October 17, 2021

Atinuke Tokura Nukay/TnTv Network

…To Embark on Massive ICT Training for Nigerians

The Minister of Information and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami as assured Nigerians of a full Digital Economy in about a decades time or less. 
Speaking during an interactive Press session on Friday in Abuja with Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), (Abuja Chapter) on the theme: “Digital Economy,  Journey So far” says  Digital technology is most prominent sector we need to align with to boost the Gross Domestic Product of the Country instead of being dependant on Crude oil.

On the Minister’s part, he pledged that the Ministry will embark on massive training in Information Communication Technology of Nigerian. These he says will cover men/women, children, journalists, unemployed youths and graduates, civil servant, People Living with Disabilities (PLWD), which is subject to the availability of funds and people who can read and write. With the aim of targeting 95% digital inclined economy in the next 10years.

He said: “Starting from 2020, we want to embark on a massive training of Nigerians on digital literacy and that is why we have so many classes of our trainings.

“We have digital Nigeria for women, Digital Nigeria for journalists, digital Nigeria for unemployed youths,  Digital Nigeria for unemployed graduates, Digital Nigeria for civil servants,  Digital Nigeria for chief executives, Digital Nigeria for use, Digital Nigeria for people with disabilities, Digital Nigeria for children.

“So, we have Digital Nigeria for each and every one of them, and it is  subject to availability of funds which is one of the constraints. We want to ensure that we embark on a massive training for Nigerians, some on digital literacy, some on  digital skills, and  it all depends on their own level. Our focus is those who can read or write.

“If you can’t read or write then you can be trained. But if you don’t have these keys of how you can read or write then it is difficult for you to get the training and that is why our plan is subject to availability of funds in the next 10 years.

“We want to ensure that at least ninety five percent of Nigerians are digitally literate. Our administration will come to an end in 2023. But it really says why we mentioned in the next 10 years. It is not about one administration but about Nigeria as a country.

To the amazement of participants and stakeholders present at the forum, the Minister directed the immediate implementation of training of Journalists as the first leg of massive training for Nigerians.While urging the other agencies under the Ministry to key into it with immediate effect.

Cross Section of Participants at the Event

Further speaking about the Ministry’s plan for the Country in actualization of the digital inclined economy and Dr Pantami’s Quest for internet connectivity. The Minister spoke about Eight (8) Pillars which the Ministry is earnestly working with to achieve a Digital Nigeria (2020-2025).

Which are;
1)Developmental Regulations
2)Digital literacy and skills
3)Solid Infrastructure
4)Service Infrastructure
5) Digital Services, Promotion and Development
6)Fight against Cyber Crime
7) Digital Society and Emerging Technology
8)Digital innovation and Digital Entrepreneurship.

Pantami says, the Ministry came up with Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to keep tab on the Ministry’s performance with implementation tied to every policy.

The Minister further emphasised on youths equipping themselves with skills. Advising that having skills with certificate will make them potential employers and can even make them self employed. He also advised Nigerians especially Youths to key into a Digital Nigeria, and move from analog to digital literacy. While emphasising that the price of data must drop.

Earlier, the President NITRA (Abuja Chapter), Blessing Olaifa of the Nation Newspaper, while commending the Minister for his stride since his assumption of office appealed to the Minister for training and retraining of Journalists and collaboration with the fourth Estate of the realm in Nigeria

Responding, the Minister assured the men of the press of his full support while directing the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to train journalist with immediate effect and work in tandem with them. 
Others in attendance were the Executive Vice Chairman(NCC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, represented by Engineer Ubale Maska, DG NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, DG NigComSat, Mrs Abimbola Alale and other Industry gurus.

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