By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has extended a hand of partnership to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to effectively drive the petroleum sector with digital technology in research and innovation.
This was disclosed when the NITDA received the Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) division of the NNPC at the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
The team, led by the Chief Innovation Officer of NNPC, Mrs Ugonna Betty Amaechi, maintained that they were at the centre to seek NITDA’s assistance in reviewing some of its strategy, goals, priorities and progress, as well as provide guidance and enablement to succeed.
Mrs Amaechi said “innovation is about creating new ways of doing things towards achieving performance efficiency and cost-cutting. It is something Nigeria has embraced, and for innovation to thrive there must be triggers which is why the RTI was formed.”
She revealed that RTI’s business thematic areas include cybernetics and automation, downstream innovation, energy innovation, refining of petrochemical innovation, upstream innovation, and market research and service innovation.
She stated that the research aspect of RTI uses creative, systemic and methodological principles of knowledge to collect, organise and analyse ideas for business growth, sustain development and solve problems within the NNPC.
Mrs Amaechi said they want to learn from NITDA’s wealth of experience, adding that the focus is in the area of technology to drive business efficiency, quality service and performance excellence, using advancements in applied sciences, engineering and design in line with technology trends.
In the area of innovation, the team leader said RTI came up with the idea of looking at it more centrally from a human-centred approach, adding that RTI intends to embrace human-centred innovation.
In his remark, the Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said; “Innovation happens when you explore,” adding that “you need to be an explorer and exploiter at the same time before you become innovative as an organisation”.
He added that “to have a successful innovation ecosystem, it is important to have five key stakeholders which are; academia, corporate organisation, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists in order to provide funding for the ideas.”
While assuring the RTI of the Agency’s supports to drive various initiatives, the NITDA boss maintained that “getting an idea from conceptualisation to impact is highly required to be an innovator that opens to new ideas.”