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The National Youth Service Corps has been conferred with the best MDA award for the innovative deployment of Information and Communications Technology. This came at the e-Nigeria 2016 e-Governance dinner and award ceremony with the theme: “Leveraging on IT Innovation for Economic Diversification” organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in collaboration with an Indian IT company, Nihilent Technologies, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) came second in the MDAs category, while Sokoto State and the University of Lagos emerged best in state governments and public universities’ categories respectively. Speaking at the ceremony, the Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami said the awards were meant to recognize and further encourage public and private sector organizations that are deploying IT solutions to drive their activities. Dr. Pantami explained that the selection process involved on-the-stop assessment of the ICT infrastructure and deployment of same by organizations that participated. He congratulated the NYSC and other winners, and expressed the hope that the award would motivate them to continuously embrace IT innovations for the promotion of e-Governance. In his address, the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, noted with delight that Nigerians were becoming aware of the crucial role of ICT in personal, business and economic development as well as job creation. He added that organizations in public and private sectors must continue to leverage on ICT to enhance the achievement of their corporate goals. The Minister also advocated the compulsory teaching of ICT courses to all university students to enable them fit properly into the competitive world. Another highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of Long Service Award to some staff of the National Information Technology Development Agency. Commenting after receiving the award, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Sulaiman Kazaure, expressed joy over the emergence of the Scheme as the best in the MDAs category on ICT deployment. Kazaure said since the Scheme’s migration from analogue to digital method of mobilization, there have been continuous strides towards deploying ICT solutions for efficiency in other aspects of its operations. Apart from the online registration, we have since commenced the use of biometric verification for clearance of Corps members, especially to ensure credible monitoring of their attendance at places of primary assignment, Community Development Service and other programmes. The deployment of ICT has also made it easier for us to monitor activities in our orientation camps,” he said. He said the Scheme remains committed to continuous improvement of its ICT infrastructure and innovative deployment of same so as to keep pace with demands of e-Governance.

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