From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The National Coordinator of the Digital Peers International (DPI), Mrs Ibukun Odusote, has said, in order to engender a major economic breakthrough in the country, the government needs to ensure that Nigerian youths are grounded in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) knowledge.
Odusote, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministries of Power: Environment; Culture, Tourism and National Orientation; Labour and Productivity, among others, stated this in Abuja during a post-DIGITEST 2021 press conference with the theme: ‘Digital Skills, Pathway to Prosperity.’
DIGITEST, an initiative of DPI, is a follow up to the Global Knowledge Conference which took place in Canada in 1997; the West African Policy Seminar by the British Council in 1998, the Global Knowledge Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1999 and several other initiatives that had taken place since 1999.
DIGITEST was initially conceived as an ICT club for young people in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria and West Africa with a cardinal objective of creating ICT capacity in young people between the ages of eight and 18 years.It uses non-conventional methods. It was established to identify and develop talented and gifted children in ICT for social and economic development.
Odusote added that the competitiveness of the country lied on innovation, adding that the only way the country could maximise its investments in ICT infrastructure was to focus on the skill development of young people in the area of ICT.
Odusote added that, with lack of basic knowledge in the field of ICT, the nation cannot optimally gain from the possibilities and potential embedded in development.
Odusote said: “The determination and enthusiasm to get the fruits of development in Nigeria back on track must teach us a lesson that the quest for development must start with the young people.”