Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, the director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), stated that his organization is collaborating with other stakeholders to bring about an irreversible transformation in how people live and work in the nation, particularly in light of the adoption of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the widespread use of Evolution around the world, which ushers in the fusion of physical, digital, and biological works.
Inuwa made this statement at the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) 7th College of Fellows Roundtable Symposium, which took place in Abuja.
Inuwa noted that the 4th Industrial Revolution has created opportunities for the majority of existing Engineers and people to stand out in their respective fields, with a view to becoming catalysts for innovation and developing new inventions to tackle global challenges. He was represented by the Director IT Infrastructure Solutions Department, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi.
“In the past decade, as large projects require more companies and stakeholders to work together across time zones around the world, new ways of workings are demanding more seamless connections and faster access to real-time information, that ushered in the next significant transformation which is the cloud”.
“NITDA, as the nation’s apex I T regulatory body, believed that it will be difficult for Nigerians to catch up with its developmental pursuit without developing engineering and technology professions,” he said.
He added that “Our Scientists, Engineers and Technologists are critical to solving our societal problems and challenges.
“The focus of Engineering is the making of things and work efficiently and effectively by applying the theories and principles of science and mathematics to research and develop economic solutions to technical problems” he maintained.
Inuwa also averred the role of Engineers as critical to the well-being of human existence, cognizance of their innovation, and maintaining of products and system equipment, thereby making a country habitable for the citizenry.
He also commended the resilience of Engineers, Architects and the construction industries in the last 41 years in changing the narrative towards attaining the accelerated Digitally Transformed sector.
“It started with Digitalisation, which is a transition from paper drawings and analogue processes to digital tools and later computer system designs.
“As Digitalisation was ongoing, Architects encountered increasingly complex design problems, such as global growing population, urbanization and climate change”, he noted.
Inuwa admonished participants on the imperative of keying into the current realities of the Digitalisation agenda, as the process needs holistic evaluation and approach by relevant actors, so as to make it more beneficial to the future.
“On the Digitalisation agenda, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) has been strategically set towards transforming the country into a leading Digital Economy; providing quality life and digital economies for all. And also, a mission of building a nation where digital innovation and entrepreneurship will be used to create value and prosperity for all,” he added.
The NITDA Boss enumerated eight pillars on which the policy/strategy is anchored, which are; Developmental Regulation, Digital Literacy and Skills, Solid Infrastructure, and Service Infrastructure. Other pillars are Digital Services Development and Prevention, Soft Infrastructure, Digital Society and Emerging Technologies and lastly Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.
He added that “these pillars apply to the Engineering sector and every other sector in Nigeria. Digital Technology is at the heart of the engineering sectors, regulations and Engineering Literacy and Skills should be driven by digital technology.”
On the challenges the Engineering sector may face, Inuwa identifies the demand for new skills in place, for the 4th Industrial Revolution, as some jobs including Engineering will disappear and new ones will emerge.
He urged the Engineers to constantly update themselves with new trends such as Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence, as the future remains unpredictable, as digitalisation has provided businesses and organisations with a better view of what the future could look like, with the endless possibilities offered by technology.
The DG was amongst the recipients of NSE Honorary Awards conferred on selected individuals and corporate bodies, for their contribution to the development of the highest Engineering regulatory body in the country.