From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The federal government has assured of bridging the gap in Information Technology in Nigeria by conducting a study to identify the cause of the menace.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday said the move was inspired by a report which indicates that there would a massive shortfall of IT experts by 2030.
He noted that IT talent hunt will help Nigeria in playing globally, adding that the task has been commissioned on behalf of the Federal Government by the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) to be conducted by Co-creation Hub within six months of its launch.
He said: “The digital economy sector in Nigeria has been the crown jewel of the economy and it has been blessed with so many achievements and gains particularly in the last three years.”
He noted that there are many opportunities the digital economy sector offers globally and Nigeria must be well positioned to benefit from them adding that at the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a report that says 90 million IT jobs were created and with the population of the country, Nigeria ought to have contributed three to four million of jobs being created.
He said: “This initiative will guide us to know the opportunities we have locally; the opportunities we have globally and what we need to do to ensure we bridge the gap that exists.
“There are 1,995 ICT companies in Nigeria and this research will take this into consideration and I hope at the end of it, we will have excellent report that if implemented, would guide our country to make informed decision for the sector. The research will make the small, micro and medium enterprises very effective because they are the bedrock of Nigerian economy.
“Whatever we do is very important and we should accommodate our small, micro and medium enterprises because of their prominence to our economy particularly looking at the gap that exists
in relation to their adoption of innovations,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, the NITDA’s Director General, Kashifu Inuwa stated that the research on IT Talent Gap Assessment is to be carried out in line with the federal government’s desire to diversify the Nigerian economy and also in alliance with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS. He added that the outcome of the research would also help in attaining the 95 per cent digital literacy target being provisioned in the NDEPS.
“The gap analysis will let us know where we are so that it will help us come up with the right strategies to adopt in achieving the 95 per cent target on digital literacy. And in addition to that, there are also global talent shortage and we see this as an opportunity to position Nigeria to create and capture values in this global talent pipeline”, the DG noted.