Minister of Communications, Barr. Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu on Thursday in Ile-Ife, Osun State said his ministry is leveraging on Information Communication Technology (ICT) for rejuvenating Nigeria’s economy as well as encouraging massive online job creation through the implementation of various initiatives.
In a press statement by Victor Oluwadamilare, his Special Assistant on Media, the minister, in a keynote address he delivered at the opening ceremony of the Ife Youths Economic Summit (IYES 2017) at the ancient city of Ile-Ife said in this onerous task, 28,800 unemployed youths nominees across various states of the Federation were trained in online job (Micro-work and E-lancing).
The ministry, he also said has established incubation hubs in Lagos and Calabar, which are a private and public sector collaboration aimed at catalysing the ICT industry by helping Nigerian ICT entrepreneurs create successful businesses, support the interactions between innovations and their partners and developing indigenous skills and capabilities. H e added that the target of this initiative is to create 25 successful ICT businesses by 2015.
Striving to make the ICT sector, the 4th pillar of the nation’s economy in terms of contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he said the sector, which is the fastest growing and which has contributed 9.58 percent to the country’s GDP, trained 1000 Girls in ICT in collaboration with Huawei Technologies and have sent 20 best amongst the 1000 girls already in Nigeria to China in April this year for further training.
Barr. Shittu said in its efforts to fill the about 24 percent 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.
H e said, “ so far, Digital Bridge Institute and other tertiary institutions are concluding an agreement with IBM (Skills Development and Research Institutes) to train 25,000 resources in 5 years (2013-2018) per institute.
“Similarly, partnership agreement had 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& 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.”
Speaking at the Summit, Barr. Shittu said that youths are cardinal members of the internet ecosystem and that the ministry is strategically inclined to bringing up initiatives to cater for the interest of the nation’s youth population and working closely with various partners at 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.
According to the minister, ICTs are creating new job opportunities and making labour markets more innovative, inclusive, and global and that there is a shift from traditional labour intensive jobs to technology-enabled jobs, adding that the ICT sector has come to play a critical role in the sustainable growth and development of nations.