Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has said that the ministry would leverage on information and communication technology (ICT) to rejuvenate the Nigeria’s economy as well as encourage online jobs through the implementation of various initiatives.
The minister stated this recently in a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Ife Youths Economic Summit (IYES 2017). He said in this task, 28,800 unemployed youths across various states of the federation were trained in online jobs (micro-work and e-lancing).
Shittu said the ministry has established incubation hubs in Lagos and Calabar, which are a private and public sector collaboration aimed at boosting the ICT industry by helping Nigerian ICT entrepreneurs create successful businesses, support interactions between innovators and their partners and developing indigenous skills and capabilities. He added that the target of the initiative was to create 25 successful ICT businesses by 2015.
In order to make the ICT sector the fourth pillar of the nation’s economy in terms of contributions to the gross domestic product, the minister said the sector, which is the fastest growing and which has contributed 9.58 per cent to the country’s GDP, trained 1,000 Girls in ICT in collaboration with Huawei Technologies and sent 20 best of the 1,000 girls already in Nigeria to China in April this year for further training.
Shittu said in its efforts to fill the about 24 per cent IT vacancies in the country, the ministry “plans to build technical and job-ready ICT skills to replace expatriate expertise with highly skilled Nigerians, increase the supply of local highly skilled talent to a fast growing sector and enhance ICT industry employment opportunities.”
His words: “So far, Digital Bridge Institute and other tertiary institutions are concluding an agreement with IBM (Skills Development and Research) to train 25,000 resources in five years (2013 to 2018) per institute.
“Similarly, partnership agreement has been signed with Cisco to build Cisco Academy for highest certification (CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert) in Nigeria and with Nokia on MLab Project. The implementation of the Nokia Life programme for farmers is also at an advanced stage.
“The modules to be covered in the one month following my opening addresses have been carefully chosen; software development, which is at the foundation of ICT, because you need to write the instruction for the computer in a language it will understand, the study of various electronics technologies, which include computer hardware and software, operating systems, web-based information and applications, telephones and other telecommunication and multimedia products, e-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet and web enabling technologies, which are products that can be used through or in conjunction with the world wide web to surf the internet.”
At the summit, Shittu said that youths were cardinal members of the Internet ecosystem and the ministry of communications is inclined to bring up initiatives to cater for the interest of the nation’s youth population, working closely with partners at the national, regional and global levels to ensure massive youth employment while fast-tracking the rejuvenation of the national economy.
He said the theme of the summit, “ICT As a Formidable Tools For Nigeria’s Economic Rejuvenation and Massive Job Creation”, is apt at this time that the country is moving out of recession and all hands are on deck to ensure gradual economic growth.