Network (ATN) launched the first Information  Communication Technology triangular business model called Solar kiosk in Abuja. The kiosk, if deploy nationwide has the capacity to generate 1.2 million jobs in two years and reduce

the crime rate in the country. This new innovation in Nigerian small scale enterprise is equipped with wireless internet service, television viewing centre and grocery shop.

Unveiling the kiosk in a brief ceremony at Art and Culture Centre in Abuja, The former Minister of  Culture , Tourism and National Orientation , Chief Edem Duke maintained that the kiosk would ‘’serve as catalyst for sustainable economic and social development in the country’’

He added that the project is capable of being a pathfinder of Job and Wealth creation in Nigeria adding that politicians who were fond of empowering the populace with tricycle and motorcycle could leverage on the project by empowering their people with the kiosk.

“This is a kind of project that will provide opportunities for teeming Nigerian youth in the quest of information and knowledge. The solar kiosk s will also provide jobs opportunities among Nigerians and keep the youths out of crime”. Relating the importance of the kiosk to the development of tourism sector in the country, he said tourists could use the kiosk for relaxation point and business transaction.

In his welcome remark, the Director General of NITDA, Mr. Peter Jack said with the introduction of solar kiosk to Nigerian market, jobs and wealth creation would improve hence boosting the economic development in the country.

Shielding light on the concept of IT triangular model, Mr. Jack stated that, the kiosk would serve as a one stop shop with ICT business center grocery shop and viewing center for sport enthusiasts. The initiator of the project and Chief Executive Officer of African Times Network (ATN), Mr Fedelix Anosike said the idea behind the project is to connect every Nigeria to the world and at the same time improve social interaction among other people.

He said the ICT is the catalyst for acquisition of knowledge and the solution the kiosk would provide is aims at providing such IT knowledge in a relaxation mood. A German partner to the project, Mr. Andre Spice praised the country for her numerous natural endowment describing it as land full of milk and honey. He said with the nation human resource capacity knowledge in ICT would provide more fertile ground for nurturing businesses.

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