The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said that to achieve Digital Transformation in Nigeria, there is a need was to efficiently use the vast opportunities embedded in the Space Technology ecosystem.

Abdullahi made this call recently at the Corporate Headquarters of the Agency when he met with delegates from the Nigerian Institute of Space Engineers (NISEng) led by its National Chairman, Engr Dr Okpanachi George, who came to seek possible collaboration with the agency.

The NITDA boss said that it is a good development for federal government agencies to partner with private organizations, adding that NITDA as the regulator of IT in the country, has put in place, policies and created an enabling environment for producers and professionals to come in and create innovations which will sustain a digital Nigeria. He further stated that contrary to beliefs that satellites are obsolete, emerging technologies are now transforming the Space technology ecosystem which will evolve a new chapter and give rise to enormous transformation in the industry.

Abdullahi averred that the agency is excited to partner with the NISEng because Credit: BuzzNigeria.com, he believes the collaboration will drive innovations, as the Space Technology Ecosystem is everywhere and encompasses different sectors like Communications, Agriculture and Security. He said that Artificial Intelligence and Robotics play a key role in the digital space and NITDA through its National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) will collaborate with the NISEng in coming up with ideas that will transform the country through initiatives such as the Research and Development, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Innovations.

The DG added that capacity building is an important factor in research and development and the agency will give its support in capturing all demography especially the young start-ups to create robust local content which will prepare and position the country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He said the agency is looking forward to the collaboration because he believes the two organizations will exploit all possible innovations, ideas and commercialize them which in turn will consequently transform NISEng into a competitive, globally standard institute and sustain a digital Nigeria as a whole.

Earlier in his remarks, Engr Dr Okpanachi thanked the NITDA DG and management staff for taking time out of their busy schedule to receive them. He said he had been following NITDA’s activities for some time and is greatly marveled at the agency’s dynamism and passion in sustaining a digital Nigeria. He particularly thanked the DG for sending a representative to the institute’s 10th National Conference and Annual General Meeting in the previous year and seeks a further and deeper collaboration with NITDA on programmers that are insightfully valuable for national and professional development.

Q Kashifu Inuwa, DG/CEO, NITDA counselled in relation to available data. It’s also being recommended by the WHO that people who have or had COVID-19 already can be offered, including people who had COVID-19 in the past. But given the limited vaccine supply, according to the organization, individuals may wish to defer their own COVID-19 vaccination for up to six months from the time of SARS-CoV-2 infection. “As more data becomes available on duration of immunity after infection, this time period may be adjusted.

“Testing for prior infection is not recommended for the purpose of vaccine decision-making, the agency added. One area of interest addressed by the WHO is the plight of international travelers. At present, WHO says it does not support the introduction of requirements for proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for international travelers as condition for exiting or entering a country or for travelling internationally.

WHO’s interim guidance on international travel during the pandemic is clear on this. On dosage, a protective effect starts to develop 12 days after the first dose, but full protection requires two doses which WHO recommends be administered with a 21 to 28-day interval. However, experts say additional research is needed to understand longer-term potential protection after a single dose.

They are also of the view that the vaccines will not end COVID-19 alone but will boost immune, as safe and efective vaccines will be a game- changer. But for the foreseeable future, they advise that people must continue to wear masks, observe physical distance, avoid crowds and apply other health measures. Being vaccinated doesn’t mean that people can throw caution to the wind and put themselves at risk, particularly because it is still not clear, the degree to which the vaccine can protect not only against disease but also against infection and transmission.

WHO says that due to the large variety of COVID-19 vaccines based on very different platform technologies, the organization is looking at vaccines as they are authorized by highly competent national regulatory authorities available in sufficient supply to address the needs of many countries. The agency also says it will allow countries to find the products most suitable for their circumstances. (NAN Features)


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