From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said that it has trained over 6,000 youths through a digital state initiative platform on how to create wealth without relying on the government for white-collar jobs.
NITDA Director General Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who made this disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday at a civil society roundtable dialogue on the digital economy.
Abdullahi, represented by aide Dr Mohammed Aminu Lawal, declared that it is time to develop a digital Nigeria.
‘We have been training the civil servants, women, people living with disabilities and youths,’ he said. ‘Most recently, we had a digital state initiative, which is a platform where youths are being trained on content creation, digital marketing and others.’
‘The programme is in batches. Every state has its turn, as taking the whole country at once could be challenging. We have been able to train more than 6,000 youths across the country and we are still on it and it is going continue for a very long period of time.’
Dr Ahmed Adamu, in his remarks, urged Nigerian youths to push for skills acquisition rather than paper qualifications. ‘Getting a certificate does not distinguish a man but the skill he is able to acquire and what he does irrespective of qualifications,’ he said.
‘The youths using the digital information for fraudulent activities is because of the mindset of getting rich quick, so they need to be reoriented so that they can channel those skills they are for dubious arts to the rightful places.’
The President, Civil Society Group for Good Governance (CSGGG), in his remarks, appealed to the government to integrate skills acquisition into the normal school curriculum to curb the level of unemployment in the country.
‘It is time to inform the average unemployed youths that the dynamics around job creation has changed, therefore, they need to update their perception on how to get employed.
‘We decided to choose this topic because the digital economy had been there but we have not been able to use it to solve our problems. This also calls for a rejigging of our school system, so that we can integrate digital information and skills acquisition into what we do at the moment,’ he stated.